by Scott Roos
pics by Deanna Roos
"I've been nicknamed Frank, and you might hear that get yelled out at a show or two if the right fan members are there . That's after Frank beard of ZZ top," quips Seven Mile Sun drummer Kimberly Stevens in a recent conversation with NSMZ.
The nickname, likely due to Stevens's meat and potatoes, no nonsense style of drumming is flattering to a degree but if you've seen Seven Mile Sun play live you'd get it. Stevens is an "in the pocket" drummer. She lays down a basic groove to allow adequate space for her brother Kevin's riffs to percolate. Besides, calling her Meg, after the drummer from the White Stripes, would be low hanging fruit.
"I do love the White Stripes and Meg White. But I'm sure 90% of the frequent comparison comes from the sole fact that we're both female. I like the simplicity of Meg's style. I've played with musicians in the past that have really appreciated the less is more factor, that drumming doesn't need to be a complete bashing of cymbals for an entire song," Stevens contemplates, "I think Patrick Carney of the Black Keys is just so cool. He's slumped in half just rockin out in his own world, and really talented while doing it. I've read in articles of his that he also kinda stumbled into being a drummer when Dan's drummer didn't show up one day and he got thrown into it. Shortly after they got a record deal. Amazing."
The fact that Stevens relates to Carney's being "thrown into the drums" should come as no surprise. The reason why she's even a drummer in the first place is accidental although some might call it "fate".
"I was playing percussion in high school band but that was honestly just mashing some mallets, playing a cowbell, and hitting the marching bass drum as hard as I could to get a laugh from my classmates . Kevin and his buddies had started practicing to make a band, but their drummer didn't show up to practice . The gear was set up at our farm so they said Kim you try to play along. I just sorta figured it out and kept rhythm. So next thing I knew I wanted a kit of my own and picked up a shiny red CB basic kit and I was the new drummer for our high school band The Franchise, and off we went. I've taught myself as time went on by listening to songs and figuring out how they are creating a certain beat or sound I'm interested in. I've never actually taken a lesson, but I'm hopeful to in the near future," Stevens explained.
Other drumming influences that Stephens lists are Blink 182's Travis Barker, Led Zeppeling's John Bonham and the recently deceased Rolling Stones stickman Charlie Watts.
"I'll never forget covering my first stones song in a band I played with back when I was 17-20ish: 'Brown Sugar'. One of my favourite covers ever to play. My parents are huge Stones fans and they got to see them in I think Regina. The death of Charlie Watts is hard to fathom. He seems like he's still 50 to me, like in all the old videos I've watched with my Dad over the years. I'm sad I never got to see him live," says Stevens.
It's quite a testament to both Stevens' siblings that they always credit their parents with helping them to further along their career. Guitar lessons and guitar purchases for Kevin. Buying a drum kit for Kimberly. Providing the practice space and also one Christmas morning even providing a brand new sound system.
"Mom and dad have always been massive supporters of our music, and helping us out with anything we might need. We couldn't afford to buy a sound system for ourselves and had been just renting a system for small gigs here and there. They surprised us Christmas morning with a sound system - board, speakers, monitors, mics, all the gear we needed to play a show. It was incredible," continued Stevens.
At the end of the day, Seven Mile Sun is a "band to be watched" in Saskatchewan. They have not been "Seven Mile Sun" for that long but are experienced musicians and veterans of hundreds of gigs during their time on the scene. They rock the socks of their audiences and have been steadily building a devout following. Kimberly Stevens, and her no nonsense drumming is the backbone of the band and as noteworthy as her brothers guitar playing and the bass slapping of Joanne Genest. Keep an eye on this power trio. The future indeed looks bright.