The Family Rain are back. It was great to see them after that break. And they are back not only with two new songs, „Be My Avalanche” and „Radiator” - they are back with new, heavier sound. Their performance at The Lexington was incredible.
The Family Rain are a good example of a band that you will never have enough. Tell your friends about them and follow them on social media because they are on their way to release new songs and even more.
You have just released two new singles. How would you compare them to your first album and EP?
Ollie: I think it’s heavier. In that intertwining time when we had a break, you see, when we did the Voyager thing, which, I think, strips the colour from what we do as The Family Rain, I think we simplified our sound to straightforward rock, which was something we were missing in our lives.
Will: Yeah, heavier. I think we just wanted to focus on what the strongest points were, you know, as a band. When we looked through all of our songs, especially live, people wanted big, heavy songs. So we just wanted to build it up as that thing. I think we really enjoyed doing that.
Your songs seem to be personal. So how does your writing process look like?
Will: So, it sometimes starts with just one word or one lyric and then working back. A lot of the time recently we’ve been going to these special places and basically, we keep the titles of the songs, we were just keeping to back them up and up and up. Then when it comes to writing a song, you think what does this word mean to you right now at this point of your life and try to put the story which means something. A lot of the time, me and Tim, we write these lyrics. It is always fun to work backwards on something which has a meaning for you.
Tim: And tells how you are feeling at that time.
Are you going to release a new album?
Will: That is the plan.
Ollie: I think the plan is, a few more singles this year and hopefully drop the album next year.
Will: We have, like, seven songs recorded, so we just need to record a few more and then just release a few more singles.
Ollie: Also build everything back, because it has been a while. Remind people what we are and introduce the way we are going with it.
Will: This year is just about getting up and up.
How do you feel with performing live after that break?
Tim: I think it was a very refreshing thing to do. People so often, especially in this industry are expected to just play. If you are not playing then recording. If not recording than playing. Everything has to be documented. People are putting their selfies on Instagram or twitter 24/7. The main thing which made us want to step back a little bit for a while was to regain real enjoyment and direction to the whole project. It made us fall in love with what we did again. You need to step from something to appreciate it.
And we’ve been kinda strangling this whole thing for so long that, stepping back from it, for even six months, was to ask ourselve „hey, how are you feeling? Feeling good yet? Do you wanna get back in the room? No? Not yet? Let’s wait for a bit then” And we waited for a long time before we even stepped into rehearsing together. And obviously, when you step back into that rehearsal after that long time of not rehearsing, you just fall in love with each other, with the music.
Ollie: Which is the same for playing live. You get a hunger for it again. And then I think it comes across in the performance. You just get that renewed energy in what you’re doing.
Tim: When you are witnessing a band that has been touring for a year, which is still hungry, and then you see them touring with an album for three years, you need to step back.
Will: We just wanted to make sure that we are doing it because we are in love with doing it. The only reason why we are doing this is that we fucking want to do it and then some people want to see it.
Do you remember that moment when you realised „ I want to be a musician, this is what I want to do for a living”?
Ollie: AC/DC. My friend brought over his dad’s VHS tapes of AC/DC from 1991 or something. I just saw it and I was blown away by Angus Young. He is quite a short guy, as I was. I never reaaly knew what I could do in my life until I saw it.
Tim: And I think, It was the fact that he was in a school uniform. So like, coming back from school and watching Angus Young tear up the guitar in front of thousands of thousands of people. You think it is more achievable cause at the same time, you are also a schoolboy.
Will: Yeah, it was just about that time. We went to see Motorhead and it was like „This is a job.” Because you are being told by carrier advisers in the school that you can be a scientist or a doctor or lorry driver. They never tell you that you can be a rockstar because nobody thinks that you can do it. Just going for a concert and seeing people doing this for a living. They are people. We are people.
Dou you have your dream venue?
Will: It is not even that huge but I would love to headline Brixton. Sell it out, I’d love that.
Tim: From the outside, it looks cool if your name is up there next to the „sold out”. It would feel like an achievement.
Will: We have played there a couple of times as support but headlining it would be great.
Ollie: Weirdly this venue (The Lexington). A year ago I have played with a band „The Heavy”. I played the guitar for them. I kind of pictured the three of us playing there and selling it out. At that time it made us get back. Doing this tonight is not like a massive dream, but I envisioned that and now it’s realised.
Will: He came back to us with this idea and we did it. It is like a huge step.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Tim: Various, from song to song, to be honest. For the latest singles, we were listening to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age.
Ollie: For me, it is just anyone who, when they are playing live, lives it on the stage, puts everything into their performance. It could be AC/DC or Metallica.
Will: Then, melodically, The Beatles have always been a huge influence. As we were growing up we were listening to them a lot. The huge rock bands like Motorhead, Led Zeppelin.. that sort of stuff. Just trying to get a melody from The Beatles and make it a massive rock show.
Do You have a guilty pleasure song?
Will: I love Robbie Williams.
Ollie: You don’t even sound guilty about it. (laugh)
Tim: It is a karaoke go-to classic.
Will: Exactly, „Angels” by Robbie is my karaoke jam.
Tim: Who doesn’t like Shakira?
If you could choose anybody, with whom would you like to drink a cup of the tea?
Will: Keith Richards
Ollie: Yeah, Keith Richards will be good.
Tim: Paul McCartney
Will: Yeah he is still alive.
Tim: Exactly, he is available, we can go around the town, I think we would have a nice laugh and I could ask him about his stories.
Will: Yeah, it would be nice to pin him down for half an hour. I think that, for most of the people, you can’t talk more than 10 seconds. It would be nice to sit down with.
Ollie: Well, you did touch Keith Richards anyway.
Will: Yeah, you know, his shoulder.
Ollie: And then immediately get fraged down to the floor by security (laugh).
Do you have a favourite song to perform live?
Tim: I enjoy the new one.
Will: I would choose „Be My Avalanche” and the moment when you go to the big riff.
Tim: I kind of relearned the drums during the last three years. I stopped playing for, like, two years, so I came back and relearned them from a different angle. I enjoy the new way of playing, that is why I like the new one.
Ollie: I like „Every so Often” because we kind of change it slightly for live. It is more „punky”.
Do you want to add something:
Ollie: Thank you for sticking around for so long. When you are not playing for so long, you don’t know if anybody is even out there. We are pleasantly surprised at how many people are still there.
Tim: And for the record, we have never split up and came back again. We just simply stopped our social medial and the internet assumed that we split up.
Ollie: We are a family, we can’t split up.
Tim: Yeah, it is so good to say that. There are the bands which didn’t play for much longer between new songs.
The last one - how was it to be in a band with family?
Ollie: We are doing it well.
Will: It is good. The main thing about it is no secrets. That is it.
Ollie: Even when you argue you have everything open in the air.
Will: And there is no getting away, which is important in a band.
Ollie: Lifetime deal.
Interview and photos: Zuzanna Maja
Editor: Grzegorz Biały