Minnesota natives, Step Rockets certainly gave new meaning to the phrase, “Believe the Hype” when they released the single Kisser. Almost overnight, the track blew up online thanks to that musical darling Hype Machine and the tonnes of blogs that fueled the fire with glowing reviews of the tune and the band to produce it. Most of us like to wait it out before declaring a band the next big thing, and whilst I’m probably not going to use that exact phrase on account of hating it, judging on what I saw from them at Audiotrees live YouTube showcase this past week at SXSW they have plenty of fodder to continue to sky rocket (see what I did there?) into the ear-buds of tonnes more fans.
We were lucky enough to get a hold of them just before their domination of SXSW to find out about the surprise success of their track, the latest remix from RII, a little bit of romance, and a first release story that was not unlike the novel Tomorrow When The War Began (I guess kind of similar to Red Dawn for American readers) – obviously subbing out the threatening soldiers for hordes of adoring fans of course. Bad metaphor? Don’t care, still leaving it in.
Your single Kisser got a big push from all the indie blogs on its release and topped the Hype Machine charts pretty much immediately. Were you surprised by this level of support in the first few weeks of release?
Absolutely. Right after we released “Kisser” the band went camping in the B.W.C.A in the northern woods of Minnesota. When we got back to civilization, “Kisser” was climbing the hype machine chart and getting thousands of plays a day. The response has been incredible. We are so happy that our music is connecting with people and we are able to share our art with a larger audience.
Kisser brilliantly showcases the level and style of song writing you guys are capable of and is quite impressive vocally. Do you think a similar vibe rolls into a lot of your other tracks or should we expect something completely different in upcoming releases?
We are influenced by a wide range of styles and those influences come through in our music. We focus on strong melodies and production that let people escape to another world for a few minutes. I guess the answer would be that we have both. We have sexy love songs as well as a little more edgy and psychedelic material.
You’ve recently outed the RII remix of Kisser. What do you like best about the rework?
RII was the first remix we got back and they nailed it. They kept the vibe intact and did an excellent job with the change of tempo and that fat bass line.
You’ll be playing at this year’s SXSW festival for the first time with a big list of equally talented acts. What do you bring to your live show that makes Step Rockets stand out at a festival like this?
Step Rockets has been a band for about 2 years but we’ve known each other for much longer. We have all played in different groups together and have played hundreds of shows together. Something that is different about us is that we keep the crowd guessing where we are going to take them next while maintaining strong dance-able grooves and changing instruments and vibes. Brady and Josh also love to take guitar solos. Not many guitars solos out there in the Indie world these days.
What’s on your SXSW bucket list?
Seeing and meeting as many talented people as possible. There will be so much talent in Austin we are just excited to be a part of the experience. We just played with a cool band from France called La Femme, as well as the Canadian artist Lowell. We can’t wait to see and meet more incredible bands. Washed Out and Little Dragon are a few groups at the top of our watch list.
When should we expect a debut full length from Step Rockets?
We are planing on releasing a new single called “Heat Attack Again” at the end of March. As for a full length, we haven’t set the date quite yet.
Kisser seems like a bit of a tragic love song. On the topic of love, what does date night with Step Rockets look like?
There is a gorgeous spot in Minneapolis called Saint Anthony Main. You can walk across the Mississippi River on the Stone Arch Bridge and arrive at this little place called the Aster Cafe. They have a tiny stage for jazz groups with excellent wine and craft beer with a movie theatre next door. A ton of local inspirations play there on a regular basis as well.
Aside from the obvious money, tour organising issues and actual logistics. What would it take from Australian fans to convince Step Rockets to come to Australia?
We would love to play Australia as soon as we can! The best thing for Australian fans to do right now is just spread the word. If you are digging the jams then let your friends know about it; call in to your favorite local radio station to let them know about us. As soon as we have enough people that want us there we’ll be there.
Fans lucky enough to be in the US can catch them live in Madison, Wisconsin during March and alongside Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Wild Cub, Little Comets and Aussies The Griswolds at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 19th. Advance tickets are currently still on sale.