FM frontman Steve Overland is widely recognised as one of the best vocalists around and he seems to work constantly. I interviewed Steve back in February 2014 and have been wanting to have another chat for quite some time to talk about the numerous projects that he is involved in. At a quick count I reckon there has been 17 albums released since 2014; where Steve is the lead vocalist or one of the lead vocalists – plus numerous other guest appearances! We finally managed to get a chat over the phone on 20th November – to talk about the latest Overland album “S.I.X.”, other recent releases from FM, Lonerider and Kings of Mercia, his plans for the future and much more.


You can hear that interview on the Friday NI Rocks Show for 24th November 2023. That Show is now available from our MixCloud page - - or it can be read below.


Website -


The previous interview from 2014 can be found here -


Jim Kirkpatrick and Merv Goldsworthy from FM have both been guests on the Friday NI Rocks Show as well –



AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

KRIS BARRAS BAND – Unbreakable

KOBRA PAIGE - Under One Sun

DAVE RUDE - Hell and Back

OVERLAND - One Touch

Interview with STEVE OVERLAND Part 1 (12 min)

OVERLAND – Together Alone

Interview with STEVE OVERLAND Part 2 (7 min)

FM – Long Road Home

Interview with STEVE OVERLAND Part 3 (6 min)

LONERIDER - Lonerider

Interview with STEVE OVERLAND Part 4 (9 min)

OVERLAND – Disconnected


NIGHT DEMON - Escape From Beyond

MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST – Heart and Soul (ft Robin McAuley & Kirk Hammett)

SAXON - Hell, Fire and Damnation

CROSSBONE SCULLY - I’m Unbreakable

EXTREME - The Mask

MAGNUM - Blue Tango

GOTUS - Take Me to the Mountain

CRAZY LIXX - Fire It Up (’23)

FIREWIND - Come Undone

MAMA’S BOYS - Power and Passion

NO HOT ASHES - Come Alive



NI ROCKS – Hi Steve, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Our last interview was back in Feb 2014, almost ten years ago. We’ve tried a couple of times since.

STEVE – Really! Wow man! (Laughs)

NI ROCKS – I have spoken to Merv and Jim since then, but you’re a hard man to get hold of.

STEVE – Yeah, I probably am actually; but it’s nice to get talking to you again after so long.

NI ROCKS - I wanted to start with your latest release. The new Overland album “S.I.X.” was released through Escape Music on 28th October. All of your Overland albums have been released through Khalil at Escape Music, as well as some of the other albums you’ve released. You must have a great relationship with Escape and Khalil?

STEVE – Oh, he’s great; he’s fantastic. I first worked with Khalil probably about 25 years ago. I went in just to do a session; he was doing a tribute Foreigner album and he wanted singers who could do Lou Gramm kind of stuff. I went in and I met him and I met Steve Morris who I’ve also worked with a lot since. We just got on great. The great thing about him is that, with me, he kind of lets me do what I want; which is quite rare in this industry. He just asks me what I want to do, and he puts me with other writers. He’s great; he loves his music. He’s a real fan and that’s really important these days because a lot of the business is now run by lawyers instead of music people. It’s nice to have someone that is really passionate about what he does, and he really is. Me and him between us have made a lot of records, so I love working for him and long may it continue.


NI ROCKS – The new album sees you collaborating quite extensively with Robert Säll. The two of you had worked together before on the two albums by Groundbreaker in 2018 and 2021. Had you specifically wanted to work with Robert on an Overland album or what was the arrangement?

