Hank Shteamer is a writer, editor and musician. He was born in 1978 in a suburb of Kansas City, MO, where his family still resides. Hank has been an NYC resident since 1998 and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Hank writes about music for various print and online outlets, and maintains a personal blog, Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches. He currently holds the title of Senior Music Editor at Rolling Stone, where his own work also regularly appears, and formerly served as Music Editor for Time Out New York. In March of 2011, Hank published his first book, an in-depth study of Ween's Chocolate and Cheese album for the 33 1/3 series. Earlier the same year, he began producing an online interview series called Heavy Metal Bebop, which examines the connections between jazz and heavy metal. In 2015, with help from the Northern Spy and Aqualamb labels, he produced a deluxe, limited-edition vinyl box set reissuing the early work of the brilliant and underrated Cleveland post-hardcore band craw. Since 2001, he has contributed to publications and websites including GQ, Pitchfork, The New York Times, Modern Drummer, AllMusic.com, The Wire, Jazz Times, Noisey and Stereogum, covering jazz, heavy metal, rock & roll, experimental music and many other styles. He has also written liner notes for releases on record labels such as Skin Graft, Smoke Sessions and Intakt.
Hank graduated from Columbia University in 2001 with a B.A. in English and magna cum laude honors. During college, Hank worked as a DJ at WKCR 89.9 FM New York, Columbia's student-staffed radio station and one of the world's most respected jazz broadcasting outlets. During this time, he interviewed jazz artists such as Steve Lacy, Rashied Ali and Grachan Moncur III on air. Since graduation, he has maintained a close relationship with the station and still hosts the occasional program.
Hank has played the drum set for more than 20 years. In high school, he taught himself the instrument by studying drummers in bands such as Helmet, Clutch and June of 44. Currently, Hank is one third of an unusual heavy-rock band called STATS. Hank has worked with STATS guitarist Joe Petrucelli for more than a decade. The two compose their music collectively, with the help of bassist Tony Gedrich. STATS have released two EPs and toured the U.S. several times; in summer/fall 2015, they released their first full-length LP, Mercy, on the New Atlantis label.
In 2016, Hank formed a new project, Skryptor, with craw's David McClelland and Tim Garrigan, formerly of Dazzling Killmen, You Fantastic! and other projects. Hank has also performed, recorded and toured with Aa, Psalm Zero, Bat Eats Plastic, Super Lucky Cat, Hexa and others.
Some of Hank's favorite things are the barbecue legacy of his hometown, the piano playing of Andrew Hill, the documentaries of Ross McElwee and Werner Herzog, the vocals of Stevie Nicks and Steve Perry, the novels of William Faulkner and James Salter, the poetry of Glenn Danzig, the guitarwork of Trey Azagthoth and John Fahey, and the sportswriting of John Feinstein.
Learn more on this episode of the 5049 Podcast.