We recently sat down with the Canberra four-piece, The Steptones, to chat about the local music scene, their new singles and a ‘mind-blasting’ new music video!
Tell me about the new singles!
We spent the whole summer doing a lot of thinking (and a little bit of arguing) and we wanted to come back with a product that we could be really proud of. We recorded twenty songs, narrowed those down to six, and have now have released two!
What can we expect in terms of sound?
A bit more gritty, a bit more rocky, and very – I’d probably say – hard hitting. Not in terms of a hard rock sound, but definitely a bit of a punch in the face… in a good way!
[Laughs] A good punch in the face?
That’s not the best term to use, but yeah! Quite a bit rockier from what it had been previously, and a lot more fun! We’ve also started to incorporate a little bit of electronica… playing around with a lot more sounds.
What do you think of Canberra’s music scene? Do you think there are some good acts around here?
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Slow Turismo have just released their EP. Their bassist is actually producing our next two tracks, so it’s cool to have him on board and have that external influence. But going along to see any of the Canberra gigs or even gigs where there are Canberra bands supporting is very motivating. It’s really exciting and gives you that extra drive.
What do you like about playing in Canberra?
There’s a really cool community vibe to it all. You can always expect to see certain people at most of the gigs, and a lot of the bands are very good about coming out to support each other – which is awesome! They kind of end up just turning in to a party with everyone you know and you get to meet new people. The crowd is always quite supportive, and especially being from Canberra I think a lot of people feel a sort of hometown connection to the music.
Do you have a favourite local venue?
I think it has to be The Phoenix. The Phoenix is always the most fun to play at.
Any funny gig stories?
The crowd [at The Phoenix] generally gets quite in to it. We actually had one where it was so over-packed that people were standing up and dancing on the tables… they were pushing on the stage and our bassist was sort of getting shoved in to me. Everyone was shouting and moving their hands along which at the time was quite overwhelming, but in retrospect was pretty cool!
What’s unique about The Steptones and your sound?
I think that to a certain extent we are all very silly people! It’s fun… we like to just muck around. In terms of the music, we’ve got a certain degree of rock-and-roll purity, both in the way that songs are structured and the parts that we compose for tracks. They’re done in a modern way but are largely influenced by the music that each of us listened to during our upbringing. Nothing’s taken too seriously, in a productive way!
Have you had a chance to play with any other Canberra bands? You played at Groovin’ the Moo of course.
Yes, we did… which was awesome! The other Canberra acts were Drawing North and Sweet Shoppe. We are big band friends with Slow Turismo – they played at our EP launch, and we’ve supported at their single launches. We’ve played with Wallflower quite a bit and we get along quite well with them, and the Gypsy Scholars actually! They are some friends of ours who are doing some really cool stuff, we’ve played with them a few times.
What’s coming up for you guys in the next few months?
We’ve got the single launch, and we’ve got a music video to record and release sometime very soon.
Do you have any ideas for the video?
We do, but we’d like that to be a surprise because it is so awesome.
If you could describe it in one word what would it be?
Can I do a double-hyphened word?
[Laughs] Mind-blasting! Well, thanks for taking the time to chat!
Thanks! We’ve been super quiet but we’re looking to hit back with a bang and bring a lot of cool and exciting new stuff to the table.
The Steptones launch their new single on Saturday 19 September at The Phoenix. You can catch them at The Phoenix’s Bootleg Sessions next month. Click here for more info.