STEVE – The reason being, to be honest, was that I wanted to make a kind of..….;every Overland  album Nigel, because of all the other things I do, I like to make each different from the previous one. I’ve done bluesier albums like “Contagious” (2016), I’ve done, the first Overland solo album was quite, I’d guess you say, quite progy, quite dramatic, the “Break Away” album (2008); I did it with Anders Rydholm, a Swedish guy who is very much into his progy bands. So, I really enjoy the fact that, with the Overland albums, I get the freedom to make the kind of album that I want to make; which is great. Funnily enough, I’d seen Toto, not so long ago live, and I love that band. I thought, I want to make this album like a Toto record; I want it to be a very musical, melodic rock record and the obvious person that you can make those records with is Robert, because he is such a musical person. He gets what you say, we have a great relationship, we’re great friends and he’s probably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in this business. He sent me a couple of tracks over and they were exactly what I wanted the album to be, so we just carried on and we wrote an album that I’m really proud of; I think it’s a great record; and he is too. He is the obvious man if you want to make a really musical, Toto style album; unless you can get David Paich or Steve Lukather, he’s your man really (laughs). He came up with all the great stuff and we wrote it together. Really pleased with how it came out.


NI ROCKS - How would you compare it to those Groundbreaker albums? Obviously it had a different focus.

STEVE – Different, because the brief for Groundbreaker was that Serafino, the head of Frontiers, just said to me, look Steve don’t veer off the brief; I want you to make an out and out 80’s AOR record, for the first Groundbreaker record. He said I don’t want any blues coming into it, I don’t want anything; I want “Indiscreet”, I want 80’s AOR and that’s what it has to be. So, that’s what it is. Groundbreaker is totally a hankering back to the 80’s; that kind of big polyphonic keyboard sounds and things like that. I think the approach on the Overland album is totally different to what we do when we do Groundbreaker.


NI ROCKS – So, other than yourself and Robert, who else has been involved in the new album?

STEVE – We’ve got an old friend of mine called Bob Richards on drums; he played with Asia and plays with all sorts of people.

NI ROCKS – He’s in Keith Atack’s new band.

STEVE – Yes, he is. He just plays with a lot of people. He did a little bit of playing for AC/DC when they were looking for a drummer. He’s just a real good solid…he’s like Cozy Powell…very solid. Because the songs are quite technical, he is a great choice because he keeps things simple; if you know what I mean! He just holds it all together. We’ve got this bass player called Chris Cliff, who plays with Jim a lot. I’ve played with him many times in the past on various albums and stuff. Chris is just one of the best bass players, really in the country; he’s kind of like really technical and he can do anything. He’s a great all-rounder – he’s a great guitar player and great everything really. It gets on your nerves! (Laughs). He’s a great guy, and as I said, he was a good choice to do this particular record, because it is quite a technical record to play.


NI ROCKS – Once again, there is some great artwork for the album and a nice yellow flame vinyl version, which I’d pre-ordered. Do you get involved with that side of things, or do you leave that all to the Khalil and the label?

STEVE – No, we do everything together me and Khalil. The thing with me Nigel is that I come from decades ago; I’ve been doing this for a long time, and for me, making an album is still the same as it always was. I know it has all changed and I know people often don’t buy albums, they just download the audio from wherever they want to download it from. But, to me, it is still the same process. I still want the sleeve to be great, I want all the presentation to be there that was there when I was making albums 35 years ago. I think it’s important and I think rock fans love that. It makes them want to go out and buy the stuff and if you do it to a really high standard, which I have to say Khalil is second to none on his quality of his stuff; he really does go for it. Khalil said to me, what do you think about flame red vinyl, or what do you think about this. He is great with that side of things. We always make every decision, even on the songs for the album; I write them and then we talk about what we want to do. We’ve been friends for a long time and we never really have a disagreement – we come to the same conclusion. So, yeah I have a say in everything which is fantastic.

NI ROCKS - The Escape website is great and I pre-order quite a lot of your stuff and others through it. And it’s not overly expensive compared to some vinyl. It’s always a great package – with signatures and whatever else.

STEVE – Absolutely. Because he is old school as well, he has this thing about ripping off the fans. He doesn’t like it. He has a massive vinyl collection, and his record collection is massive; second to none. He’s a proper rock music fan – or just music fan really. So, it’s great to work with him because he is so enthusiastic about everything. It’s not just all figures and numbers and what can we make. He is in it for the music, which is great.


