Hello Rainey - 07.26.11
The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:
Debut EP (Lifecycles) now available on iTunes and Amazon.com, as well as:
1. How did you get your band name?
Hello Rainey started when I was in college. I was a Broadcasting major, and we had just discussed the advent of radio. Marconi got credit for inventing it, but some claim that an old farmer named Nathan Stubblefield actually had the first successful broadcast of the human voice. He was testing out his new broadcasting device with a fellow farmer named Rainey Wells, and according to the history books the first words he said were "Hello Rainey".
I had been in plenty of bands when I was young, but they were all just a bunch of kids messing around. To me, this was my first serious attempt at making music, and because Hello Rainey started as a school project, it seemed fitting to tie it all together.
2. How did this band get started?
Hello Rainey actually started as a school project. I was in Grad School at the time for Audio Engineering and I was afforded the opportunity to take a semester and record six tracks. I had the option to record whatever I wanted, but I had been writing music for years and never had an outlet for it -- until now. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to start my own musical project. It allowed me to write, perform, produce, record and mix all of my music. It was an amazing learning experience and had a very DIY feel to the whole thing. Once the tracks were finished everyone really seemed to like what they heard and I made the decision to print it to disc and take it to the next level.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Working in the music industry I'm exposed to all sorts of music, so I'd like to think that I'm influenced by all of the music I listen to. However, for Hello Rainey I wanted to write acoustic pop tunes with a little piano-rock thrown in. A lot of influence came from early Dashboard Confessional. The piano and string influences came from Something Corporate/Jack's Mannequin and The Morning Of. Then all of the pop-y, synth-y stuff came from Owl City/Sky Sailing/Port Blue type groups.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I'd love to tour with Dashboard Confessional and Something Corporate. I feel like we would all draw a similar crowd, and their live shows are so amazing and cathartic.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Whatever people in that particular city like to eat. I like to soak up the local flavor.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
I'd like to think Hello Rainey has something unique to offer. I write catchy pop tunes with a fresh twist. Music is about connecting to people on an emotional level. I write music that means something to me -- not just a bunch of words that sound nice together.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
I'm not really a big sports guy, so I'd have to say someone super famous. Someone who revolutionized the game. Maybe Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky?
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
It would certainly be a long list, but at the top would be my amazing wife, my loving parents, and all of people who helped me get there. Oh, and AP.net of course ;)
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I'd change the structure of record labels. I know they're seen as these horrible entities that leach every dime from artists, and that's not really true. Having said that, they still don't operate in a way that's entirely beneficial to the artist. I'd like to see major record labels operate more like the indie labels that really care about and believe in the artists they sign instead of acting like a loan shark for bands.
10. Memorable tour experience?
The release party for the debut of Lifecycles was pretty amazing. We packed the venue with my closest friends and family and we had a big sing-a-long -- I'll never forget it.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
I've been visiting AP.net on a daily basis since I was in High School. Everyone on staff provides a unique insight into the scene and the music industry. Now we're all getting older and I feel like I've grown up with those who are still around, while all the fresh new faces are mirroring the new ideas and themes that are coming up in the industry. AP.net is more than just a community -- it's like my music hub.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
My favorite song to play (that I wrote) is "Words". It's really catchy and it means a lot to me. It makes me smile :)
My favorite song to play (that someone else wrote) is probably "Day Tripper" by the Beatles. I learned it when I was in Jazz Band in High School and it''s so much fun that I still play it to this day.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
It used to be Chicago, but now I live here so I guess I'd have to say Toronto. It's a beautiful city and it's so clean. Also, Scott Pilgrim took place there...
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Mall-Punk like Good Charlotte. After that I got into Punk Rock. Rancid will always have a special place in my heart.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The ability to manipulate time. If you could stop, fast forward and rewind time, there's nothing you couldn't do. It's the ultimate super power. There would be no need to turn invisible since you could just pause time, and there would be no need to fly because you could just fast forward until you got to wherever you were going. It's the ultimate super power.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Not really -- I'm pretty comfortable on stage. I just like to chat with friends and fans, grab a beer and check out whoever else is playing.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
I'm pretty open and talkative, so there's not much that people don't know about me. I really love A Goofy Movie -- that doesn't come up in conversation very often...
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Having come from a Broadcasting School this could be a very long answer. I'll keep it short, though. I think that the heyday of radio is behind us, but it's still a very powerful tool. The problem is it's based on localization. People listen to radio to find out what's going on in their town. Unfortunately, most radio stations focus on high dollar national acts for their music. If radio focused more on local acts in smaller markets, and regional/national acts in larger markets, it would be a better outlet for musicians.
Having said that, Hello Rainey has gotten a fair amount of publicity through local and college radio. This is where radio truly shines. Writing pop music doesn't hurt, either...
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Honestly, I don't have much spare time -- I go to work for 8 or 10 hours a day, write music, play shows, and manage Hello Rainey. I would honestly say that 90% of my day revolves around music. I'm a huge nerd though, so if I do find myself with some free time I'll probably spend it playing video games.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
I don't know -- I'm pretty good at video games. One time I beat the Simpsons Arcade Game -- that was a highlight of my youth.
Thanks for the posting the questionnaire guys! I'm actually playing a show at the Hard Rock Cafe tonight in Chicago (8pm, $5 cover), if anyone in the area is interested. Hope to see some AP.net'ers there!