Q&A with Hot Chelle Rae

Published on August 14th, 2009

They are from Nashville but not quite country… Hot Chelle Rae is a young foursome ready to rule the world, rock out, and bring you along for the ride! These young men got a ton of sass, and the talent to back it up. Ryan Keith Follese on vocals, Nash Overstreet plays lead guitar, Ian Keaggy on the bass and younger brother Jamie Follese jams out on the drums. The group has recently signed with Jive Records, one of the industry’s most influential labels! Their first single “I like to Dance” sets the festive, funky tone, and hints at what we can expect from their pop/rock debut release, “Lovesick Electric.”

“We all learned how to harness the heartbreak and use it as ammunition for the creative cannon.” Says HCR

“Our musical style and essence comes from our love of the 80′s, dedication to writing as a craft, and parents that encouraged us to really do whatever we wanted! On “Lovesick Electric” you will hear songs that represent what we love, events that we have lived… by the end I hope that you just feel, after all, isn’t that really what this is about.”  Says Lead singer, Ryan.

On this record, a dream came true when the boys had the chance to work with producers Eric Valentine and Butch Walker, both whom have created chart topping hits for Pink, Katie Perry and The All American Rejects, to name a few.

“I appreciate each and every different level of success we achieve. Getting to work with Eric Valentine, and Butch Walker… they were almost the only producers we told Jive that we wanted to work with when they asked us. The reality of working with our #1 choices hit us like a ton of bricks!” Adds Nash.

Its no doubt the band is in good hands, their sophisticated & sharp sounds will have you take note! They were born with music in their DNA, they are young but bold and with infusing tunes, along side innovative rifts, guided by melodious foot-tapping lyrics, it’s only a matter of time before these four explode onto the scene.

Hot Chelle Rae ‘s frontman Ryan Keith Follese, & lead guitarist Nash Overstreet, took a time-out from touring; to talk music, tattoos, and, shout-outs to rapper T-Pain. They even gave out some insightful advice on how to make it in the industry!

Check It:

Veronica Barriga: Hot Chelle Rae! What does the name mean, where did it come from?

Ryan Keith Follese (RK): Hot Chelle Rae…It came from a crazy fan and a random set of words. Chelle Rae is the name of a girl pretending to be an online model and pretending to help us with “music business connections.”

That’s actually hilarious…

Nash Overstreet: We thought it sounded cool, original, and just unique enough to take the shape of the music.

VB: How old are you guys? What were your lives like before signing to Jive?

Nash: Ian-22, Jamie-17, Nash-23, R.K.-22. We have all been playing music our whole lives, and known that’s what we wanted to do. Before hooking up with Jive, we had been in different incarnations of what is now Hot Chelle Rae. Our main focus was having a great product. We sacrificed the constant touring that we were told we “should” have been doing, for the time we felt necessary to craft great songs. We couldn’t be happier looking back. We’re very proud of this record, and hope everyone will love it as much as we do.

RK: We played a lot of shows but really understood that we wouldn’t get anywhere without A-list material. So we wrote nearly 60 songs and from 20, picked the best 11. It was tough, but I think that we benefited from it so much and I believe the future will show that.

VB: What do you hope people and fans take from your music?

Nash: A light hearted energy, a needed moment of encouragement, a song to fall in love to, or just a loud, blaring chorus to sing along to… Preferably at the top of your lungs!!

VB: What has been your “I’ve made it moment!?”

Nash: I hope I never have that moment. I never want to stop working to get better.

RK: Haha, our “I’ve made it moment”… I believe is yet to arrive. I don’t want to count our chickens before they have hatched! But getting a deal in this particular time in music was pretty killer.

VB: I noticed your tattoos, pick a favorite, and why?

Nash: That’s like picking a favorite child!… No, I don’t have any kids. My left arm, a dove, light, clouds, and a cross, is probably my favorite. It’s just so vibrant and colorful. Tim Bobeck is the artist we all go to at Lone Wolf in Nashville. He’s incredible.

RK: My favorite that I have is probably the one on my chest. It says ” Dream with my eyes open, Sleep when I’m dead, Love who my hearts chosen, Conquer what lies ahead.”

VB: Who are some of your major musical influences, why?

NASH: All of us bring something very different to the table.  I have always been a fan of groovy, funky feel-good music like Michael Jackson, and Prince; or great songwriting like Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, and Butch Walker.

RK: Also, Queen, Journey, The Beatles, and country music. I believe we all respect them as incredible singers and incredible writers. As for country, that’s where we learned how to write lyrics.

VB: If you could duet or work with anyone, who would it be?

NASH: I’m sending this one out to T-Pain… You are incredible, and working with you on the Taylor Swift track was amazing; but I’m still pushing to get you to get on a song with us!!! Haha (Don’t think we don’t tease Jive about it regularly,) Justin Timberlake… get in on this with us!

