*Batteries Not Included was a band Steve founded with Marc Roulier, and played in for most of the 1980's, starting while they were at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. They were an original music band (Steve wrote most of the material), although they did a few cover songs as well.

There were two distinct lineups, both of which included Marc on bass and Steve on vocals and guitar. The first lineup featured Karthik Swaminathan on guitar and Steve Beste on drums, and (briefly) Laurie Stier on Keyboards. When Karthik and Steve Beste left the band, *BNI advertised for replacements, and Jeff Ganis and Paul Bergen stepped in as a unit, having played together for years. John Kuzel also joined the band on keyboards for a while.

*BNI recorded a lot of cassette demos, and scraped up the funds to go into the studio to get two songs properly recorded (alas, they were never released to the public, and they didn't get the master tapes, so all they have to show for it is a few demo casettes). So *BNI was a live band, but not a recording band.

Creative differences and changing circumstances at home for some of the members finally broke them apart in the end.

*Batteries Not Included played a reunion gig in central NJ on August 28, 2005. It was the first time in almost exactly 16 years that *BNI had played together. The performance was at the Clinton Elks Lodge Annual Music Festival in Pittstown, NJ. This two-day event benefitted handicapped children and veterans. Jeff and Paul's current band, Prankster, played as well. *BNI played at 2:00pm, followed by Prankster at 3:00pm.



Demo 1987

The following four tracks were all recorded on 1/4" Reel-to-Reel tape, and have been recently digitally transferred and mixed (so they sound better than they ever did on cassette tape, which was the format they were distributed in). The cassette was given out to clubs as a demo to convince them to book the band.

The recordings were done in the video studio at Douglas College, Rutgers University, using every bit of borrowed gear the band could scrape together. The demo was produced and recorded by Steve, and Brian Case assisted with mixing at the soundboard for the basic tracks. Some video was shot during the recording process - hopefully some of that will eventually be digitized and exhibited here.

cameralies.mp3Camera Lies
somethingtohide.mp3Something To Hide

Misc. Tracks

ISawYouSleeping.mp3I Saw You Sleeping
This was the only *BNI song composed by the band's drummer, Paul Bergen. It was recorded on a Fostex 4-track cassette deck in the basement. Steve found the original 4-track cassette master recently, digitized it, and did some mixing and tricky EQ to get it to sound this good.

In a rare collaboration, Jeff Ganis and Marc Roulier supplied the music for this one, and Steve wrote the words. This is one of only two tracks *BNI ever recorded in the studio (the other was a version of "Something To Hide"), but all that existsnow is a cassette tape mixdown (the master tape probably is long-erased at the studio). This was digitized off that cassette.