Words: Miljan Milekić
For years now, the UK duo Koven have been a staple in the bass music scene. Offering something different and unique, they quickly gathered a loyal following, creating a fanbase unlike almost any other in the electronic music world. Their attention to detail and especially meaningful lyrics are what separates them from a crowd, earning them a very special place in their fans’ hearts. Today, Koven are bringing their debut LP ‘Butterfly Effect,’ and we were lucky enough to catch Katie for a little chat, so here it is!
Congratulations on your new album! How does it feel to finally bring it to the light of the day?
Katie: Overwhelming and incredibly exciting! Although we’ve been quite lucky because we have mostly enjoyed the process and it’s all been done fairly stress-free compared to what we were expecting.
You’ve been on the scene for almost a decade now, how come that it took you so long to put out a full-length? How did you know that you’re finally ready to do it?
Katie: Separately we’ve been working on the scene for over ten years but as a duo, as Koven, it’s been six and a half…. Which is still a long time to take to put out our debut album. But I guess the timing just wasn’t right, and now it just felt right, and people kept asking for it. It’s a daunting thing to decide to do because you know the amount of work that will need to be put into it, and the fact you won’t be releasing music for a substantial amount of time, so you don’t want people to forget about you. But we got very lucky that, during the time we were making the album was also the time we became most busy with shows, so we were able to keep a presence in the scene that way!
On the ‘Butterfly Effect,’ you went all-in, combining so many different influences and styles. How long did you work on this one?
Katie: The album, start to finish, I would say is about a two-year project, but we’ve got tracks on there we started as long as five years ago that we then revisited.
How challenging was it to combine all these different songs, and make it work as a cohesive album rather than just a compilation of songs?
Katie: As an album, it works really well – it’s nice for emotions and energy levels to go up and down. The challenging part comes when you want to plan a show and having the tracks run smoothly into one another, or when you have to create an album mini mix. We basically go through every tempo and key possible, we haven’t made our lives easy.
In your songs, you pay a lot of attention to lyrics, which is something that’s often overlooked in electronic music. How do you approach writing, and how important are they to you?
Katie: Lyrics are so important to us, and as you said, they’re often not as important in electronic music. I think that’s part of what makes it special when they are important. We write from the heart, and everything we write about has a lot of emotion and realism.
The one thing I’m especially curious about is the album’s name. What does ‘Butterfly Effect’ means to you? What does it symbolize?
Koven: Well, the title track ‘Butterfly Effect’ is about overcoming and combating nerves in order to push yourself through a situation which you know will lead to something positive in the end, like a job interview or a date, or playing a show, or even things like walking into a gym by yourself for the first time. All these situations that feel daunting, but you do it for a positive outcome. It also links into the idea of the meaning behind the term “Butterfly Effect,” that every action has a reaction, and everything you do in life leads to the next thing. Every opportunity you grab with both hands sometimes creates another two or three opportunities.
You worked with a couple of different labels in the past, but for some time now, you’re sticking with Monstercat. How is it to work with them and to be part of their setup?
Katie: Monstercat has been perfect for us. As a label, they are so easy to work with, and we have full creative freedom. They let us do what we want, and their audience is perfect for us.
‘Butterfly Effect’ was supposed to have its very special premiere at this year’s edition of Rampage…
Katie: So, the sad news is that Rampage has had to be postponed due to the spread of coronavirus. We were devastated by this news. We had worked so hard to pull the show together with visuals as well, and it was the perfect platform for our launch. But none the less, the show must go on, and it will in no way hinder us and the mighty release of ‘Butterfly Effect.’
Unfortunately, I only had the chance to catch you live once, and it was at Exit Festival back in 2014. Apart from the amazing show, there’s one more thing I remember – this weird ball-shaped controller thing. What the hell was that, and do you still use it?
Katie: Sadly, that got battered in transit, and we had to throw it away. Actually, not so sadly, because we hated it!
You are known for your amazing live shows, but there was one thing that’s been on my mind since I saw one of your performance videos online. Were you even thinking about taking a bit different approach and playing shows with a band?
Katie: That’s something we want to look into in the future. We discuss it all the time, it’s just about finding the right place and time to pull it all together!
So, what’s next for you after the album release?
Katie: A big fat massive tour! To bring ‘Butterfly Effect’ to everyone around the world, and we can’t wait!