Interview with the Leader of Selfish Steam Tony Marossie

Tony Marossie - guitar/vocals

"Friends in Recovery with music that touches the soul"

Performing at SoberJam 2004, New Orleans October 8th, 2004: I had the opportunity to sit down with a dear friend in recovery. I call Tony Marossie a "dear friend" because from the moment I met him, I could not think of having a life without knowing this very real man. He has given so much of himself to make this world a better place, and just spending time with his energy for life and recovery is just infective. Below, you will find some excerpts from a recent interview. -- Paul O.

Tony, Selfish Steam was one of the first, very upfront Recovery Based Bands I can recall being introduced to in this emerging genre. This is quite amazing for many in recovery given the "culture' of anonymity for most recovering people.

What drew you into this kind of public display?

We have an open mike at the Windsor Recovery Club in Windsor, Connecticut and when I first got sober I took my guitar there and signed up. The room was packed and I was so nervous that I sang into my harmonica and blew into the microphone and while I was blowing into the microphone, I got my mustache stuck in the mic. It was my first time playin sober and I was the hit of the night. Later that night a young man came up to me and thanked me. I asked him, "for what?". He said he was newly sober and he has never laughed so hard in his life. He also told me that he was a musician and did not think he would be able to play sober until he saw me play. I knew just how he felt (because I felt the same way). That night opened many doors for me. I continued going to the Open Mic along with many 12 Step Meetings and eventually hooked up with other sober musicians. Tired of playin cover tunes I decided it was time to write some of my own stuff. So I did. All those years of active addiction, I had a lot to write about. I simply want to share my story through my music. I know for a fact that wherever we perform be it a sober event, Town Green or a school, someone in the audience is affected by drugs and alcohol. If we can help one person out of that audience, then we are a success. It was no secret when I was active. If everybody in Recovery remained Anonymous...nobody would get sober

Tell me about your band. Who are the members and what are they all about?

Seth Pastore - bass guitar

Using the northwest hills of Connecticut as a backdrop for his musical and spiritual journey, he brings the low notes. His musical influences span the spectrum from jazz to classical, Funk to Punk and back again. Construction by day, music by night. A few years ago we were without a bass player and our next gig was "Sober in the Sun" and we only had 3 weeks to find a bass player. One day on my job site, a man in a yellow hard hat walked up too me and said, "hey... aren't you in that band Selfish Steam?" I said "why yes I am". He continued to tell me that he goes to all of our shows and loves our music. Jokingly I asked him if he knew how to play the bass and he told me that he is a bass player and he knows how to play all of our songs. The rest is history and he has been with us since. His name is Seth Pastore and he is AWESOME!!

Peter Manning - electric guitar/vocals

Peter Manning joined the band 15 plus years ago while battling his addiction and demons. He got sober with the help of the band and others. "Now It’s my turn to help others”, a motto shared by the band. He’s been playing guitar for over 40 years and his role as the lead guitar player and back up singer has helped form the Selfish Steam sound. He's been around music and production all his life. He’s owned Boiler Room Productions sound company and studio, and also worked at Avalon Studios as an engineer and producer. He's an award winning musician since the age of his first professional gig at 16 and has played on several albums/videos and toured extensively around the US. He’s had the honor of sharing the stage with others like BB King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Money, and recently Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Ricky Byrd. just to name a few. He lives in Enfield CT with his two boys Sam 17, Miles 20 who have played with the band here and there, making Dad so very proud. He’s been told he has a “ David Gilmore” like melody and a "Van Halen" like bark by friends and fans which makes his original style unique and a pleasure hear and a thrill to watch.

“If our music touches just one person, and gets them through a tough time or gives them hope, That's what it's all about”.

Joseph Veneto - percussionist

Joe is from the Boston area and has worked the Boston circuit for many years. Self taught and with a natural rhythm there is nothing he cannot play. Some of the venues he has played at are The Channel, The Rathskeller and after 2 years sobriety he had the opportunity to play on cruise ships and with Rock and Roll hall of famers. He has battled alcohol and drug addiction and has been sober for 21 years. Now playing with Selfish Steam he feels he is reaching out to others sharing his strength and hope and still doing what he loves...playing music.

He has a teenager son who the light of his life

Over the years Selfish Steam has been blessed to share the stage with many great performers to include John Sebastian, Al Anderson, Eddie Money, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Richie Supa, Ricky Bird, Peter Tork and many more. We also got the chance to perform at some great festivals such as 12 Step Musicfest in Key West, Florida, Soberstock at Pat Garrett Amphitheater in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Freedom Festival in Long Beach, California, Rockers in Recovery Music Festival in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Half Moon Sober Festival in New Boston, New Hampshire, Sober in the Sun in Rutland, Mass. and many more to include Treatment Centers and Schools.

In May of 2002 Selfish Steam was honored at the 6th Annual Prism Awards in Hollywood, California for 2 of our originals "It Takes What It Takes" and "Just Like Candy In A Store". In April of 2009 Selfish Steam returned to Hollywood and took home a Prism Award for their new CD "Lost in Recovery". The PRISM Awards are presented in partnership with the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. and the National Institute on Drug Abuse and is the entertainment industry's annual recognition for the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction in movies, television, video, music.