NI ROCKS – When we spoke back in 2014 you’d just released your third Overland album “Epic”. So roughly an album every three years since. Do you write specifically when you know you’re about to record an album or are you writing songs constantly and thinking that’s an Overland song or that’s an FM song. How does that work?  

STEVE – What I do is I talk to Khalil, because I’ve got Kings of Mercia, I’ve got loads of different things with different labels that I do with different people. When Khalil wants me to do an album; I’ve just finished another Lonerider album, Simon Kirke is doing the drums in America at the moment. He will tell me when he wants me to make whatever record and then I basically talk to him about who I’m going to make this record with. We decide and we contact them, as we did with Robert or Tommy Denander or Simon Kirke and Steve. We just make a plan and I then start; although I’m probably writing for another two albums at the same time, I start writing songs. I’m in the middle of the new FM album now and we’re trying to get that done. I like the fact that I can just veer off and do different records. It takes you away from the other album, and you come back to it and you’re not repeating yourself. You get away from things; so if I go away and work on Kings of Mercia which is like detuned heavy rock, three piece stuff, it’s so totally different from an FM album. It takes me away from that genre for a while, so when I come back I’m excited about it again. Much to my wife’s and family’s dismay I’m a workaholic, I just like doing as much stuff as I possibly can. I’m doing some stuff for a gaming company tomorrow, singing on video. I just like doing everything. I love it. Keeps it interesting.


NI ROCKS – Talking about being busy. Is there any chance of doing some Overland tour dates or are you just too busy?

STEVE – No, absolutely not. Me and Khalil have talked about this a lot and I’ve already put Firefest in for next year, which I will do with the band that is playing on this record. Robert is going to fly in from Sweden and I just want to get it up and running. I was asked to do it and I said yes. Now that’s a good benchmark for getting Overland up and running. I can run it alongside FM. When FM are not going to be touring I can go out and do some festivals in Europe with the Overland thing, because it is high time that I did. For Khalil as much as anybody else, because as we know you have to make rock music a living, breathing thing. There are so many things that are just put together that come out as projects aren’t there. I don’t want Overland to be that. It’s just finding the bloody time to do it. I will do and I’ve said next year – put it in, because it’ll make me get the band together and it’ll mean we can make a little money going out and touring as well, which would be great for everybody.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play a track from the “S.I.X” album now. Would you like to pick a track and tell us something about it?

STEVE – There’s a lot of them that I love. “Together Alone” is a good rock track so let’s play that.



NI ROCKS – FM recently announced their first headline show in Belfast for many years – next May - thankfully. That is part of the Old Habits Die Hard – 40th Anniversary Tour. What can you tell us about that tour and what are your thoughts on getting FM back to Belfast?

STEVE – I love Belfast. I came there with Jim recently and did a little gig outside – just an acoustic gig. We don’t come to Ireland enough Nigel. We don’t. All it is, is routing and trying to fit when we can get dates in with when we are touring and it’s easy to get over and do it. More often or not you’ll find that you can get a date in Belfast, but you can’t get one in Dublin the following night. If you’re going to come to Ireland, because it’s not cheap to be honest, to bring a band to Ireland, as you probably know. So, we need to do more that one show ideally. That has been the problem. One of the first tours we ever did as FM was with Mama’s Boys in Irleand. We’ve come back with Foreigner and Journey and done some great gigs in Ireland; really great gigs. And we have a big affinity with Ireland because of our manager and agent Steve Strange. For us it was always a big thing going there and when Steve was around it was much easier because he had the clout and could get us pretty much what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. Obviously, poor old Steve passed away so we’re now trying to get things back together so that we can come there on every tour. Hence, we’re coming on the 40th anniversary because that has got to be the start of us coming every time we tour.  We love it and the people are fantastic. We have great fans out there and we haven’t been for a while. When me and Jim came and did the acoustic thing it was amazing. It was a little gig and the love for it was great. Everybody was saying the same thing – when are you going to come back out.  So it was inevitable that we’d come back next year and hopefully that is the start of things to come.


