Step Rockets
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Step Rockets

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop




"Best Unknown Artists of SXSW 2014"

The Minnesota band is hardly known, but if they keep up with their experimental psychedelic rock sound, they might perhaps be huge. An amazing voice paired with synth create irresistible harmonies. - Bit Candy

"It would be cool to be the first band on the moon"

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. - City Pages

"107,000 views+ on soundcloud in one month"

Kings favorite Step Rockets has now garnered 107,000 views+ on soundcloud in one month and they reached #1 on Hype Machine charts. They will release a remix and music video in the coming weeks. They recently performed a Daytrotter session and had a slot at Indianapolis festival WARMfest this past weekend. They since signed a licensing agreement and have been in talks with several labels and agencies. - Kings of A&R

"Allowing the band to grab the number one spot on Hype Machine"

Minneapolis quartet Step Rockets have been around for over a year, but they have suddenly found themselves propelled to center stage after the success of new single "Kisser." (Press photo)


Have you heard of Step Rockets? If you haven’t, then you’re probably not alone—the band has maintained a low profile in the local music community since starting out last year. But two weeks ago, Indie Shuffle wrote about what I would consider their first real debut single “Kisser.” And since then, the track has amassed over 62,000 spins on Soundcloud from all corners of the world, allowing the band to grab the number one spot on Hype Machine.

Let’s put that number in perspective: 62,000 is far more plays than even the buzziest act on an indie roster like Mexican Summer or Jagjaguwar.
The song has taken off so quickly that there’s even a release show for it planned at Cause on August 25. There’s a music video being filmed during their Lake Harriet Bandshell performance next Tuesday on August 13. They’ve booked shows all over the Midwest in the coming two months. So now they just need to capitalize on that success and start recording more material… you know, when they have the time in between all this new-found attention.

My first introduction to the quartet was their song “If You Tried,” and I wasn’t sure if it really clicked for me. Step Rockets are experimenting with this odd mash-up of alternative rock, psychedelia, pop and reggae—just listen to that synth line and you’re transported to a different landscape. It didn’t quite work on “If You Tried,” but it was definitely an admirable effort. Perhaps the addition of producer Lance Conrad and his Humans Win! Studio really polished their ideas into something cohesive, and they sound like a much more tolerable version of Imagine Dragons with “Kisser.”

It’s no surprise that people have reacted favorably. This song is about as radio-friendly as it can possibly get—and that statement is both a blessing and a curse. But if these four guys have managed to fine-tune their sound so dramatically within just six months, then I would suspect that whatever is coming next will be even better. I’m looking forward to watching that progress happen. - The Current Local Radar

"They will be your favourite new band of 2014"

Minneapolis based quartet Step Rockets appear to have lofty ambitions, expressing their desire to become the first band to perform on the moon. Given the strength of their new single, "Kisser", I imagine that they might have every hope in the world of achieving that.

For a song by a self-released band, the sound of "Kisser" is surprisingly accomplished. Step Rockets appear to have followed the example of other indie-rock artists of late like Imagine Dragons, taking ideas production-wise from electronic and pop and synthesizing them into their own sound. They've got deep drums, up-to-date synths, a massive stadium-sized chorus, and rather refreshingly, a big hulking guitar solo.

Keep an eye out for Step Rockets in the near future. With a sound that is current, accessible and ridiculously radio-friendly, they will be your favourite new band of 2014.
- The Metaphorical Boat

"I’m absolutely loving the synth work on this anthemic rock track"

I doubt many of you would’ve heard about Minnesota quartet Step Rockets before today, and I honestly don’t blame you. They’ve kept a very low profile since starting out last year, but that’s all about to change with the release of “Kisser,” their second single.

I’m absolutely loving the synth work on this anthemic rock track. In fact, that’s exactly what got me to listen to this single in its entirety. “Kisser” is bound to catch a few listeners off guard with it’s powerful delivery and the lead singer’s sultry tone. - Indie Shuffle


Step Rockets Web Released Signals:

Kisser (August 2013)

If You Tried (April 2013)



It didn't take long for Step Rockets to take off. Just 13 days after the release of "Kisser", the track hit #1 on Hype Machine. The song has over 500,000 Soundcloud plays and continues to gain international attention.

The Minneapolis four-piece twists psychedelic sounds and modern pop hooks into danceable indie rock. Their tracks blend the raw attitude of the Clash with the interstellar arrangements of the Flaming Lips, creating a sound that is uniquely dynamic and fun. 

Step Rockets aim to live up to their name. The group of multi-instrumentalists build layers of EDM, New Wave and Reggae to launch their music into something that is both fresh and mysterious. Their sound is a cosmic recycling of music past and present, aimed to create an experience that defies description.

Band Members