Steve Wolff performs during a Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park local music showcase in Hoyt Park in 2018. (photo by Ralph LoVuolo)
Wolff describes his musical evolution
When Scripps Ranch musician Steve Wolff reflects on his musical career, he credits his start to a man named George Soros. If one were to ask Soros if he knows who Wolff is, chances are he would be very confused. Soros is a big-name investor and philanthropist.
Wolff had just crossed the pond to attend Stanford University from his home country of Britain when Soros devalued the pound by a factor of two. This meant Wolff’s government grant was chopped in half. With no permit to work in the U.S., Wolff decided his background as a musician would have to start turning a profit.
“I’ve got my guitar, I’ve got an amplifier. Why don’t I try and get a band going?” Wolff said.
Gigs in college dorms and fraternity houses turned around between $400 and $450 a month.
Years later, when Wolff moved to San Diego, somebody told him the city had too many guitarists.
“If you ever want to get a gig, the best thing you can do is be bass player,” they told him.
So, Wolff learned the bass.
It was through this experience that he joined a band that was big on using professional music editing software. The concept inspired him, and in 2006 he created a one-man band, Wolff. The software allowed him to harmonize with himself if he wanted while maintaining an acoustic sound.
“It’s kind of a little bit different from your average kind of bar guitarist,” he said.
With deep roots in British culture, Wolff’s musical style hits home for those from across the pond. He cites classic acts such as The Police, The Clash and Pink Floyd as being among his largest influences.
But Wolff couldn’t stay a one-man act for long. While the name stays consistent among all acts, a visit to Wolff’s webpage shows the band often expands to a duo or trio, depending on the show.
Wolff said he’d like to see the group evolve, but that he’s hesitant to follow the model of the eight- to 10-piece bands he sees around town.
“I’d want the diversity of another instrument, maybe a keyboard player,” he said.
But, just as he was told when he first moved to San Diego, Wolff said the band won’t be needing another guitarist.
To learn more, visit wolff.rocks.