1.) Doctor Steel(full name, Phineas Waldolf Steel) is an American musician located in Southern California
2.) DR. STEEL is (now disbanded) ex-YU heavy metal band from Rijeka, Croatia.
1.) Doctor Steel (full name, Phineas Waldolf Steel), is an American musician located in Southern California, popular in the Steampunk, Goth, and Rivethead scenes. He has performed on rare occasions with a “backup band”, claiming that a fictitious robot band had malfunctioned. Shows have incorporated puppetry, multimedia and performances by female members (“Nurses” and “Scouts”) of his street team, The Army of Toy Soldiers. Steel has begun breaking into the mainstream media, having made a brief appearance on the Tonight Show, been interviewed by Suicide Girls as well as numerous genre magazines[ and been the subject of an article in Wired Magazine regarding allegations that Dr. Horrible had copied his style. Steel has frequently been cited as an archetypal example of Steampunk music.
Steel began publicly performing in 1999, essentially busking on the streets of Los Angeles. A few years later, he began performing at venues like The Key Club and the CIA. His live shows combine music with puppetry and video projection that reflect the stories and meanings of the songs.
In 2001 and 2002, the albums Dr. Steel (2001), Dr. Steel II: Eclectic Boogaloo (2001), and People of Earth (2002) were released digitally to iTunes, Amazon and other stores. The Dr. Steel Collection (2004) was the first CD release, featuring many tracks which were released on other albums, slightly altered. The Dr. Steel Collection also features the track “Land of the Lost,” about the 1970s version of the show by the same name. Some attempts were made to get the song into the soundtrack of 2009 movie version of Land of the Lost, but they were unsuccessful.
Steel’s second CD release was The Dr. Steel Read-A-Long album (2006). It was a limited distribution and quickly sold out. The album art included a recreation of the sleeve of read-along records, and the disc design resembled that of a vinyl record. In 2007, Steel re-released the first three albums, once again in digital format.
Steel’s music can often be heard on a number of steampunk radio broadcasts that stream worldwide, such as The Clockwork Cabaret. His song “Boogieman Boogie” was also included in a compilation of steampunk music released by Gilded Age Records.
Steel’s music is eclectic in genre, often combining the noise and distortion of industrial with aspects of European folk, classical, and even jazz, as well as hip-hop and opera. Many songs feature samples from vintage public service announcements and educational films, such as Duck and Cover. Rue Morgue Magazine described the sound as “Industrial Hip-Hop Opera”. Steel cites, as some of his musical influences, Igor Stravinsky, Tom Waits, Pink Floyd, Queen, Mike Patton, Nine Inch Nails, Danny Elfman, Beck, and John Zorn.
On stage, and in all public performances and interviews, Steel maintains the fictitious persona of a mad scientist bent on conquering the world. The fictitious Dr. Steel was a former toymaker who, in a fit of rage over being fired for creating drastic designs such as babies with buzzsaws for hands,burned down the factory he worked at and was committed to a psychiatric institution.The back-story relates that Steel escaped the sanitarium and retreated to a deserted island laboratory, where he became bent on world conquest in order to create a “Utopian Playland” where his toy designs could be enjoyed. As a mad scientist, Steel is obsessed with conspiracy theories, giant robots,baking cupcakes and experimenting with hamsters.
In appearance, Steel draws on the mad scientist archetype, dressing in a white PVC lab coat (with comically large black buttons), black PVC gloves, black boots, shaved head, sinister goatee, and antique welder’s goggles. When not in his “mad scientist” costume, Steel typically dresses in a very aristocratic neo-Victorian steampunk style, while still retaining his goggles. He has never been seen without the goggles.
Doctor Steel appears in numerous short videos released on his website. One such is a six minute “propaganda” film called Building a Utopian Playland (which is also available in DVD form along with a sample CD with music on it, for free simply by contacting Doctor Steel via email). Another is a series called The Dr. Steel Show, set in his fictitious lab on his fictitious private island. Episode 3, which is the official music video for his song, Back and Forth, which featured video clips sent in by Toy Soldiers, was showcased on MTV’s website as a part of their online video series, Steampunk Infiltrates The Mainstream. Steel also releases what he calls “public service announcements” covering philosophical subjects such as transhumanism, freedom of thought, and subjective reality. Finally, the Toy Soldiers Unite website features a series of videos called Ask Dr. Steel, in which Steel himself answers questions asked by Toy Soldiers.
