Join my mailing list

Steve’s Bio

I was born in Duluth, Minnesota, the fifth of six children where I pretty much lived the normal life of a blue collar kid, having a lot of fun along the way. I attended the local Baptist church sporadically at best, public schools, and the whole bit until 9th grade when my family moved to the “Iron Range” town of Grand Rapids.

In the summer between 11th and 12th grade I was just hanging out with my friends when one of them (Paul Erspamer), said that he wanted to start a band and thought I would be a good singer. “I don’t think I could do that”, I said. He had heard me sing along with the radio in the car (break to the scene from Wayne’s World) and assured me I could do it. It was a great way to earn money for a high school kid.

In between working and going to college (all in Minnesota) I was either playing in rock and roll cover bands, or doing solo coffee house type of music. I met my wife at the University of Minnesota, Duluth where the first impression (her impression of me) was good. The second impression was terrible. It took me about 6 months of groveling to get her to actually go out with me. The rest, as they say, is history.

I always considered myself a Christian but Roslyn, my wife-to-be, urged me to get involved with a Christian church of some sort. She didn’t insist that I become Catholic but she made it clear that if we were to continue, I would have to make a commitment to Christ. She probably saved my life. She just happened to live next door on campus to the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. I attended Catholic mass lead by a wonderful, charismatic priest named George Schroeder. Long story short, I fell in love with the Catholic church, started playing in the folk group, was baptized, received confirmation, became Catholic, and married my wife about 3 years later. I have been involved in Catholic music ministry ever since.

I have found my spiritual home and feel blessed to belong to a faith that celebrates the Holy Eucharist, allowing me to become one with Christ. I never feel more at peace than when I am receiving Holy Communion. After we got married we moved to the Twin Cities where I became a police officer with the Bloomington Police Department. After about 2 years we decided to move to “Sunny Seattle” where I took a position with the Seattle Police Department. Shortly after arriving in Seattle we started attending St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Renton, WA in 1983. I have been singing His praises there ever since. In 1994 I left the police department to join the Seattle Fire Department where I am currently a fire investigator.

I have played in numerous other bands outside of church throughout the years. I have had the opportunity to sing several times for the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks in front of crowds of 45,000 – 65,000 people. It is indeed an honor and a thrill but nothing compares to performing the weekly mass in front of fellow believers. God has blessed me with a limited amount of musical talent. There is no doubt in my mind that I am called to share that with you in the name of the Holy Trinity. I am not really a man of words and singing is a way to express my love for Jesus and I can’t imagine not doing it.

I believe we all have our gifts and it is so important to find out what your gift is and then share it in the name of Christ. About five years ago Mark Bader, a very talented keyboardist at St. Stephens, and all-around great guy, gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in doing some contemporary Christian music for something called “Life Teen”. I had been to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert with a friend about a year before that and was amazed at how good contemporary Christian music had become. I went to practice to see what it was about. Before the night was through I was hooked. The Holy Spirit was there in that room that night and I caught fire inside.

We needed a bass player and I volunteered that I knew a friend, Ernie, who was a good bass player, fabulous singer, wonderful person, and on top of it all he was a Catholic. The only problem was that I hadn’t seen him in about two years and every other time I had tried to get him involved with a group he was either busy or I had other commitments and we could just never get it together. I told the others I would still see what I could do to locate him and ask him to join us. I got home from practice and remembered that I was supposed to get my daughter’s lunch ready for school the next day so I had to make a late night run to the store. It was about 1:00 in the morning and I was bleary eyed as I turned the corner to pick up some yogurt. There standing two feet in front of me was Ernie. I immediately looked up at God and started laughing. “Ernie there is no way you can refuse this time because God has brought us together at this point in time”, I told Ernie. I explained what I was talking about to Ernie and he agreed and the Holy Spirit moved him to join the Life Teen Band. We have been playing together ever since.

We still have 6 of the original 7 players we started with and it has been the most rewarding musical experience I have ever had in my life. I am so honored to be playing along side with Patty, Mark, Ernie, Ponce, and Rod that I can hardly express it in words. I know this is what God intended for me to do. At any rate, my wife and I now have three wonderful children and God willing, a fourth will find its way into our home through the blessed event of adoption. I hope to write music for many years to come and to keep sharing it with those who care to listen.