Live & Direct with The Hold Steady


The Hold Steady recently joined Joey Spehar and WYEP members in a Live and Direct Session to play a few songs from their new album Teeth Dreams. The record drops on March 25th, making it their sixth studio album after a four year break from their previous release, Heaven Is Whenever.  

The Hold Steady recently welcomed newest member, guitarist, Steve Selvidge, who has been touring with the band for quite a while but actively took part in writing and recording his first album with The Hold Steady. In the past, Tad Kubler has filled the role as lead guitarist but feels no animosity sharing the stage with former Lucero band member.

“The great thing about Steve is that he’s a much better guitar player than I am. So I feel like it allowed me to also focus on the songwriting process more and we were able to do things that technically I wouldn’t have been able to pull off alone. It was a really kind of shot in the arm for the creative process,” says Kubler.

Teeth Dreams was formed around the strengths of the two guitars which makes this album a lot louder than many fans expected, believing The Hold Steady might slow down a bit. When Joey brought up that he would sometimes throw on Separation Sunday or The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me to make him feel better about his life, frontman, Craig Finn, assured him that Teeth Dreams probably won’t hold the same effect as it is a little darker. The name Teeth Dreams eludes to anxiety dreams when your teeth fall out and it focuses on heavy topics like money struggles and growing older. The band is known for tremendous lyrical storytelling and creating narratives for characters who are quite cinematic.

“If I wrote songs about my own life per se they’d be pretty boring songs. They’d be about going to the store or doing my laundry. So, we have this big rock sound, you kind of have to fill it up with big rock imagery and you end up gravitating toward characters that dramatic things happen to.”

The band worked with producer Nick Raskulinecz for the first time on Teeth Dreams and were really satisfied with his work. Raskulinecz had no real sense of what the band sounded like prior to the beginning of their relationship which set the tone for Teeth Dreams, as he had no expectations on what this record should sound like. He set the bar high for the guys and if it didn’t meet his standards, it wouldn’t be put on the record.

Joey asked the band about the Covers EP that was recently released to The Hold Steady's official fan club, Unified Scene and the significance of Jersey Mike. Jersey Mike created the Unified Scene fan club and ended up becoming friends with The Hold Steady. He recently passed away at the young age of 36 and The Hold Steady found it necessary to pay tribute to their number one fan and friend, Mike. Instead of organizing a benefit the band decided to release a five song Covers EP, each song chosen by a different band member, and released it on PledgeMusic to the fans and members of Unified Scene. The EP is still available online at PledgeMusic.

The Hold Steady played at Mr. Smalls Theater that night but for more information on the band check out their website.

Set List


Sweet Part of the City

The Only Thing

Almost Everything