NI ROCKS – That was a great night in the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill. It was a great evening. I was there and it was a great show. Hopefully some more acoustic gigs in the future too.  Since our last interview there has been five FM studio albums in the last ten years, as the band goes from strength to strength. The last FM album was “Thirteen” which was released in 2022. You mentioned earlier on that you were working on the next album. What is the rough timescale for that?

STEVE – We had a few setbacks this year. Jem was ill, our keyboard player. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. So that put us back a few months. Then with my brother passing away and that put me back for a little while. So, we were a bit behind with it. It’s a great record Nigel; we’re really pleased with what’s happening. Pete is in Scotland doing some drums at the moment. We’re all working in different places and moving it along. The mixes that we’ve done – we’ve got five mixes done; it’s all happening. Jim has been doing some dates on his own; we’re out at the end of this week, doing the Winterstorm festival in Scotland, then we doing Holmfirth with Dare; who are old friends. We do a lot with them. It’s a good bill. Then we’ve a headline show on Sunday. There are a few dates left this year – five dates I think. Then we’re working around all the other stuff to get as much FM time in as we can. We’re hoping to have it done by early December, which means it will come out next March or April; something like that I would say.

NI ROCKS – Through Frontiers again?

STEVE – Yeah, through Frontiers. We did a new deal with them. They are a great label too. They look after FM. Serafino and the label are big fans, so it makes life easy and they do the same thing really. They let us get on with what we’re doing. We just take the album when we’ve done it and they’re normally very happy with it. We deliver the artwork to them. They’re a great label for us; they’re really cooperative and helpful.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned Steve Strange earlier, and I know you’re your previous time in Northern Ireland, before the Diamond Rock Club recently, was the No Hot Ashes album launch in 2018 when you came over yourself to do an acoustic introduction for the band (which included Steve Strange as drummer). Everyone seems to have a great Steve Strange story to tell. What’s your favourite one?

STEVE – Blimey, how long have you got (laughs). I’m not going to give you a story, because some of them you couldn’t possible write down (laughs), but that man was one of the biggest hearts and biggest character that I ever knew. He was just a unique man in every way. We were very lucky. The first gig that he ever promoted was FM, acoustic in the Limelight – the first gig he ever did. His love for FM as we grew and grew and he grew with us and became what he became – one of the biggest people in the business – we did it together really. When we got back together after the break-up he came to our first show with Fast Eddie, God rest his soul as well. He came to the gig and at the end of it he came up and said what are you going to do, because if you’re going to do this properly again, I want it to do it with you. Bearing in mind, that at that time he had Eminem, Robbie Williams, Snow Patrol, Coldplay (laughs), you know! We were just restarting again and to be honest to have started without him we would never have got to where we are. Never! He is a massive loss for the band – he always will be – because we were a bit left out, a bit adrift I guess when he died because he was such a mentor. He was just such a..…in his apartment in Belfast when came out there – his penthouse apartment, as I said there’s not really much that you can write down; most of the stories I could tell you wouldn’t want to repeat (laughs). He was just a larger than life character – unrivalled – there will never be another Steve Strange. That’s all I cam say. He was a one-off.


NI ROCKS – As I mentioned earlier the last FM album was “Thirteen” which was released in 2022. I thought we’d play a track from it now. Can you pick a track from that album?

STEVE – I love that ballad that Jem wrote – “Long Road Home” – it’s such a great blues ballad. When we had lockdown Jem became a song writer – he’s got a great studio in his house and he wrote loads of songs for the “Thirteen” album. He’d never written a song for any other FM album. He came up with such great songs and that song when he played it to me – it tells the story of what we do and what we’ve done all our lives. It’s a great song with a great lyric, so “Long Road Home” is a great tune to play.



Parts 3 and 4 to follow.