Photo by Daniel Johnson

INTERVIEW: Rainstorm Brother

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Answering these questions on an airplane between DC and LA. Was just out there visiting my brother and his family. Tyler’s been out near El Paso working on our friend Madi’s next record, so I’ll answer these questions for both of us.

Can you talk to us more about your single “Drivin’”?

It’s one of the first tracks that Tyler and I worked on together. I’d been performing a version of it before, but the musical ideas and production he brought to it really meshed with the lyrics and the way I felt about the song.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

You could think of it as a belated offer of understanding to a friend who took his own life — trying to say, if I had known, maybe, just maybe I could have carried some of that. It’s also asking people to stop “Faking the weather” and be honest with each other about their darkness.

Would you call Pt. 1 a conceptual record?

Part One is just the first half of our full length record that will come out next year. Some singles from Part Two will start coming out in early 2019. It certainly has a thematic-through-line, but it wasn’t initially conceived as a conceptual record, we really worked on it song by song and then went back and split up Part One and Part Two.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process was very slow… It took us three years.

Sometimes I’d bring a tune and words, and Tyler would build out a track around it. Sometimes Tyler would have an idea for a sonic landscape, and I would write words and a melody over it. Sometimes we’d go back and forth between those approaches in a song. Most of the album was recorded at Tyler’s home studio, but then we went into Boulevard in Hollywood for a few of the tracks that needed more of a live energy.

What role does LA play in your writing?

LA is where I have lived for the last 16 years, so i think it plays a big role in the unconscious mood of the songs. I like the part of town I live in, its good for walking and it still has a roughness to it that makes it feel new all the time. Also the wilderness close to LA played a pivotal role in the album. The desert, the ocean, and the mountains all turn up multiple times in Rainstorm Brother songs.

You brought some special guests into this record – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

The “special guests” are all friends of ours that we often make music with around LA, so it was pretty natural that they would help out on the EP. Because of the time it took for us to make this record we had quite a few friends that got to play on it or help us out in the studio with mixing and things like that. people like Madison Cunningham, Justin Stanley, James McAlister, Darla Hawn, William Gramling, Jon Epcar, Dave Wilson, Dave Raven. I think we had a different drummer for each song.

What did they bring to the table?

They all brought their unique skill-sets and ideas. We have a really amazing musical community in here in LA.

What aspects of our society did you get to explore on this record?

This record deals with ideas of loss, absence, and suffering, and the importance of not bearing it all alone. It’s about being honest. it’s not really a commentary on society at the political or institutional level. Its about relationships, the real pain and also real joys of trying to love your friends. Trying to lift your friends up, and also about the people who have carried us.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are working on some one off dates for this fall, and hopefully a longer tour in the spring.

What else is happening next in Rainstorm Brother’s world?

We will be releasing a series of music videos to go with Part One, really excited about the directors and cinematographers that have worked with us to create these short films. and a remix album of the EP with some of our favorite artists reworking the six tracks. Then in 2019 we plan to release Part Two, and put out the full album on vinyl.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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