RK: Freddie Mercury for so many reasons, vocals, writing, arrangements, etc!!!

VB: Describe yourselves in 3 words….. GO!

"They like to dance"

"They like to dance"

NASH: Stop At Nothing

RK: Hot Chelle Rae!

Clever, he is….

VB: What is your song writing process like?

NASH: It usually began with, a vocal hook, guitar riff, or bass line. Then we’ll grab acoustic guitars, and get the lyrics right. After we get in the right key, tempo, etc… We work it up as a band and “arrange” it.

RK: No rules to our writing process, could start with a great title… But the process is very critical and we double and triple check everything that we do for the best possible outcome.

VB: What has been the best advice your parents have given you about the industry? (Parents are award-winning songwriters, and a Grammy nominated guitarist.)

NASH: Write songs, all the time. It’s a talent, but also a skill. You can’t go out and run a marathon if you don’t train. Unless you exercise writing, you are not going to be your best.

RK: Honestly, when I encountered the feeling of heartbreak that my parents warned me about they just said, “Don’t give up” as cheesy as that is. If you follow it, amazing stuff can happen. They also said sadness was fuel for the fire.

VB: Who is the leader of the pack, what was the last thing the group had a disagreement about?

RK: I believe as an aspiring front man it’s my job to lead, but I think we all have leadership qualities and thats what makes the group function. Everyone brings something to the table that the other can’t. The last thing that we argued about was probably where to eat! Haha. This is a relationship and we are all like brothers.

NASH: We’re very fortunate to all have similar likes, and dislikes musically. I can’t imagine being in a band and suggesting something, only to have someone else HATE the idea. It’s R.K.’s job to connect with the audience. I have always been into making the musical arrangements the best they can be. Ian will come up with stuff no one else could ever dream of, and Jamie… if a beat is not the most original thing you’ve heard, I’m willing to bet it’ll still feel better!

VB: How has growing up in Nashville impacted your musical approach?

NASH: Nashville teaches you that you don’t have the luxury of being mediocre in any area. You have to be a great songwriter, amazing musician, put on the best live show in town, and be down to earth. The scene is harsh, but it makes the end result even better.

RK: Raised the bar! When all of your friends are in great bands like (Luna Halo, Enjoy the Zoo) it really changes the material level and the approach to being in a band.

VB: The young ladies wanna know, what do you look for in a girlfriend?

NASH: The most important thing has got to be: being able to be yourself. Nothing feels better than relaxing, and (the girl) not trying to impress or put on a show.

RK: Being able to be cool with a musicians schedule is very important. Someone who can just chill and be happy, have a good time. I like long curly hair!

VB: What pointers would you give to struggling bands and songwriters?

NASH: Don’t settle for less than your best in anything you do. If you make a demo, make it great. If you play a show, and only one person shows up, make them have such an experience that they tell every single person they know that you’re worth seeing the next time around.  …Always look good.

RK: Hone your craft and don’t do music for the girls. Do it because you don’t have a choice.

Well said, oh wait….. One more thing:

NASH: We are all about great songs first. There are upbeat dance songs, hard-hitting rock anthems, and heartfelt ballads. Something for everyone, no matter what stage of life they’re in, or what they’re going through. Catchy lyrics, memorable bass lines, synthesizers, dance like drum beats, and a guitar lick here and there…. that about sums us up.

From Left: Nash, Jamie, RK, Ian

From Left: Nash, Jamie, RK, Ian

But don’t take our word for it: Check out, the single: “I like to Dance”

Click here for some sweet rockin sounds!

While your at it, make a video and post it on their official website : www.HotChelleRae.com


  1. Posted by Aubrey V on October 30th, 2009, 07:03 [Reply]

    Saw HCR in concert. I personally thought they were better then the main band. The guys are sweethearts, and RK’s tattoo is awesome! They really made the crowd move, and their music was top notch. Doesn’t help that they are all HOT, and close to the age’s of most of the audience. (I was suprised to find out Jamie was only 17.)

  2. Posted by Lauren on November 21st, 2009, 16:54 [Reply]

    I saw them in concert yesterday, and they were amazing! Not only are they extremely talented, they’re very nice. I talked to them and gave Ryan and Ian a hug (ahh they’re much hotter in person) and they signed my arm! I kind of expected them to be arrogant and snobby, or not have time for their fans. But I was wrong.

  3. Posted by Marina on December 10th, 2009, 13:29 [Reply]

    Thanks! I mean, Thanks!! I needed this. Love Hot Chelle Rae so bad.

