RAMSEY, N.J. — Steve Bello wanted to be a guitarist since hearing Led Zeppelin at 4 years old, but the Ramsey-based rockstar said his career wasn't planned.
"My instrumental career basically happened by accident," Bello said.
The musician spent years trying to get a record deal during the late 1980s and early 90s before eventually getting fatigued by the hoops required to jump through in order to get noticed.
"I got tired of it. I worked in music retail for a number of years and a music teacher," Bello said.
During the time when Bello wasn't recording or performing, he assisted another musician obtain a sponsorship for the guitar company Ibanez. The Ibanez reps were grateful for Bello's contribution and offered him a similar sponsorship deal.
"I spent years and years knocking on doors and nobody talked to me and when I walked away that’s when people wanted to help," Bello said.
"I learned one thing which was to get out of the way and let it come to you."
Now in the midst of creating his seventh studio album, Bello's full-time career is creating and playing music. He's performed at venues in Clifton, Teaneck and North Arlington.
Bello's latest album, Layers of Time, is an instrumental metal album. He previously worked with a singer early in his album-making career but soured on the experience.
"It was such a horrible experience, I didn't want to be in a band anymore," Bello said.
Layers of Time was written and performed entirely by Bello. He now has two additional band members he hopes to record with for his new album later this year.