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!
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!
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.
But don’t take our word for it: Check out, the single: “I like to Dance”
While your at it, make a video and post it on their official website : www.HotChelleRae.com