Read our Step Rockets Interview and get some insights into
the newly released’Future Nature’ EP
Listen to Latest Single ‘West Coast’ Here
Reminiscent of Twin Shadow, this Minneapolis four piece makes catchy, anthemic jams with just the right balance of synth layers – The Wild Honey Pie
…combines classic indie rock elements with some pretty vibrant synth work – Indie Shuffle
Minneapolis’s finest, Step Rockets, are clearly onto something – Neon Gold
(Kisser) is a whip-smart song that has fallen into an endless kaleidoscope-hued fog filled chasm…super catchy – City Pates
Kings favorite, Step Rockets, has now garnered 107,000 views on Soundcloud in one month – Kings of A&R
Minneapolis indie-rock/pop band Step Rockets are no strangers to overnight success, having released their hugely successful single ‘Kisser’, which went to #1 almost overnight on the Hype Machine charts as well as having managed over 5.5 million plays on Spotify. On April 15th the band released their debut EP ‘Future Nature’, which features the successful track ‘Kisser’ as well as follow-up single ‘West Coast’, which proved again that Step Rockets are set to be getting a tremendous amount of recognition and attention for their anthemic melodies, infectious synth laden grooves and progressive songwriting, which should certainly get them enough radio play to pave the way for a new line of success for the talented four-piece, and which will hopefully find them back in the charts again.
The band have also enjoyed playing live and have already played many festivals like the Firefly Festival, Summerfest , SXSW, CMJ and Canadian Music Week, to name but a few. They are now on a mission to present the new EP to a live audience by adding more festivals and headlining gigs to their schedule for 2016.
Watch the video for ‘Kisser’:
We spoke to Step Rockets, about the new album, playing live and why there’s a reason to be proud of following into the footsteps of some of the great musicians and artists of the Minnesota music scene.
Since doing this interview we all found out about Prince’s passing and unfortunately now have to live with the fact that we have lost one of those greats.
Listen to ‘West Coast’:
Read the Interview below:
Can you tell us a bit about Step Rockets? Where does the name come from, where and how did it all start?
Josh and Brady were vacationing in Costa Rica in 2012 when they took some magic mushrooms by the beach and decided to explore four-dimensional space together again. They soon reached out to me and Anthony, their spiritual brothers, and so Step Rockets was formed. The band name is inspired by a type of multi-stage rocket that jettisons it’s fuel tanks as it moves further into space. It reflects the band’s desire to always continue pushing beyond what we’ve created and accomplished, pushing further and further into the musical galaxy with the passage of time.
What are your musical backgrounds?
The four of us come from very diverse musical backgrounds. I grew up playing funk and jazz while some of the other guys grew up playing everything from folk to classic rock to roots reggae.
And your musical influences?
Everything and everyone. We’re always being influenced by the people and experiences we encounter in this crazy yet beautiful universe.
Did you decide quite early on what kind of direction you wanted to take musically, or did that happen quite naturally?
It happened naturally. When Step Rockets formed we didn’t have a particular “sound” in mind. We started by playing old songs that each of us had perviously written and we also tried writing by jamming in our practice space. Our music was all over the map until “Kisser” took off and we looked at each other and said “Yeah, this is our sound”
You had quite a success with your single ‘Kisser’, reaching #1 on the Hype Machine chart almost overnight. What’s the song all about?
Like most of our music, ‘Kisser’ is a song inspired by love and good vibes. Josh wrote the lyrics about his girlfriend keeping the light on for him after one of our many late-night gigs. The song is meant to be redemptive and healing, about how love can heal a painful situation.
What was your first reaction when you found out that it was so successful?
We were actually off the grid paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (a massive wilderness area in Northern Minnesota) when ‘Kisser’ was released. It was only our second single and we hadn’t done much to publicize the track so we had absolutely no idea that the song would reach such a huge audience so quickly. When we got back from camping and turned on our phones it became pretty evident that something special was happening.
The song also features on your April 15th released Debut EP “Future Nature”. Can you tell us a bit more about the new EP?
“Future Nature” is the culmination of three years of writing, recording, and touring as a band. We scrapped material, learned huge lessons on the road, and just grew so much in the past three years. The EP is really a cool snapshot of where this band is at right now and it allows us to move on to whatever lies next in our musical journey together.
How long did it take you to record the whole EP and how did you decide what songs are going to be on it and what was the process of recording the songs?
It took almost three years to record the EP. We tracked “Kisser” in the beginning of 2013 while some of the other songs weren’t recorded until late 2015. We recorded tons of songs but we were also discovering our identity during that time. We ended up recording, mixing and producing the bulk of the EP with MN-based producer and very dear friend Lance Conrad. He helped us distill our ideas down to a simpler, more accessible sound and really helped to point our band in a unified direction.
You seem to really enjoy playing live….What’s the exciting part about playing live?
Performing live is when the songs actually come to life! The four of us have been playing with various bands since we were way too young to be at the clubs we were playing at. We love sharing our music with our fans and we love the energy that the fans give back to us when we’re on stage.
You already played the Firefly Festival, Summerfest, SXSW, CMJ, Canadian Music Week, to name but a few. Which one did you enjoy the most and why?
All the festivals have been memorable and unique in their own way but Firefly really stands out as one of our most incredible experiences to date. Red Frog Events (who host Firefly) really pull out all the stops in terms of how well they treat the artists. We also got to hang out with some incredibly talented artists and watch Young the Giant and Local Natives from the side of the stage. Needless to say it was pretty memorable… 🙂
There’s a lot of good music coming out of Minneapolis! Apart from the “quality of the water” ; ) do you think there’s a particular reason for that? Any personal recommendations?
Minnesota has a rich history in the popular music scene from Dylan to Prince to “Funkytown” so it’s an honor to be a part of carrying on the MN scene. It really helps that Minneapolis has a super vibrant arts scene with tons of venues and avenues for sharing your art. It’s been awesome to watch so many fellow MN artists reach a widespread audience, from Lizzo to Hippo Campus to Polica.
Best advice for new and emerging artists and songwriters?
Work your ass off!! Writing and performing your material is only a small part of the battle to becoming a rock star. So much of the music industry is about networking, promoting yourself and getting outside your comfort zone. Never settle for what you have and alway push yourself to become better at your instrument, your craft, your brand.
What are your plans regarding any live gigs this year?
We just wrapped up an extremely successful two-week run through the East Coast and Midwest. We’ve got a few big local gigs coming up this summer and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re out on the road continuing to promote the EP .
What does the future hold for Step Rockets?
More touring, more writing, more recording!! Now that we’ve released Future Nature we can’t wait to take the next step and see what the future holds.
Thanks a lot guys!
Step Rockets’ Debut EP “Future Nature” is out now via Harbour Records and Caroline Records!
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