Dogs interrupting gigs, space stuff and a good dollop of heavy. It’s Kilonova!
Ellen – We are based in Newcastle Upon Tyne but Joe and I are originally from way down south. We both came up north for university.
How did you meet?
Ellen – Jonny (guitarist) and Joe (bassist) knew each other from uni, they met in the rock society at Newcastle University. During a drunken night out they decided to start a band and posted adverts looking for a drummer which is where Steve came along. After that they looked for a vocalist by posting on social media including the Newcastle Rock society page, which is where I came in. I just started at university and decided to give it a shout and wrote the lyrics for “Straight to Hell” to audition.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Joe – A Kilonova is what happens when two neutron stars collide in an explosion so violent it distorts space-time. It’s where a lot of the universe’s heaviest elements are formed. It felt like a perfect fit for the chaotic sound we were aiming for.
What are your influences?
Ellen – As a band we all have different influences ranging over a load of genres, bands like Metallica, In This Moment, Tool, Parkway Drive and Avenged Sevenfold are just some of many.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Joe – We draw from a huge breadth of artists, we get compared to punk bands and black metal bands by different people in the same audience. It’s a mixture of old and new styles of heaviness so we might draw from doom or metalcore or bay area thrash depending on what we think serves the song best.
Do you have any lyrical themes?
Ellen – Depends on who’s writing the lyrics! I tend to write from more personal experiences and create a story based around that certain thing.
Joe – Politics, religion, mental health. I like to draw from what’s going on around me. I keep notes and lyrical ideas on my phone as they come to me and when it’s time to flesh out a song I’ll go and find themes that run through a few ideas and build it up from those parts.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Ellen – Energetic to say the least, we like to give the audience all we have. Otherwise, how can we expect the same back from them? Fewer than 20 I think!
Jonny – It’s fast paced for sure, we keep the energy up and make a party of it. Even for the slower songs we keep the intensity going and get heads banging. We get up in one each others faces and jam it out.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Jonny – Recently as we were checking our tuning before we played our encore a Jack Russell ran up onto the stage, got in under the drums and started barking at Steve. The sound guy freaked out and ran onstage to try and get the dog and make sure we didn’t start playing. Apparently a homeless guy owned the dog and followed it in through the fire escape that someone left open. We had to wait for him and his dog to get out before we finished the set. That’s definitely the wildest we’ve had.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / ect?
Joe – I use Hartke Amps and my primary bass is a Rockbass Corvette. Pedal-wise it’s a PolyTune Mini, a Joyo US-Dream distortion pedal and a mini Crybaby bass wah.
Steven – Primarily I use Mapex drums with a Joey Jordison Snare drum, Pearl Pedals and a variety of different cymbals brands including Zildjian, Sabian, Istanbul and Meinl. Why use just one brand when you can use them all right?
Ellen – I use a Shure SM58 wireless microphone kit, I find It gives me so much more freedom to move around stage and not have to worry about getting caught up in a lead when I’m jumping around or headbanging.
Jonny – I’m running through a Marshall JCM 2000 with a JCM 900 cab. Guitar wise, I’m primarily using a Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy upgraded with the EMG Het Set. As for pedals, I’m using the TC Electronic spark for my main drive with a number of BOSS pedals for my tuner, noise gate etc. I’ve just got on to using the TC Electronic flashback 2 for some delay during solos and clean sections.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Ellen – We just put out a single called “Straight to Hell” on all major digital platforms from our debut EP Omnicide which will be coming out July 12th.
What are your plans for 2019?
Ellen – Get the EP out, play more shows, world domination.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Steve – Lamb of God would be a dream headliner, they’re setting the standard for modern metal. As for the opener, Lords of Ruin supported us in Newcastle recently and smashed it, we’d love to bring them out again.