Rainchild is fast becoming rock’s favorite band from the South. Hailing from the Lone Star state they have found an international audience as radio stations across the globe spin the fan favorite hit “Watershed”. Connecting with their audience through all aspects of social media the guys have embraced the new industry standard of being renaissance men. Sponsored by D&A Guitar Gear from heydna.com, Rainchild will be spending most of the year on tour bringing their unique sound to a city near you. We caught up with Dustin, Jason, Matt and Ty as they gear up for back-to-back Friday shows in their home state of Texas.
EV: Welcome to Entertainment Vine! To begin, let’s talk about how Rainchild came into existence and how you each became involved with the band.
Dustin: We were just some kids who wanted to play music, but a whole lot of life had to happen before the band could really come together. It took about 10 years of the lessons that only life can teach you, and the pieces just started to fall together in the right places about 5 years ago. I didn’t really discover my ability to sing until later in life, and I finally just decided to do it. It has become the best way I can think of to express myself.
Jason: Dustin and I have been collaborating since the mid 90’s but really did not get serious in the music scene until Matt and Ty (who we met through a mutual friend) introduced us in 2012.
Matt: The former bass player was a close friend and former band mate from another group I was playing with at the time. When the drum position opened up, he contacted me immediately, and within a week we were playing a show in Dallas.
Ty: The former bass player had left the band right before the video shoot for “Watershed”, I stepped in for the video without knowing a single note of the song, but was quickly welcomed as the newest (and youngest) member of Rainchild.
EV: Dustin, I love that you had to audition to be the singer even though you were already part of the band. How did that all come about and what inevitably pushed you up to the mic?
Dustin: I was the lead guitarist during my early musical career, and I did a little sporadic singing here and there, but I was unsatisfied with the caliber of singers that we were auditioning at the time. So, I decided to take a crack at it. We auditioned a few more after me, but it became obvious that I was the right man for the job.
EV: Since you and Jason have been playing in bands together since high school, how has your sound evolved over the years?
Dustin: I first started in music playing old folk, jazz and blues stuff. Over time, I’ve become much more technical in my playing and singing, and gotten much more powerful in my vocals.
Jason: We started more as a jam band with 7 minute songs, until our producer Jim Finley got involved in our project. Since then we have been writing material in a more radio friendly way to compete on a larger level of rock music.
EV: Matt, what was your experience like merging into an existing band?
Matt: I was welcomed into Rainchild like a brother, as if I had been a member of the band the whole time. Learning all of the music took a little time, but Jason and Dustin encouraged me to give it my own style and feel.
EV: You each bring something unique and special to the band. Do you find that your varied musical backgrounds and influences help to define Rainchild’s current sound?
Dustin: Yes, because I am pulling from a lot of different influences that I grew up on. I wasn’t your typical kid, and my “musical education” was very extensive.
Jason: I definitely do. Most of us are trained musicians either playing in band or orchestra in grade school. Also, having different tastes of music has helped us evolve our sound and draw influence from our favorite acts.
Matt: Absolutely. Although I’ve been playing for over 20 years now, and have studied professionally at every level, I still tend to go back to my roots of grunge rock, since that was the first type of music I really got into as a kid. We blend all of our individual backgrounds to create our own signature sound.
Ty: I started out as a drummer, then picked up guitar and eventually moved on to bass. I’m the only one in the band who is self-taught, so coming into the band I still had a lot to learn. The rest of the guys honed me into the musician I am today, and I am able to pull from my metal background to add my own style into our music and shows.
EV: What specific roles do you play when it comes to touring, recording and the basics of business?
Dustin: I’m usually the designated driver while on tour, plus I handle the artistic direction of the band.
Jason: My responsibilities fall more on booking shows/tours, collaborating with our publicist and radio campaign manager, paying the band bills, etc.
Matt: I handle the sound engineering at shows, and I’m usually the person everyone comes to bounce ideas around.
Ty: I handle most of the social media and advertising, getting our name out there for more people.
EV: Speaking of social media, how do you find balance with it being the direct line to your fans, but also your main marketing tool?
Jason: Social Media has been a great tool for all bands, but I do not feel it should replace grass roots campaigning. As far as directing fans it is second to none. Dustin will plug our website rainchildofficial.com along with social media addresses and fans at the concert will use their phones and follow us from there.