  4. Posted by Chris on June 26th, 2010, 14:51 [Reply]

    Who got the kickback for this review? Last time I saw these guys play live they practically got boo’d off the stage. Sound is awful and cliche.

  5. Posted by Sara on August 7th, 2010, 22:13 [Reply]

    I’m not sure what concert you were at, Chris, but it definitely wasn’t HCR. The rocked the crowd last night, and I agree with Aubrey. They were better than the main band.

  6. Posted by Bree on August 29th, 2010, 13:48 [Reply]

    I agree with all the girls here… they’re great guys and a fantastic band! And all REALLY hot ;) haha

  7. Posted by Maddie on October 28th, 2010, 14:25 [Reply]

    Im going over to their house tomorrow.. its going to be fun hanging out with them be jealousssss haha

  8. Posted by Ashkat on May 21st, 2011, 13:56 [Reply]

    I love the site and the singers. I think in the pictures the names of the guys should be under the guys. Thank you

  9. Posted by Destiny on June 1st, 2011, 07:51 [Reply]

    They Are Really Cute And I Cant Bielive They Like The Beatles!:D They Are AMAZING! (:

  10. Posted by Quwana on June 14th, 2011, 18:12 [Reply]

    I LOVE YOU ALL SOOO FREAKING MUCH!!!and I love the beatles!:D

  11. Posted by Amber on June 30th, 2011, 13:35 [Reply]

    I <3 you Ryan Keith Follese <3

  12. Posted by Tahamina on July 3rd, 2011, 19:08 [Reply]

    I agree that they are really AWESOME, but I never went to their concerts and I’ve listened to their music… It’s out of this world!!! Too bad because by the time I’m 20, they’d all be around the age of 25-30! But they are cute. :) Keep doing what your here in this world for… to ROCK ON!!!

  13. Posted by Megan on July 11th, 2011, 06:38 [Reply]

    I saw them in concert yesturday! I wish they were the main band tho…they should’ve been! They were amazinggg! ANNNNDDD RYAN WAS THE SEXIEST MAN EVER. He had on suspendersss…:) <3333omg. I have a new obsession

  14. Posted by Megan Louis on August 6th, 2011, 07:30 [Reply]

    hello my name is Megan and i went to Six Flags St. Louis 2011 to see Hot Chelle Rae’s concert! i bought front row seats! Ryan Follese did an AMAZING job<3 He is the best singer out of the entire world.. NO JOKE! he amazed me and introduced me to all of the new song(: after the show i got to run up and hug him and also get a picture with him! the best part was when i made a twitter… i uploaded the picture of me and him and he achally replyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that left me shaking for HOURS! i accidently told him he was MY biggest fan! haha i was soo nervous to be talking to the greatest man on earth! i love them and i achally started bawling whenever he replyed: "o im reading this" on my tweet<3 I LOVE HIM TO DEATH AND HE ROCKED THE SUSPENDERS!;P

  15. Posted by Jazmine on August 6th, 2011, 17:09 [Reply]

    Ian is so sexy , sex on legs deadset and ryan omg hes tattoo sooo sexy use two are just so sexy! :’) use should come to australia :)

  16. Posted by catalina on August 10th, 2011, 11:24 [Reply]

    Omg!!ryan is so cute!!!!i luv his tattoos:)<3

  17. Posted by Ash on August 19th, 2011, 00:55 [Reply]

    Where I come from, “Hot Chelle Rae” means “Hot guys” :P

  18. Posted by lizbeth on August 20th, 2011, 15:59 [Reply]

    OMG Jamie is so cute!!!!&&’n i Luv his hair!!!:)

  19. Posted by EricInPA on October 26th, 2011, 08:37 [Reply]

    funny how all the females ‘love them and their music’..I wouldn’t go to their concert if it was free..their music is horrible..’tonite, tonite’?? wtf is that song about?? being annoying? ok..I get that, it’s very annoying..Chris above saying they got booed off the stage is what I’d expect.

  20. Posted by EricInPA on October 27th, 2011, 05:32 [Reply]

    Hopefully these guys fade away soon..the music sucks..and the radio station that we’re stuck w/at work plays ‘tonight,tonight’ every other freakin’ hour..makes me wanna stab a pencil in my ear.

  21. Posted by Alex on November 4th, 2011, 15:27 [Reply]

    Ok, I understand that many people don’t like them, and thats fine. But they have tons of fans too that love and adore them and their music. If they were practically boo’d off the stage, then they were either not well known there or that area just doesn’t like the kind of music. But everybody has their own opinion. You don’t have to like them and if you don’t then don’t listen to them. I’m sure if you asked, your work would change the station to another one close by. But please don’t say that you hope they will fade away soon. I highly doubt they will from the fans they do have. Again, you don’t have to like their music, but as well, many people love it.

