Get to Know: Steven Donnelly

He’s a man who is very active within the local music scene in Belfast, whether it’s behind a camera or performing as the frontman of Steven VX & The Art Rats, he remains as passionate as ever about music from Northern Ireland.

With his new album ‘D.N.R’ released on Wednesday 7th March, we put a few questions to the man behind the mask in between performing, studying and being an all around busy guy. Get to Know Steven Donnelly.


Steven VX and The Art Rats

Where You’re From: I’m from West Belfast, where all the class musicians come from.

Do you prefer recording studio or performing live? Live, most definitely. I prefer playing live for the energy, but I do enjoy the creative environment of the studio and playing around with different sounds.

Last gig you attended: The last gig I attended was British Sea Power at Limelight 2 with support from MMode. Blew my mind.

Musician you’d like to collaborate with: Internationally, Trent Reznor as I’m a huge Nine Inch Nails fan or Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw for the heavy jazz/soul influences. Locally, Michael Mormecha or The Mad Dalton (or both!) for something more off-the-wall!

Which local music do you rate: All of it.

Most anticipated release:‘D.N.R’ – the debut album for Steven VX & The Art Rats which comes out this Wednesday (7th March) on all major platforms.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less: Weird, Enthusiastic, Annoying, Persistent and Friendly. Or “a pain in the ass.”

Favourite album of all time? Oh, that’s a tough one… What springs to mind first is ‘Clarity’ by Jimmy Eat World. I could listen to that album all day every day. ‘Goodbye Sky Harbor’ is just incredible…

What is your most valued material possession: Either my guitars or my camera.

Most memorable gig experience? For me as an artist, either performing to a sold out Ulster Hall back in 2014 with The Ex-Producers supporting Horslips, or last week at the Sunflower performing solo to a packed out house. For a show I’ve attended, it has to be Hevy Fest 2015 in Kent, UK.

Favourite line from a song? “Feel so restless I am, beat my head against a pole, try to knock some sense, down in my bones” from Johnny Thunders’ ‘Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’

Steven VX & The Arts launch their new album ‘D.N.R’ on Friday 9th March in the Voodoo Belfast. For full details, click here. Cover photo credit: Matthew Alexander Patton.