Musical Duo St.Ove Brings the Heat

Violet Bucaro, Staff Writer


St.Ove, a New Orleans duo composed of Billy Brown Jr. and Steven Wood, is cooking up house music with many flavors.

The band, which formed on Good Friday 2022 and named their band accordingly, are widely known on Loyola’s campus for hosting raves in the band members’ home, featuring a broken stove as a centerpiece at the events.
Brown described the duo’s project as: “loud, dance-inducing, (and) explosive.” Wood kept his description of the project cryptic and blunt: “Jesus, death, stove.” Wood and Brown are both music industry seniors at Loyola with a focus in jazz guitar. Brown is from Miami, Florida, and Wood is from Mobile, Alabama.
“I play guitar. Steve plays programs…(he) mans all the switches, like a mad scientist,” Brown said.
“Our goal here is to be a little different than everyone else,” Wood added.
Despite their different styles, the band members play to each other’s strong suits, Brown said. Brown sometimes writes songs that Wood re-creates electronically. Their creative process is free-flowing and bounces off their artistry, according to Brown.
“(It) feels like we aren’t doing work. We’re just hanging out with our friends and doing creative projects,” Wood said.
An ongoing joke between Brown and Wood resulted in the St.Ove band name and subsequent idea to host raves. “Our stove broke and…our landlord got us a new one,” Brown said. The two decided to keep the old stove to play music on.
The first St.Ove rave was Brown’s 21st birthday party, and he chose a gothic theme. Their second rave was themed “Christmas in July.” Since conception, their shows have been birthday parties. “What’s more fun than a birthday party?” Brown said.
The most recent rave did not have a theme, yet many people dressed as vampires. The scale and planning of the third event increased as the underground band’s popularity grew within the local scene.
At the last show, three security team members, friends of St.Ove, who were dressed in all black, protected the event. A security team member, Reed Gossard said, “It’s very high energy but very respectful energy. People are here for the music.”
St.Ove raves have also featured other Loyola artists, including Miles “Miles.Wav” Trainor, Paddy Brennan, Ethanol Merman, and Shmoo.
The grunge-punk rock band, Ethanol Merman, founded by senior Alex Teetsle, was an immediate hit amongst the avant,vampire-dressed crowd. The band dabbles in alternative, post-punk, and Nu-Tone Ska genres, according to Teetsle.
“It felt like sunshine and rainbows,” Teetsle said. He added that it was a blast playing house shows for people who haven’t seen them due to how frequent they play 21 and up venues instead.
Artist Teddy Tietze, known as “Shmoo,” falls under the indie rock umbrella as an artist, with hints of bedroom, shoegaze, and slowcore genres, Tietze said.
“The experience was…chill, my friends were there…it felt like playing to a crowd of heads I knew… There were some technical difficulties…, but sometimes you have to improvise to keep the music going…and (keep) the energy high,” Tietze said.
A friend of St.Ove and a musician at Loyola, Sam Mostowfi said, “They’re the best… As an audience member, it inspires me.”
Daltry Russo, St.Ove’s manager, Audrey Pugh, Chadin Rangel, Owen Baekey, Paddy Brennan, Julian Caballero, Reed Gossard, and Grady Leopard all contribute to setting up parties, making art and merchandise, and organizing St.Ove. Their enthusiasm for the project is apparent, according to Brown. Collectively, the St.Ove family “makes the project possible,” according to Brown.
Brown’s greatest inspiration is guitarist John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Frusciante’s goal is to always change and improve artistically. Likewise, Brown’s goal is to “always keep changing the music” and to challenge himself.
“The dream is to sell out by the time you’re thirty and open an ice cream shop. Do it while you can and do it while you’re good,” Brown said.
Brown and Wood are a beautiful duo because their values align, Brown said. They expect the best from themselves and focus on the entire experience of “St.Ove” rather than the sound alone, they said.
“I wanted to put something on that people wanted to go to,” Brown said.
Wood added that the pair is working on a record.
“We are just getting started, baby,” he said.