Rockin’ Engine – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Steve O Leff – Vocals and guitars
Ste Vy Leff – Guitars
JP Buzzard – Bass
Joel Bilodeau – Drums
PD: What type of artist are you?
(Steve O) Rockin’ Engine is not only a band but also a family. The bond we share on and off stage compares to no other. When rehearsing or recording, we always work together as a team to insure that everyone is happy with what we create and how it sounds. It is important that each member share the same passion and emotion while playing our songs in order for the audience to feel exactly the same way when we perform. When on stage, we unleash the beast (laughs)!
(Joel) Humbly, I’m very versatile in many different aspects of my life. I like to surround myself around open minded and creative people that don’t act like little princesses. With time, I left aside my search for perfectionism towards others and started really enjoying what I do, play music!
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
(Steve O) Rockin’ Engine started out as your usual cover band, ranging from 80´s glam metal to today’s modern metal. But at some point, we decided to write our own music and wanted to be noticed on the local scene here in Ottawa, Canada. After releasing our first album in March 2019, everything just escalated so quickly! Our name got around, we met amazing people that helped us promote our music and to this day, we had so many great opportunities to open for great artists and even one of my guitar heroes, Tony MacAlpine.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
(Steve O) Musically for me, I would say that Corey Taylor is one of my biggest influences. Being able to achieve such a status within the music industry and having such a presence when performing is quite impressive. Rob Zombie would be another major influence for me. I’m a huge horror fan and I love the way he incorporates music and cinematics as big artistic masterpieces!
(Ste Vy) For musical influences – Pantera, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Children of Bodom, The Agonist, Disturbed, Killswitch Engaged, Nightwish, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Leo Moracchioli, Trivium, Arch Enemy, Charlie Parra Del Riego, Skrillex. I listen to these artists everyday and they sure play a big role when I write music of my own.
(JP) Musically and non-musically, I’d say KISS and Motley Crue we’re the everyday highlight for me when growing up in the 80’s. I’ve also always been a huge fan of horror movies.
(Joel) Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Killswitch Engage and Slayer are definitely the bands that influenced me the most!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
(Steve O) My dream would definitely be to make a lucrative living solely from our music, therefore be able to work on new material every day, meet amazing recording producers and record labels, and also meet all my musical heroes. However, I like to take things more realistically and focus on attainable goals such as new albums, new videos, small tours, which all mainly rely on how hard we work and how dedicated we are. All that being said, I will always put my family first, regardless of opportunities. My wife and kids are more important than my dreams!
(Ste Vy) As an artist, to make Rockin’ Engine shine in the music world is one of the main goals. I would dream to hit a bigger scenery than what we have accomplished so far but in due time, I’m sure it will happen.
(JP) My dreams would be to leave our mark as far as we can bring it and to hopefully make music a career. In the end career or not I’m a lifer. For goals, there’s always something I can improve with RE & my home life.
(Joel) Honestly, everything a rock star dreams of (laughs)! But seriously, one of my goals is to write a second album even better than our first.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
(Steve O) I love writing! It’s a way for me to express anything going on in my mind and to live in an imaginary world where anything is possible! That’s why I mostly write the lyrics to our songs but we’ll be working together for more songs to come. I enjoy using stories based on actual historical events as metaphors for common taboo subjects. That way, people can relate to a song in their own personal way.
(Ste Vy) I haven’t really put any time in writing lyrics for the band. I’m more oriented towards the instrumental aspect. I bring my ideas and assembled riffs to the band when I think a song is ready to be worked on. As a team we work on these ideas to feel what is best for an awesome Rockin’ Engine song.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
(Steve O) Social media is definitely our main source of promoting for upcoming shows. But, we definitely appreciate the help of promoters and PR agents such as METALMESSAGE for promoting our material and getting us sweet contacts for reviews and air play.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
(Steve O) Even though we don’t make real money on downloaded material, I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s purchased via a platform that pays the bands. But, like I said, this is definitely not our main source of income.
(Ste Vy) I think it’s one of the best ways to get your music out on the international market if you’re not travelling on tour, visiting any other country than your own.
(Joel) I think it prevents bands from making real money and being able to live off of their art.
PD: What song do you wish you’ve written and why?
(Steve O) Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. That song get’s me to tears every time I hear it because I can really relate to the lyrics.
(Ste Vy) I never thought about owning a song that was written by someone else. I enjoy all the songs I listen to and I enjoy it even more if I can play them.
(JP) Epiphany by Stained hits home for me every time. The lighter side of my darkness.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
(Steve O) What I find most annoying and quite frustrating is the lack of professionalism and organisation from some promoters who hire you to play but give you absolutely no information regarding play times, backline instruments, remuneration, and other important stuff. We put a lot of time in perfecting our art, the least they can do is lay out everything to know in order to make it easier for everyone.
(JP) I Agree with Steve O on this one…
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
(Steve O) My proudest moment has to be… every single time we perform!!! The rush that I get from seeing the attendees head bang to our music and looking at you like you just made their day is the most overwhelming feeling in the world. I love to chat with new friends after the shows, they give us so much love and that’s what makes it all even more amazing!
(Ste Vy) The release of our first album ‘’Midnight Road Rage’’ and seeing the smile on the people’s face when we offer them to buy it. And also having our first hit song ‘’Hiding in Darkness’’ played in rotation on the Ottawa local rock radio station 101.7FM Rebel.
(Joel) For me, it’s when we’re on stage and people start signing the lyrics to our songs. That means a lot!
PD: So what are you working on at this moment?
(Steve O) We’re currently writing our second album and I can tell you it already sounds amazing! We now know exactly what we want and how we’re gonna get it. We’re also talking about new videos for songs that will feature on our upcoming album, but our main focus is the new music for the moment.
(Joel) New material for sure! We got to be ready to ride the wave when it hits us!
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
(Steve O) Our last show of 2019 will be on October 5th in Hull,Quebec, Canada. We decided to finish big and thanks everyone who supported us through this amazing year. However, we are not taking a break! We’re actually going to concentrate our energy towards our upcoming album and focus on a brand new show that will kick everybody’s ass… in a good way (laughs)! We will be back on stage no further than January 30th, in Ottawa, Canada, opening for the great Ross The Boss (Manowar). Rest assured that Rockin’ Engine will come back with a bang in 2020!
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