We caught Kilonova at Bloodstock 2018 on the New Blood Stage and thought it was time to catch up vocalist Ellen Hill to hear their story.
See Kilonova perform Hang The Hangman live at Bloodstock 2018:
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with you, tell us a little bit about your band.
• We are Kilonova, a Thrash Metal band from Newcastle. There are four of us; Ellen Hill (Vocals), Jonny Sloan (Guitar), Joe Bambrick (Bass) and Steven Rouse (Drums). We formed fully in January when I joined the band.
What was your earliest memory of music that piqued your interest?
• My earliest memory is driving around the Isle of Wight in my Dad’s car listening to Meat Loaf-Bat Out Of Hell. That’s when I started liking rock and metal I think, that and all the Queen albums we used to listen to.
What was the first album / single you purchased?
• The first album I bought myself was Black Veil Brides-We Stitch These Wounds when I was 12 or 13.
When did you start singing?
• I have been singing since I can remember, but it wasn’t always metal. I started singing more classical and pop music until I was about 13, that’s when I really started to get into rock vocals.
What route did you take with lessons / music school / self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
• I started having vocal lessons in secondary school my vocal teacher was amazing! He was like a grandad in every way. He played piano and sang. That was for my classical style though. In terms of screaming and metal I watched YouTube videos and just tried to mimic them. I really screwed over my voice though a few years ago, it’s taken a while but my voice is back on track.
Who were your heroes as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
• I have a mixed bag of people who have inspired me, from a young age I always looked up to musicians like Alice Cooper, Queen and Meatloaf but then when I started listening to more metalcore styles it was musicians like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria. I think everyone went though that little emo stage though so I’m not embarrassed to admit they where big influences on my vocal style.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
• I have always known that I wanted to be a musician because it’s the one thing I found myself always going back to. In terms of a eureka moment, when I first listened to Whore by In This Moment I knew that I wanted to sound like her.
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
• I’ve been to so many I don’t think I could pick! I saw Iron Maiden a few years back at Download that was pretty awesome.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
• Taylor Swift and Country music. I had a friend in college who bought out an EP which is all country music and I still listen to it in my car every few weeks.
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
• Currently we are in the studio working towards our first EP which we are super excited to get out. We’ve just put out some Bloodstock live footage on our YouTube channel as well.
Where are you recording?
• We are recording with Olly Cobb at Metropolitan Recording, Mixing & Mastering.
How does the song writing process generally work for you?
• It can change from song to song, one day Jonny might say he’s got a new riff, puts it on the Dropbox and then we work from there. Other times I could say I’ve got some lyrics and send them over and then the guys flesh out a song around them.
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
• We are still working on our local fan base which seems to be growing quite quickly! We make sure we are active on social media and post often. When we played the Metal 2 The Masses shows, nobody knew who we were at all because they were some of our first shows. The way the we found works best is just be nice to people, we’ve looked back at some of the comments on Facebook from people who have seen us and then had a chat with us afterwards. They’ve said they’ve enjoyed meeting us which I think is one of the most important things.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
• There’s a fair amount of venues around but that doesn’t mean some of them aren’t struggling. The best venues for us have been Trillians and Little Buildings. The folks who run them are super supportive and definitely helped to build our confidence.
What would you like to see ideally to help hard working bands / artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living from their craft?
• More events like Metal 2 The Masses. We made some awesome friends though the competition and it was a great way to get our name out there. Since these gigs we have teamed up with some of the other bands and put on shows which would have been much harder to do if we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet everyone.
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey?
• “Don’t panic you’ll be fine” is the thing I have heard the most before going on stage. No matter what the size of the show I always panic, I have like a pre gig dance that I do which is just me walking around in circles trying to calm myself down. Generally not to care what people think as well because not everyone is going to like us.
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learnt on your journey to date? • Personally, that the metal industry is still pretty sexist and something needs to be done about it. At the semi-final of the M2TM show I was told “the only reason they got through is ’cause they’ve got a lass singing” and that’s stuck with me.
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc. enhance your life as a musician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
• I’d say enhance because we are able to share our music quicker and build up more hype for people, however it can suck because people aren’t going out and buy music any more. Not like they used to anyway. Everything’s so easy to download online for ‘free’ and it’s such a killer of new and upcoming bands.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
• More gigs, more music and world domination.
How do you see the evolution of the band / yourself as an artist?
• As a band I just see us getting closer to one another, creating more energy on stage and bouncing off one another. Personally I want to work on my vocals some more, need to get some low end growls in at some point.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
• Mainly just focus on creating new music and get it out there. We’d love to tour with the bands who have inspired us.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
• I would love to tour with In This Moment or Arkona. I caught Arkona at Bloodstock and they are incredible.