Interview with Steven Dayvid McKellar (Civil Twilight)
JUL 30
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We had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Dayvid McKellar over Zoom video.

South African-born but Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Steven Dayvid McKellar recently his new EP One and Zero. A product of the last two pandemic years, this EP proved to be a cathartic creative outlet for him. Bringing together introspective and personal observations of the intrinsic world of isolation with the larger cultural context that the polarized socio/political environment has bred in this country, One and Zero is at once an individual reflection and a social commentary. “It’s both the times we’re in and then the questions I’m asking myself. I think the intimacy comes from the desire to be more vulnerable and honest with myself and with others,” he continues.

Minimalistic and introspective without pretense or artifice, One and Zero explores the isolation that the pandemic brought on. The former lead singer and primary songwriter for popular rock band Civil Twilight, McKellar dives deep into the subconscious and unearths melodies that strike the gut, eliciting deep seated emotions of heartbreak in his minimalistic electronic style. The title track tackles the stasis and stillness of being that the quarantine brought.

The EP is rounded out by the contemplative “Fading In, Fading Out” and a live version of “The Promise?” from his previous album ETHIO. “I am in the middle of my life (most likely) and so the natural question that pops up is, am I fading in or am I fading out,” he asks in reference to the aforementioned track. “I’m both, at the same time, all the time.” Regarding the live take on “The Promise?” and why he opted to revisit that track from his 2020 album, he replies, “That song, and ETHIO as a whole, never really got heard or liked. And I’m really proud of that record and wanted to show another angle. My dear friend Daniel Shepherd filmed me while I played songs from that album outside in a parking lot on the bed of my truck. You can hear birds chirping in the background and I like that.”

With Civil Twilight, McKellar had seen life on the big stage, having led the South African rock band through a very successful run, sharing stages with Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups, Smashing Pumpkins and Florence + the Machine amongst others. Civil Twilight’s songs were placed on TV shows such as One Tree Hill, House, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now solo and focusing on releasing music on his own terms, he’s thankful to continue being creative.

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