Step Rockets: It would be cool to be the first band on the moon

Step Rockets: It would be cool to be the first band on the moon
Photo by Fair Shadow Photography

Twin Cities band Step Rockets is exploding indie rock by exploring psychedelia, modern pop hooks, and worldly grooves. The band is working on new music, but in the meantime has exclusively dropped us a new single called "Kisser." The piece is a whip-smart song that has fallen into an endless, kaleidoscope-hued, fog-filled chasm. Bouncy basslines, bright, poppy synths, drifting vocals -- all of it fit into three minutes and fifty-one seconds. Super catchy.

Gimme Noise sat down with Brady Lillie to figure out what makes up the band's sound and where you can catch the group next.

Band Members: Josh Von Mink, Brady Lillie, Johnny Syn, Anthony Schulz

Gimme Noise: How does each person's musical background contribute to the sound of Step Rockets?

Brady Lillie: When we began writing music together as a group, we were a little bored with the traditional rock band formula, so we each added an electronic element to our set up to expand our musical palette. John and Josh play sample pads, and Anthony and Brady play synths. Each member has diverse backgrounds and tastes and uses their strengths. Much of the time those inspirations lead to unique combinations of sound like adding a reggae groove on a heavy rock riff with world percussion. Our common ground has become combining electronic elements with organic sounds.

Gimme Noise: How does EDM [Electronic Dance Music] fit into the other genres you incorporate with the band's sound?

Brady Lillie: EDM inspires the grooves and the atmosphere of our sound. We like our friends to dance and have a good time while sharing the musical experience. On top of that, we would like to bring substance and meaningful lyrical content into the EDM world. A lot of EDM is DJ based, and we are trying to make that idea interactive with our traditional rock instruments and new electronic based sounds.

Gimme Noise: What's this bid to play on the moon all about?

Brady Lillie: Our name has been confused with "Step Robots" and "Space Rockets" so we just dreamed about the idea of making a bid to be the first band on the moon. Obviously it would be pretty cool to be the first band on the moon, but Bowie will probably beat us there.

Gimme Noise: Where did the inspiration for "Kisser" come from?

Brady Lillie: Josh wrote the lyrics about his girlfriend keeping the light on for him after one of our many gigs. It's a love song about how love can heal a painful situation. Over all, the song is meant to feel redemptive and healing.

Gimme Noise: Why only a single release at this time?

Brady Lillie: We recorded an album of material at McNally Smith last winter but wanted to take the time to polish and develop each song. At the time, we had only been writing music together for a short time and felt like we had a lot of territory to explore before making final decisions. Working on one song at a time has given us time explore all of our ideas and craft our sound.

Gimme Noise: What else does the band have coming up?

Brady Lillie: We plan to release our next singles, "Sleep Position" and "Shake, Shake, Shake" in September and October, respectively. We've been fortunate enough to work with Lance Conrad [Humans Win! Studio, Van Stee] and Grant Cutler [Hideaway Studio, Aby Wolf, Wolf Lords] on our first singles, and we hope to work with other local inspirations for future releases.

Gimme Noise: Where can people catch the band next?

Brady Lillie: We have two shows for our "Kisser" single release.

Thursday, 8/13
Lake Harriet Bandshell
AA, Free, 6 pm

Sunday, 8/25
21+, Free, 9 pm

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