Steve Munoz likes to drink.
He said he's the first customer in the downtown Huntington Beach bars every morning at 11 a.m. However, while the Huntington resident enjoys partying, he enjoys one thing even more - partying responsibly.
"I don't wake up to drink," said Munoz, 58. "I have no booze in my house. I'm not one of these alcoholics that drinks at home or stores alcohol at home. I go down and drink socially to promote my music."
Munoz, also known as Steevo from the Killer Country Band, has started gaining notoriety in the Surf City area as a musician whose song "Don't Drink and Drive" encourages listeners to do just that. The song closes every evening at Hurricanes Bar and Grill.
Since Munoz's song began playing at the bar in May, General Manager Kerry Lovett said there have been fewer DUIs attributed to Hurricanes customers.
"I haven't received any letters from the Police Department," Lovett said. "That's the only time I know we have [DUIs], and my last letter was onSt. Patrick's Day. We're trying with our staff to really make sure there's safer driving. We have slideshows on our TVs and our bouncers point people toward taxicabs."
Unlike most of the music played in downtown HB bars, "Don't Drink and Drive" is country, which Lovett feels adds to the song's spoofing effect.
"There's been some humor and people laughing, but no negative responses," Lovett said.
Because it's a country song, he added, "it probably has more impact since we're coming right off of hip-hop. It definitely changes the tone of the night. [The customers] know the night's over and it's time to wrap it up."
Munoz said his music is inspired by several genres.
"This is not really country music, per se," Munoz said. "It's not traditional country music. It's a fusion. You'll hear Afro-Cuban reggae beats fused into these songs, which has never been done in so-called country music."
Because it's not the norm, he added, "there's always going to be a gestation period and everyone's going to warm up to it."
Munoz is a seasoned musician, having everything from blues to punk to country in his repertoire. However, after receiving a bicycle DUI six months ago, Munoz decided to use his music to have a positive impact on the world. Without much advertisement or promotion, Munoz's music has already garnered nearly 3,000 hits.
"I'm just thinking if I can do some good through all of this, send a positive message and maybe tug at the heartstrings of some of these people that have had too much to drink before they get in a vehicle, maybe this song can turn that around," he said.
For more information about Munoz and to purchase his music, visit killercountryband.com.
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