Steve Stapleton is best known as the enigmatic person behind the enigmatic experimental group Nurse With Wound.
Born in the late 1950s, Stapleton grew up in London with the ambition to become a visual artist. He even went to the Hornsey Art School when he was sixteen, but soon dropped out because the atmosphere was stifling. He had already discovered Krautrock a few years earlier after picking up Amon Duul?s first LP, Psychedelic Underground, and at age 17, he and his friend Heeman Pathak headed to Germany to check out the scene first hand. Stapleton worked as a roadie for Guru Guru and Kraan, and also helped design sleeves for other bands. Back in London Stapleton took on various low-paid jobs, and continued to collect records with no interest in playing music himself. One day in 1978, with the sudden opportunity of using a studio at very cheap rates, Stapleton called up Pathak as well as another friend, John Fothergill, to form a band, and without any practice or prior musical experience, recorded the first Nurse With Wound album, Chance Meeting. This and their second albums carried a list of nearly 300 artists that served as Nurse With Wound influences, and though the group was often lumped with the industrial scene at that time, the list showed a much broader range of artistic sources, from the more experimental side of free jazz, progressive and psychedelic rock, outsider music and modern classical.
With his interest in visual art, Stapleton designed the surreal cover art for the early NWW LPs, which were released on his own label, United Dairies. The label would also go on to release records by many of Krautrockers who influenced Stapleton, and other experimental artists. By the early 1980s NWW became Stapleton?s solo project, though still often working with various collaborators, everyone from John Balance of Coil to joint efforts with Whitehouse, Stereolab, Aranos, Hafler Trio, and Organum among others. At this time he also met David Tibet, who had just departed Psychic TV to form his own group Current 93. Stapleton soon became a member of Current 93, either as musician or as mixer/producer providing the more experimental elements to Tibet?s music, while Tibet has since appeared on NWW albums. Though NWW is mostly a studio project, a handful of live performances took place in 1984.
In 1989 Stapleton moved from London to a goat farm in southern Ireland, with his wife, Diana Rogerson. Rogerson is also a frequent NWW collaborator as well as a solo artist under the alias Crystal Belle Scrodd with Stapleton?s help. In 1991 Stapleton and Tibet released the CD The Sadness of Things under their own names. The next year Stapleton released the CD The Revenge of the Selfish Shellfish with Sol Invectus leader Tony Wakeford, again under using their own names. Besides the prolific NWW output and Current 93, Stapleton is also in the ambient Aeolian String Ensemble, and in 1995 he debuted his new group, The Inflatable Sideshow on the Foxtrot various artist compilation.