Interview with Steve Rouse from Kilonova
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I can't claim to be from a particularly musical family but one day I really wanted to play the guitar. Turns out I sucked at that so I tried my hand at drumming instead. Once I started jamming and having private lessons then that was it for me.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Music is such a huge part of my life but when I’m not either listening to or playing music I find myself just trying to relax, usually watching a TV show or film. I like to draw inspiration from different kinds of music. Listening to film scores or soundtracks is sometimes just as entertaining to me as the film/TV show itself.
How long has your band been around?
Like most bands we came into being through the magic and mysteries of the internet. One advert and a couple practise sessions later at the end of 2017 saw Joe and Jonny welcoming me into their midst. Not long after that Ellen joined us and we, like the four horsemen/woman of the apocalypse would be bound by destiny for all eternity.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based out of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Myself and Jonny have Newcastle Uni to thank for bringing Ellen and Joe to us. We each have different music tastes but our love for metal truly brought us together. Our brand of music is universal in that no matter where you come from, you'll find yourself involuntarily head banging.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
A Kilonova in nature is a cosmic event that is one of the main sources of heavy metals in our universe . We don’t feign to merge neutron stars but we will give you all the metal you need.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I think the most obvious come to mind like Bloodstock 2018 and supporting Lost Society in Newcastle, but for me personally, I like the intimate shows. The ones where you can smell the sweat from the audience. It drives you forward. They’ve came to see you. You cannot let them down and you will not leave until the crowd have had their fill. Music is a release for everyone and we are not the destination but only part of a vast and never ending journey.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I think I speak for all 4 of us when I say our favourite venue is Trillians in Newcastle. We’re always so welcome there and we love home town shows. With that being said, there is no better feeling than playing a new place in front of new people. I love seeing the transition from scepticism to all out blissful rage by the end of our set. It's a moment truly savoured.
If you could play any show with any line-up, who would be on the ticket?
Everyone has that dream don’t they? You’re in the audience for your favourite band, they call you up onstage and you play a song with them. For us the best thing is being on the same bill as the bands we love and listen to ourselves. Personally I’d gladly open for a Trivium/Avenged Sevenfold co headline tour. If this ever happens, hit me up (please).
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Honestly the best advice I could give is to just enjoy yourself. Make mistakes and learn. Don’t be afraid to play and practise with as many artists as possible. As a musician you learn from beginners and successful touring artists alike. Always have an open mind and don’t take anything for granted.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Probably last week’s Euro Millions numbers. No but seriously, just to enjoy ourselves. We don’t have many; if any regrets as a band. Every time you record you learn different ways/techniques to capture how you’re feeling onto tape. If we knew it all this would be boring. Embrace the carnage.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Definitely Fragments. That one hits hard. Coupled with the music video you’re in for one hell of an emotional ride. I’ve had family suffer from Dementia and Alzheimer’s as has others in the band. If we can start a conversation about this horrible illness and help others get through it then we’ll play it loud and proud for all to hear.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
For me it depends on what the crowd are after. Some want it faster than others and that’s ok. Everyone has personal taste. I like playing the more technically difficult songs like Straight to Hell but if that’s not what that occasion calls for you have to adapt. For me seeing the fans smile and enjoy the show is what matters most.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually it starts off as all great things do, with a riff. From there it manifests into something bigger. Jonny and Joe lay down the foundation of the song and then I come in and add drums, then lastly Ellen brings her lyrics to the table and then we make things happen. Honestly just listening to new music. We’re always learning and soaking up as much as we can. We just want to make the best music possible for our fans.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Hearing people have enjoyed our show or listened to our latest track etc is what this is all about. Knowing you’ve moved somebody in a positive way is the best gift we could receive as a band. Music is a way out for a lot of people and if we can provide that outlet for people then we’ve done our job.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Not really, we are good friends outside the band and none of us have particularly big egos or anything like that. We’re here to have a good time not to make life difficult for each other.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We recently dropped our latest single ‘Fragments’ off our upcoming E.P that is being released this May. We’re playing an E.P release show at Little Buildings in Newcastle on the 12th May and Dominion Festival the weekend prior. We have lots of other things in the pipeline too so stay tuned for more gig announcements. Keep in touch at https://www.facebook.com/kilonovauk/