In 2008, Joss Whedon released a short musical film online entitled Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. A firestorm of controversy quickly erupted as fans of Steel, and Steel himself, noted the similarities between Dr. Steel and Dr. Horrible:
* both featured singing mad scientists who produced web videos;
* both had an “Ask Dr. ___” segment;
* the name of the production was eerily similar to the title of one of Steel’s albums, Dr. Steel Read-A-Long.
This controversy attracted the attention of national media and was reported in Wired magazine, in which Dr. Horrible co-writer Maurissa Tancharoen responded, “All we have to say on the subject is we’ve never heard of Dr. Steel before.” “There’s room for everyone in this party,” she added.
Army of Toy Soldiers
Example of Steel’s “propaganda” artwork, resembling WWII recruitment posters (also illustrative of a fan club uniform)
The “Army of Toy Soldiers” is Steel’s fan club, street team and viral marketing apparatus. The army plays into the Dr. Steel fiction, in that it is ostensibly a tool in his plan for global domination. Toy Soldiers have “uniforms” with patches and color schemes, but are encouraged to design their own uniform so long as the required patches and colors are used.
The Toy Soldier Army has three main regiments: Toy Soldiers, Nurses, and Toy Scouts. The Nurse and Scout regiments are reserved for those who are female or identify as female within the Army, whereas people of any gender can be in the Toy Soldier regiment. There are no ranks—all Toy Soldiers are considered equal. However, Toy Soldiers who go “above and beyond” may be awarded the honorary title of “Yellow Jacket” personally by Doctor Steel.
Toy Soldiers promote Dr. Steel individually through “missions”, while larger group events are known as “invasions”.Some Soldiers use their connections and access to the media for promotion, while others may choose to “propagandize” their school or workplace. Toy Soldiers have frequently done charity and volunteer work in uniform or in the name of Dr. Steel, such as starting local clothing or toy drives and even donating to drives such as Toys for Tots and Adopt a Highway.
2.) DR. STEEL is (now disbanded) ex-Yugoslavian heavy metal band from Rijeka, Croatia, formed in ‘81 under the name “Nož u leđa” (“Knife in the Back”), but they soon changed it to Dr. Steel, due to censorship issues with government’s local authorities.
Soon followed series of various gigs all around ex-Yugoslavia, with highlight in ‘83 when they played as an opening act for Divlje Jagode in Zagreb, Rijeka and Pula on their most successful “Motori” tour.
In 1986 they won the first place at guitar festival in Zaječar, which managed them to get the record deal with “PGP-RTB”, major label from Belgrade. Soon the band entered “Top Ten studio” in Ljubljana, and their debut LP Čekam na noć was released at the end of 1986 and presented the sound similar to Judas Priest or Saxon.
After releasing their debut LP, the band toured all over the ex-Yugoslavia. They also played on cult Heavy Metal Festival in Sarajevo, which gathered the most prominent ex-YU metal bands of 80s such as
Bombarder, Legija, HeLLeR, Pergament etc. Other gigs also included appearances on Radio 202 from Belgrade “Hit meseca”concerts and as well gigs at Ri-Rock festival in their hometown.
Guitarist Miro Klarić also played in cult underground punk band Grč from Rijeka in times when Dr. Steel was in hiatus.
Between 1990/’91, Dr. Steel recorded their second album Učini Nešto in Radio Pula studio, but it was very bad time for it however. The album was planned to be released by label “Sarajevo Disk”, but due to financial problems, economical crisis and political situation in former Yugoslavia which went really bad and followed with war very soon - that unfortunately never happened and Dr. Steel just disappeared from the scene.
That second album was never officially released, only some bootleg tapes were in circulation.
However, master recordings were saved, and in 2001., ten years after recording, Serbian label One Records officially released that Dr.Steel’s material on CD called Učini nešto / Heaven or Hell.
Edited by TonyBarry on 19 Aug 2012, 16:06
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