We speak with the legendary, Koven.
Katie and Max, better known as Koven, are one of the biggest duos in bass music right now. Adding a little soulful touch to a famously heavy sound, their unique productions have propelled them onto some of the hottest labels in the game and bagged them gigs across the world.
Next month they're playing at the legendary Rampage in Antwerp, Belgium which follows their rollercoaster year in 2018. Ahead of the gig we spoke with them to see what's happening in the crazy world of Koven.
Hope you haven’t been too cold! What’s your favourite way to keep warm?
Nothing I like more than putting on oversized slippers shaped like animals - my current slippers are alpacas, my previous ones were flamingos but they sadly died.
RIP to your flamingo slippers! How was your New Year, do anything big?
I had a good new years, I stayed fairly local as its so expensive to go out on New Year’s. Drank too much and threw up in the taxi journey home and I had to pay the taxi man and extra £50 - how ironic!
Sign of a great night out! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
I wanted to get a bit healthier, my eating has improved, I used to eat a pack of biscuits a night now I'm down to half a pack.
Progress is progress, you got this! What’s got you motivated right now?
Right now I'm feeling really motivated by the mass of unreleased music me and Max are sitting on - I want to unleash it!
Sounds exciting, can’t wait to hear it. How’s your diary looking right now, any big dates you’ve got coming up?
Playing Rampage this year you heard of it? It’s kind of a big deal! Ever since being booked for Rampage most of my morning thoughts are consumed with fear and excitement and wondering how much I'm likely to throw-up before the set.
We've actually got one of our busiest years this year with shows so I'm so excited for them all. Its funny because nerves and excitement are so close together in the way they feel i'm never sure which one I'm experiencing.
You must be buzzing for Rampage, are they ready for Koven?
So so buzzing, when I think about it I get crazy butterflies and instantly think I need to poo... but I don't. I'm excited to sing, DJ and hype the crowd. It's going to be so much fun to perform alongside Muzzy, Feint and Fox.
How would you describe the event to your parents?
As the justification and reward for dedicating the last 10 years of our lives to music.
Preach! Enjoy it!! Are you gonna be there both days?
No - I wish I was but have something I need to get back for, but the whole lineup is fiiiire so as soon as I’m done on stage I'll be straight out in the crowd for the rest of the night.
In recent years, Koven has become one of the most exciting acts to surface in big room drum & bass, sum up the last 3 years in 5 words - what would they be?
Oh stoooop, you'll make me cry, what a lovely thing to say. So hard to sum up 3 years in 5 words but I'd go with: ups, downs, incredible, drunk, emotional'.
You're sets always stand out and we know it's more than just DJ skills. What's your favourite piece of equipment and how do you incorporate that into your sets?
Obviously I have to say the Mic! I love being on the mic and incorporating the vocals into the sets and getting carried away with the crowd - so easy to get lost and kind of forget that you're the one on stage.
We’ve seen that you use this thing Alpha Shere, When did you first discover that?
Max just accidentally stumbled across it on YouTube and our management reached out to see if they wanted an artist to test it out. Sadly it got battered and fell apart after a 5 week tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Koven has remixed many artists over the years, what's your favourite remix you've ever done?
I think the Tritonal 'Get Away' remix gets the best reaction but a personal achievement for Max was remixing Enter Shikari.
What’s the best achievement that Koven has smashed?
We've been so lucky to play some incredible shows which is more than we could have ever wished for. Making music is obviously fantastic but it's not until you're on stage and seeing the reaction from people or hearing them sing back that you get the true impact you're making.
Are there goals or items on Koven’s bucket list that you wanna achieve?
We just want to keep growing our audience and get to a stage where we can sell out headline tours, keep hitting new ears and keep making music people want to hear to then sell out even bigger venues of a headline tour.
What was your favourite gig or festival appearance as Koven?
Exit Festival in Serbia was a pretty special one for us both back in 2015, but for me a Liqucity show I played last year really got me. There was a moment where i just stopped and really took in what was happening and how lucky I was to be in that position and it took a lot for me to not start crying my eyes out.
You guys tour around soo much! What was the most awkward thing to happen to you on tour?
Max isn't doing shows at the moment because he really struggles with travelling, but when we were doing shows together we had so much fun and we laughed so much, although it mostly consisted of me laughing at him. The most awkward but also hilarious thing was Max falling backwards off a log and rolling down a hill into a river at a festival in New Zealand, ah how I miss those kinds of shenanigans.
How do you keep yourselves entertained on the road?
Watching the same TV shows on repeat on Netflix - The Office, The American Office, Extras, Alan Partridge, Friends. They keep you entertained and are also home comforts that make you feel less homesick.
With so many gigs over the past few years we’re sure you've woke up with a sore head a fair few times. Do you have a tried and tested hangover cure?
Nope - there is no such thing but if you invent one let me know because I'm fed-up with throwing up in airport bins.
What has been your favourite destination you’ve visited?
New Zealand is just such a beautiful country, full of really passionate about music people. But also Holland, again just love the crowds and the people so much.
You’re extremely active & responsive on Social Media, what’s your favourite aspect of social media?
Just knowing what people are thinking, getting feedback - luckily it’s mostly positive. I love replying to people because I remember being someone who would reach out to artists I liked, and getting a response really meant something to me so I understand the importance of it. I will do it for as long as it's humanly possible.
What’s the biggest lesson in life you’ve both learnt?
If you could play anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
Vegas - I've always wanted to go there so would be great to get booked, also Hawaii, and I would like to get to Canada soon.
Was there a party that changed your life?
All the parties are special, everyone is different, you get to meet new people and hear music you've never heard. Every single one impacts your life.
What would Koven do to change the world?
Put dogs in charge.
If you could fill a swimming pool with anything what would that be and why?
Dogs… but the water would need to still be in there. I just want to swim in a pool full of dogs.
What are you both most in love with right now?
Performing - I can't get enough, the more I do it the more I want to do it. Book KOVEN!!! For Max it's Ricky Gervais, and has been the whole 5 years we've been working together.
Koven make up part of the Rampage 10th anniversary line up; check the full details here.
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