Ty: As one of my duties in the band, I handle the Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Periscope accounts, and am usually the one updating the shows, posting pictures and videos, etc. This is a great way to get in touch with our fans directly, especially in this high tech age where all of these networks are available right at everyone’s fingers.
EV: Periscope is still a fairly new addition to the social media world. What can fans expect from the Rainchild account?
Ty: We’re still working on putting together our Periscope feed, but soon we will be able to offer some live feeds at shows, and maybe some behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s another great way to get fans involved in whatever is happening right now.
EV: I love your Music Mondays on YouTube. It’s a great way to play around with different musical genres while showcasing your versatility. What are your favorite songs that you have covered?
Dustin: “Mad World” and “Come Together”.
Jason: I am a die-hard Alice In Chains fan, so for me it would have to be “Would”.
Matt: “Roadhouse Blues”, we occasionally play it live and it’s always a fun one.
Ty: “Hallelujah”, it’s what I always show people who ask about Dustin’s voice.
EV: Yeah, “Hallelujah” is my favorite too. How long does it take you to prepare for Music Mondays?
Dustin: We discuss song options, and once we decide it takes about a week to get it all prepared. We try to choose music from all genres and styles, and think a little outside the box to find stuff that the fans wouldn’t expect. I’ll record multiple songs at a time, then see which ones are the best and use those.
EV: “Hey Jude” is a great example of how you have been able to blend your own style into the performance. Are there any songs that have really tested your vocal range, Dustin?
Dustin: “Hey Jude” was a bit challenging, but I tend to take the songs and twist them to fit my style and range. If anything, Alice In Chains was very testing, the vocals there are always in a higher range and very intense.
EV: You have the perfect raspy rocker’s voice. What vocal exercises do you use to keep your voice strong and healthy?
Dustin: I do mostly traditional vocal exercises and warm-ups, and I don’t drink or smoke.
EV: I don’t hear much of your accent when you are singing. I grew up in the South so I know a thing or two about trying to mute an accent. Has this been something that you’ve specifically worked on, or does it come naturally?
Dustin: It comes naturally, occasionally you can hear my southern twang in certain phrases in some of our songs. For the most part, I’m more concerned with the notes than the accent of my voice when I’m singing so I guess it’s just a natural thing.
EV: Anatomy 1/3 introduced us to “Watershed”, “Wings” and “Again” so what do you have in store for your follow up EPs?
Jason: The next song slated to release early 2016 is titled “Common Cents”. We will be doing a radio campaign and a music video as well with this track.
Dustin: “Common Cents” was a song I wrote after a band break-up. The ‘Cents’ is a reference to my ex-girlfriend’s name. I thought it was a fun play on words, but part of the mystery is in wondering the meaning of it. We also will be releasing a 5-song acoustic EP that we wrote over the course of a week with our producer Jim Finley. We flew out to L.A. a few months later to record the songs, after a few tweaks and it should be ready for release in 2016.
EV: What can fans expect from the next two videos as the Anatomy 1/3 story continues?
Dustin: The story will continue to get darker and darker. It is a decent into heartbreak and the roads that many of us unfortunately end up on.
EV: You all have raised a lot of money and awareness for different charities that support the troops. How did you become involved with these charities, and do you have a favorite one that you would like to encourage our readers to check out?
Jason: A lot of them have come from Concert Promoters here in Houston that thought highly enough about us to be involved. We are not particular to any one charity, but feel if we are available it is a great thing to be a part of.
EV: Last question, what is the most embarrassing song that you sing along with while driving alone in the car? It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone (they’ll just have to read it).
Jason: Haha. I find myself singing along to songs that I do not particularly like, but cannot seem to escape. One for me that I have been singing along to is “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.
Matt: I sing along to pretty much anything I hear when I’m driving, whether it’s Slayer or Miley Cyrus.
EV: That happens to me as well. And, I had a feeling that someone might mention Miley.
Thank you guys so much for hanging out with Entertainment Vine. We can’t wait for the next Music Monday and your upcoming EPs. All the best!
Jason: Thank you for the opportunity and we cannot wait to share more songs and videos with you in 2016!
*For our readers in the Texas and Louisiana areas you can catch Rainchild at their upcoming shows listed below:
March 4th at The Center Stage in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
March 12th at The Hawg Shop Bar & Grill in Houston, Texas.
April 30th with David Allan Coe at the 18th St Pier, Bar & Grill in San Leon, Texas.
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