Steve composed his first score for the French film Bleu de Ville.
Steve's classical opera, Welcome to the Voice, co-written with his lover, Muriel Téodori, began life with the title Parasite and was performed at a New York Jazz Festival with Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet in 2000. Evolving over the years, it emerged again in a 2007 deutschegrammophon recording - this time featuring Sting in the lead, along with Elvis Costello, Barbara Bonney, Robert Wyatt and the Brodsky Quartet.
In May of 1996, Steve Nieve accompanied Elvis Costello on a brief, intimate five city tour to promote All This Useless Beauty. There is no band and many of the arrangements feature only Costello's evocative vocals and Steve's beautiful, resonant piano. Highlights from each show were eventually released commercially in a limited edition, five CD box set called Costello & Nieve.
It was the English punk singer Ian Dury ("Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll") who christened young Steve Nason with the name Steve Naïve. It seems that the 19 year-old Nason, the suburbanite son of a bank manager and a bookseller, wasn't very knowledgeable about certain aspects of life on the road in a Rock and Roll band. The name stuck, although over the years the spelling has been changed several times.
From 1987 to 1988, Steve Nieve served as the leader of the house band for Jonathan Ross, "the David Letterman of England", on his show, The Last Resort. The band, Steve Nieve and The Love Band (with fellow former-Attraction, Pete Thomas ,on drums) backed everyone from James Brown to Paul McCartney.
Steve Nieve, as Norman Brain, wrote most of the songs for Mad About the Wrong Boy with his first wife, Fay Hart - thus the songs are credited to Brain & Hart (Trust's faux movie poster has Nieve's character listed as Steve Hart).
In 1980, under Steve Nieve's direction, The Attractions (without Elvis) recorded their own album, Mad About the Wrong Boy, with Steve and Bruce Thomas sharing lead vocals. Although it was never released in the U.S., and the French Demon CD reissue is now out of print, occasionally copies can still be found.
When the young, 19-year-old Steve first joined Elvis, fresh out of The Royal College of Music, his knowledge of pop music was minimal at best, which perhaps explains some of his originality. Elvis explains : "When working out songs, I always spoke in shorthand references to records that I liked. It was only after a couple of months that we discovered that Steve's appreciation of rock and roll really only extended to Alice Cooper and T Rex."
As a student at The Royal College of Music in London, historically one of the most influential music institutions in Europe, Steve Nieve is the only member of The Attractions to receive any formal advanced education.
Steve: (on recording his singing for the first time) I wanted to explore my voice, which I'd never done before. And so I did quite a lot of experimentation before I arrived at this sort of approach, which is I think, to be as soft as humanly possible.
Steve: I don't think I'm really a singer, but these songs I can perform in a certain way that will work.
(Steve is asked why Maurice Worm, an alias of his, said "music is a boomerang")
Steve: In 1984, Maurice Worm said a lot of things that I am not absolutely aware of. But that seems like a poetic statement. Music is a form of communication, and, in a way, I think it's a two-way communication between the musician and the listener. And I feel that Maurice was trying to say that when you send out some music, it always comes right back at you, like a boomerang. Having said that, there are certain shoes I wouldn't want to be in--Marilyn Manson's for one!
Steve: My actions behind the keyboard are mainly inspired by the music. I may have been inspired by other things in the past, but I make a point now of playing completely sober.
Steve: We think that the human voice is kind of the most important thing that we have. It's how we share our internal thoughts and desires, and it's a musical instrument. But the most important thing is, it's what makes us human.
(asked about becoming a singer, Steve credits his lover)
Steve : Muriel didn't want me to become a singer. I had to persuade her by re-recording the songs many times, trying different approaches. I think it was her reluctance that pushed me to work on my voice. I discovered that I had to take distance, that if I put any emotion in my voice, it didn't sound genuine, because I'm not a singer. But, if I sang softly with no intention, sort of detached and cold, then the emotion appeared. It was a strange discovery, and trying to persuade Muriel helped me to find my way.
Steve: Who knows where I'd be right now without my electronic keyboard?
Steve: The piano is what I began on. Well in fact, you know, I began on a harmonium actually. My parents didn't have any kind of instrument in the home, and apparently when I was really young, I wanted to play something and the first thing that my Dad managed to get his hands on was this old foot-pump organ … and that's what I actually began on.