We sent George Samuel down to Concorde 2 in Brighton to catch up with the Walter brothers, otherwise known as The Family Rain.
With their debut album ‘Under The Volcano’ landing in February next year (not to mention having recently supported the likes of Jake Bugg, Miles Kane and Biffy Clyro) it was hard to know where to start with The Family Rain. Nevertheless, we set out to find out more about what inspires this hardworking Bath trio…
Hey guys! So the new album is out at the beginning of next year (‘Under the Volcano’ due for release on 03/02/2014), what can we expect from it?
Will: We’re just really excited about finally getting out there. We started recording it almost a year ago and we got into the habit of just writing songs all the time; when we’d send them to the label, they’d go “that’s gotta go on it, and that’s gotta go on it.” But it’s quite a mixed bag compared to what’s out there at the moment. The singles are more of the rock style of what we do.
Tim: There’s a few things on there that people wouldn’t be expecting and we wanted to experiment with it a bit, push the boundaries of a three piece so there’s some creative sounds.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the artwork?
Tim: So essentially we sort of pictured like a shrine, like the Mexican Day of the Dead shrine, and we wanted to put loads of stuff in it from our house from when we were kids, pictures of our family and stuff. Then there’s also an item on there from each song, so maybe it’ll be like a lyric for example. Some of them aren’t that obvious but some of them are really obvious like there is a song called binoculars, so there’s a pair of binoculars! But basically we wanted to make it as interesting as possible.
Will: There was definitely a want for it to be a physical thing like an actual photo as opposed to a made graphic.
Tim: We came up with the idea and the team that worked with us smashed it, couldn’t be happier with it.
What about the inspiration behind the music in general?
Will: It’s pretty much everything we like, from 80’s hip hop to The Beatles, to The Stones to The Black Keys. We didn’t consciously do it but we listened to a lot of different styles of music anyway. There’s some bands and songs that you wouldn’t necessarily think we would listen to but we like to think they’re chucked into the pot and mixed round; then we get that like home-brand of soup.
Tim: It tastes kind of fruity!
You’ve got a lot of different style and influences in there.
Will: Yeah, It’s more of a thing of enjoying ourselves because we didn’t want to be confined to a certain genre and have to write music that sounded like that.
Tim: It’s the same thing as the album, we wanted to push it as far as it would go just to make it sound fun.
Will: And make sure we’re enjoying ourselves.
The Family Rain’s ‘Under The Volcano’ lands on the 3rd of February 2014. You can pre-order it right here.
What was the first album you ever bought?
Tim: You know what it was, was it that Wheatus?
Will: I think it might have been Wheatus…
Tim: We were like 14 and that song came out and we bought that album. It’s not a cool one.
Will: I think it was like Now 10 or Now 45.
Tim: It’s now up to like Now 162.
Will: I probably still listen to both of those now!
What other sorts of music did you listen to growing up?
Will: All we listened to growing up was the Rolling Stones and The Beatles because our Dad would put it on.
Tim: It was his vinyl collection so it was like Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and stuff like that; The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkle. We were brought up on pretty good music and then we’ve just expanded our horizons and just listen to anything we want really.
Are there any bands you could recommend listening to?
Tim: Darlia are on tour with us and they’re great. It’s really good because they slotted straight on to this tour from the first night. They’re gonna be good lads and it’ll be most fun ever going round the country with them.
Will: That’s our hot tip.
You’ve supported Biffy Clyro, Miles Kane and Jake Bugg. What was that like?
Will: Well the Biffy one was incredible because that was in Ibiza Rocks and they couldn’t have been more accommodating.
Tim: Apparently they chose the support so we were really honoured with that.
Will: And the Miles Kane one was an absolute party tour and it was just a lot of fun. The Jake Bugg one was like our first experience of a tour that big, it was about 3,000 seaters every night and it felt like you were on a bigger ship. It just took longer to get to know people and we didn’t know people on such a personal level like the Miles tour.
Tim: They were all just really good tours for us to get on.
Will: It helps draw people to your own shows.
I did see you on the Miles tour actually at the Portsmouth Pyramids Centre.
Will: That was a good show that. But we literally haven’t stopped since then.
Tim: Because the day after the Miles one, we started the Jake one and then the next day after the Jake one we started this one.
Will: It was quite a long night; I don’t know if you heard the cover we did of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’ but we recorded it from about 9 o’clock in the evening to about 4:35-ish in the morning the night before that gig because we didn’t have any other time. We knew we were gonna be hitting the road and we didn’t want to jump in the studio for two hours so we’d had no sleep at all and then we had to go out and do our first show, but we pulled it off. The cover was really fun to do because it wasn’t near what we do and we wanted to pick something that we could experiment with and bring our own sound to.
What is it like having your own tour now?
Tim: It’s just a chance to show off. You have to play it down a little when you’re supporting. It’s not your crowd and if you came out and try to make out that you’re the star then you just come across as slightly strange. Its good to do a full on hour long set too.
Will: That’s the main benefit because with the support slots, we only get about half an hour and we’re stoked to just get out and be able to play everything from the record and more. It’s a much more enjoyable thing because when you play for twenty-five minutes, you get into it and then you go off stage; whereas when you get to do the longer sets you can lose yourself into it and really feel the vibe. Then you’ve still got about seven more songs to play that you can absolutely wallop.
What are your opinions on music streaming like Spotify?
Will: We were saying the other day, the way the world is gonna go is you don’t ever actually own anything. It’s a sad position for it to go to. Nobody is gonna own physically anything. You won’t have to buy records anymore because you can just get Spotify. Personally for us we want to just be a live touring band so we won’t be affected by it. I just hope everyone starts buying vinyl now and it has a free download code.
Tim: We are gonna start releasing ours on vinyl…
Will: Which is amazing because I remember being real young and picking up a vinyl and thinking this is the dream to one day have a big old vinyl so it will be a nice day when we finally get to hold a physical copy. It’s like you’re actually holding the music.
And what about the future for the band?
Will: We are just real happy with the progression over the past year and if we can just keep on this upward slope it’s all good. We are in no rush to headline Reading, but as long as it happens one day it’s all good.
Tim: This has been a crazy, hectic year and I think when the album comes out, it will probably get even crazier. Mostly because we’ll then do the whole thing all over again!
Will: We’re looking forward to embracing the business, otherwise it will be a bit scary.
Finally can we see you in any Blue Corner Store gear anytime soon?
Yeah sure, we can do that!
Thanks guys! You can pre-order The Family Rain’s ‘Under The Volcano’ before its release on the 3rd of February 2014, right here.
Words by George Samuel.