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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Steff Koeppen is a UA band with a distinctive sound

    Tyler+Besh+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ASteff+Koopen+and+the+Articles%0A
    Tyler Besh / Arizona Daily Wildcat Steff Koopen and the Articles

    Bass guitar, drums, violin and piano make for a unique combination when forming a band — but for Steff Koeppen and The Articles, it works.

    The four-member band was created in 2009 and has been finding its “raging jazz/pop” sound throughout the years.

    Lead singer Steff Koeppen met drummer Tom Beech while attending Marana High School. Violinist Alexandra Tuggle was referred to Koeppen by a former violinist who worked with the band. Then, by luck, after searching for a bass player on Myspace, Chris Pierce found Koeppen and completed the quartet.

    The name of the band came together over time through a comical experience.

    “The name took us a long time to come up with,” Koeppen said. “A friend at Tom [Beech]’s high school wrote an article about us calling us ‘Steff Koeppen and the Weapons,’ and we continued talking about the article as kind of a joke, and it sort of just came out from that to be Steff Koeppen and The Articles.”

    Playing in Steff Koeppen and The Articles isn’t the band members’ only day job. Each member has a job on the side as well to help fund his or hers love of music.

    Members of the band have grown up close to their instruments, lending a tight, focused sound. Most of them learned how to play when between the ages of 4 and 8-years old.

    Starting with the violin at the age of 4, Tuggle has played a variety of instruments including the banjo, cello and the bass.

    “I think Tom and Chris as a rhythm section definitely bring the groove for the songs that sometimes,” Koeppen said. “If I’m hearing something in my head and I bring it to them, they always kind of figure out what I want, if I’m not able to explain it.”

    Combined with vocals, the violin, piano, drums and bass, each member plays an important role in creating a distinct sound.

    “Aside from me playing the bass guitar, I bring the sex appeal and the crazy dance moves,” Pierce joked. “I’m really big on trying to make the songs sound as interesting as possible. I want to make my part and rhythm approachable and accessible.”

    Playing the violin, Tuggle brings an interesting sound to the mix. Koeppen’s voice and the sound of Tuggle’s instrument complement each other in many of the songs.

    “It makes people look twice because not many bands have that combination,” Tuggle said.

    “The instrumentation is not average, the violin brings a whole other layer of melody,” Koeppen adds.

    In 2010, Steff Koeppen and The Articles released their first album, a self-title, with help from River Jones Music.

    Two years later the band came out with a second album, Stories You Can’t Tell. Within those two years the band has been able to grow together and hone their sound.

    “The first one was very young sounding, being our first recording getting things together,” Pierce said. “For our most recent album we spent more time and money on the recording process and it was more thought out.” Pierce said, adding that the second album is much more lyrically relatable.

    “The core is the same but it sounds more adult and more mature,” Pierce said.

    The band has a variety of influences that drive their musical inspirations.

    “I really try to be a sponge and listen to everything,” Beech said. “I have a hard time pinpointing specific artists.”

    “I listen to weird-time signatures and crazy noises,” Pierce said. “I’m all about it.”

    As far as touring goes, Steff Koeppen and The Articles have gone on a couple of mini-tours throughout Arizona and other parts of the Southwest, but they really hope to expand and hit different parts of the U.S.

    “Touring is really something we’re trying to work on. We hope to find some sort of label that will help us progress and develop more,” Koeppen said.

    In addition to increasing their presence across the U.S., Steff Koeppen and The Articles are already working on their third album. Koeppen said she feels this may be the album that defines the band.

    “We’re hoping to release a single in late October, early November, which will kind of allude to what the third album will be like. In this album we want to encompass everything we’ve been trying to do over the years. I think it is going to be the point where we find our sound.”

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts and follow Rachel @RachelCabakoff.

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