  22. Posted by Amber on December 21st, 2011, 14:05 [Reply]

    okay all u dudes out there think they’re horrible, but thats cuz y’all r dudes and mean dudes at that! i bet u y’all can’t do any better than them or b any hotter than ryan so shut ur stupid fat mouths cuz if u ain’t got nothing good to sayy don’t open ur stupid mouth! especially when we r tlking about hot chelle rae! and i’d b verry willing to cuss out whoever boo’d them off stage IF that even happened which i scencerely doubt and i bet they made that up! I LOOOOOVVVVEEE YOOOOUUUU RYAN! U R HOTTT AND SEXY! STAY HOTTTT!

  23. Posted by Amber on December 21st, 2011, 14:10 [Reply]

    I LOOOOVVVEEE YOOOOOUUUU RYAN KEITH FOLLESE! U R HOTTT AND SEXY AND U NO IT!! HAHA ACTUALLY U PROBABLY DON’T CUZ PPL THINK U LOOK GAY WHICH U DON’T UR ACTUALLY THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE!! ohhh and i love u matthew watson<3 oh and how come ryan was born in Los Angeles CA and jamie was supposedly born in Nashivlle TN?

  24. Posted by Erika Ward (@ErikinaDaisy) on December 22nd, 2011, 19:36 [Reply]

    Woah! If they debuted in 2005 does that mean Jamie was like 11??? How is that possible??

  25. Posted by CeCe on December 23rd, 2011, 22:17 [Reply]

    Amber,i was born in nashville TN and both of my brothers were born in georgia my parents were visiting georgia when they were born it was probobly something like that.

  26. Posted by CeCe on December 23rd, 2011, 22:22 [Reply]

    btw i know jamie and ryan (mostly jamie) and jamie is the sweetest thing ever!!!!!!! hes awesome <3 jamie christian follese <3

  27. Posted by Emmie on December 24th, 2011, 15:25 [Reply]

    Omigosh! I love Ryan! So hot and seems nice and sweet! I love their music and them and am begging my mom to take me to their next concert in my city which is in two months XD <3 Hot Chelle Rae

  28. Posted by Jessie on December 29th, 2011, 12:04 [Reply]


  29. Posted by Brenna on January 4th, 2012, 22:40 [Reply]

    <3 Jamie :) i have been slowly trying to save up slowly to go to one of their concerts! i want to go so bad :( I love hot chelle rae ^^
    Lol Rae is my middle name spelt the same way and everything!

  30. Posted by Natalie Bridges on January 13th, 2012, 22:03 [Reply]

    oh yeah

  31. Posted by Melissa on January 16th, 2012, 14:30 [Reply]

    For those who have been to their concerts, do they swear on stage? I want to take my 13 year old son to their concert, but I want to know what to expect. Some artits swear in their personal lives but not on stage. (Maroon 5 didn’t, but The All-American Rejects were shooting F-bombs left and right.) I know my son hears it at school, but he intentionally doesn’t hang out with the kids who swear. We all love HCR’s music!

  32. Posted by Rozi on January 21st, 2012, 12:47 [Reply]

    @chris @EricinPA

    Ur just jealous because they’re guys who wear skinny jeans! Lolz! XD

  33. Posted by SkylarHickersom on February 8th, 2012, 20:24 [Reply]

    I went to their concert! They came right to my town in Oklahoma in Downtown Tulsa at the Cain’s Ballroom! It was amazing and FREE! Ryan was wearing suspenders and I caught a yellow Tortex guitar pic that he threw out to the crowd <3

  34. Posted by Briana on February 25th, 2012, 09:57 [Reply]

    OMG I LOVE HOT CHELLE RAE!!!!! I saw their concert on Wednesday in Anaheim and they were AMAZING! We were litteraly 2 ft ftom the stage.. My friend caught his glasses!!! And of course he was wearing suspenders! And I got them to sign my shoe! I AM IN LOVE WITH RYAN <3

  35. Posted by Kayyy on February 27th, 2012, 01:18 [Reply]

    OMG YOU GUYS COMPLETE ME :) ) Ryan, ur such a hottie;)) luvvvv u all!

  36. Posted by Patience on March 2nd, 2012, 11:46 [Reply]

    OMG I love you guys! but do you think you could do a concert in Missouri I want to go to one of your concerts but one dont have the money and i never heard of you doing one in missouri. you rock and i would really apriciat it if you did one kind of low priced so i could go thanks my new dream is to meet you guys in person! and i am a figure skater that wants to go to the olympics

  37. Posted by Taylor on August 17th, 2012, 12:00 [Reply]

    Ryan. Keith. Follese. Is. A. Babe… Nuff said :)


Comment guidelines, edit this message in your Wordpress admin panel