TOWNE are a relatively new Nashville-based duo who have found that a union of opposites can lead to a marriage made in musical heaven. The members are Steevie Steeves, formerly of Pennsylvania, and Kentucky native Jon Decious.Not long after they met they realised that they both lived behind the liquor store on 8th in the heart of Nashville - it was musical kismet, and it's resulted not only in a beautiful sound but in their first EP, Games We Play. Given the difference in time zones, it was easier to interview the band by email - and the result is below.
How did a music theatre geek and a punk-rock musician find their way to country music?
We're both from small, rural communities so it wasn't much of a stretch for either of us. Beyond that, we're both massive fans of well-written songs, regardless of genre.
When was the moment you realised that you would make great collaborators? When we were out at a songwriting seminar in Wyoming, we were instantly drawn to each other's songs and we got along like old friends right from the start, so I think we knew pretty instantly.
Did your sound evolve naturally as you started collaborating or did it take some conscious thought/discussion/maybe the odd argument?Our songs and our sound took on a natural evolution, yeah. The deeper our personal relationship got, the deeper and better our songs got.
How does your songwriting process work?Every song we write is different - some days one of us will come in with a melody or a title and we'll start there, and other days we start from nothing and pray we wind up with something. Keeping it unpredictable keeps it interesting for us.
You have found that sweet spot with harmonies - did that come naturally?Thank you! It's something we work really hard at that definitely did not come naturally. Steevie breaks down each song and finds the part that she would want sung with herself and then teaches it to me - again, it takes a little more effort, but it keeps things interesting.
Finding a niche in American country music can be hard, because there are so many acts - how have you made connections with your audience? We've connected with people by just being ourselves. People always respond and connect with honesty, it seems.
You've released an EP - in this age of streaming, there's a return to shorter releases instead of full-length albums. Is this a format that suits you so that you'll continue to release EPs, or are you working towards a long player?Honestly, we don't think too much about it - when it came to making Games We Play, the thought was more like, "We don't have much money but how many songs can we record for X dollars?” Eventually, we'd love to make an LP, but not for any strategic industry reasons or anything - just because we love recording music.
Games We Play is available on iTunes.