INTERVIEW: Rossi Noise
By Linsey Teggert on October 30, 2012 in Music
Ever heard of rockstep? No? I hadn’t either until I heard Rossi Noise. What on earth is rockstep I hear you cry? According to the band’s namesake and vocalist Ross Holland, rockstep is “a blend of rock mixed with hip-hop, mixed with drum and bass and a bit of dubstep, although I hate being branded ‘dubstep’ because we’re not at all, only our drum beats are slightly dubstep, we don’t do the annoying bass wobbles!”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of any other bands that have labelled themselves rockstep, so it’s pretty safe to say that Rossi Noise have coined a new genre. “We made it up just because it’s easier saying ‘rockstep’ than describing all the elements that make up our sound. The ‘step’ is the dance/electronic side, but primarily we are still a rock band, well we think we are, although other people disagree.”
Now a five piece, Rossi Noise originally started life as Holland’s solo project after he left his previous band Suzi:Won. Holland would play live PA sets singing over the top of a mix, until his brother Scott joined him on drums for a few gigs and became a permanent fixture. Deciding to stick with the full band sound, Holland recruited synth player Gavin Lee and guitarist Neal Harrison, and with the addition of Durham-based MC Absorb (AKA Ben Travis), the line-up was complete.
“We’d already had radio play under my name, so we stuck with it but we’re officially a band. With my old band I felt like I was doing all the work, but now it’s not just me doing the legwork, everyone is on board and we all really want to make a go of it as a career. Absorb wasn’t originally meant to be a full-time member, he was only going to appear on a few tracks, but after asking him to replace some of my verses with his rapping it worked so well that we asked him to join. When we play live he also does all the backing vocals.”
Having drawn comparisons to the likes of Pendulum and 30 Seconds To Mars, the band are about to release their first proper single Knives via their own label ATR Records and will play a headline gig at Newcastle University on Friday 2nd November. Locally, Rossi Noise’s sound is incredibly different from anything else around right now, and with them crossing so many genres, how they are received by the gig-going community will be as interesting as it is varied. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed or part of any cliques, we’ve supported some really heavy bands but we also play hip-hop gigs with MCs and rappers. We’ve even played with indie bands.
We’ve all got different influences so when that’s fused together as a band, some people are like ‘what the fuck?’ It’ll take a bit of time, but things are going really well down south, people are more receptive – we played an unbelievable gig at The Dublin Castle in Camden. When we play live sets we really mix it up, we can start with a drum and bass track then by the end we’re playing a rock ballad. I think there’s something for everyone, there’s that wide an appeal.”