About 10 years ago Judd Steele was thinking of quitting music altogether. The veteran drummer, who had played with rock legends like Brett Michaels and even entertained troops in Afghanistan, was getting tired of the industry. “I never wrote songs, so I never took anything with me,” says Steele. “I was always a drummer looking for another band.” Steele had packed up his main drum kit and was unenthusiastically playing on a cocktail set with what he swore would be his “last band.”
One day, Steele took his 9-year-old daughter Jewel to Guitar Center so he could buy drum sticks. Bored, Jewel hung back at the guitar section. By the time Steele returned, he found his daughter holding a guitar and doing her best rock star poses and a light bulb went off. Steele enrolled Jewel in guitar lessons. Soon after, her sister, Lula, who is a year older, took up bass, emulating her beloved grandfather, who was an accomplished musician and bass player.
But for 18-year-old Jewel, the relationship between her and the guitar was not love at first sight. She says, “I didn’t want to play guitar at first. I wanted to go outside and play. It hurt my fingers. I had lessons every Saturday. If it wasn’t for my dad keeping me motivated to play I would have never stuck to it. And I’m so glad. It’s the best thing I ever learned in life.”
It took some time for the girls to get good on their instruments, but after about 2 years, Judd started to see the potential in his daughters. He knew this was the band he wanted to be in. And so Stereo Love was born. He explains, “The people I wanted to jam with didn’t want to be in a band with me. I was too old. And the people I didn’t want to be in a band with didn’t leave me alone. I was like, I don’t want to be in a band with old people. I wanted to be in a band with young kick ass people.”
Stereo Love started out as a cover band, but Jewel came forward as the main songwriter by the time she was 14. As of today, they have played over 300 gigs all over Southern California and Las Vegas. The band puts on a high energy live show. Vocalist/guitarist Jewel sports waist-length red and yellow hair and wails out on her PRS, in your face style, while bassist Lula has a more demure, angelic beauty. The daughters explain their dynamic.
“I always called Lula a bass person. It fits our personalities, me playing guitar and her playing bass,” Jewel says of her sister. She maintains the two are best friends and points out that despite her quiet demeanor, Lula can be strong and protective. “Lula has a mouth on her,” says Jewel. “I’m shy, but when something needs to be taken care of, I’ll take care of it,” says Lula.
As for Steele’s take on it, he has this to say. “Stereo means two, it’s all about my daughters, when they replace me, it will still be Stereo Love because it’s all about the two of them.” The family’s best-kept secret may be an older brother, one year older than Lula, who happens to be a drummer. Steele says of his son, “He can take over when I die. I’m having too much fun.”
The band is planning to independently release their own CD EP by the end of the year. They have an upcoming show Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at The Troubadour at 7:30 PM. You can keep up with them on their social media sites: