Hot Chelle Rae’s been on the road with Justin Bieber and it sounds like things are really heating up for the young pop band. We had a chance to sit down with vocalist/guitarist Ryan Follese, his brother and drummer Jamie Follese, guitarist/vocalist Nash Overstreet and bassist Ian Keag. They opened up to us about life on tour with the Biebs, their upcoming third studio album and the crazy things they’ve seen on their way to the top of the pop game.
Read on to find out about some of the guy’s adventures!
What are the dynamics like touring with Justin Bieber and Mike Posner? Do you guys get to hang out with each other during downtime?
Well, Mike was on the tour up to Canada and one show in Detroit but he’s not anymore. We’re label-mates and we’ve known each other for awhile so we’ve hung out and written some songs and worked together and we kicked it on his bus after shows. Mike is hands down the nicest person we’ve ever met in pop music. For this upcoming album that we’re doing, we wrote at least two and a half songs [with Mike] and they all were just easy and fun. We’ve gone out a couple times to the after parties and hung out with Justin and his crew, it’s a good time. There’s not much to complain about when you’re performing for 15,000-20,000 people.
That sounds awesome. So, give me one sentence to describe each of your personalities- the only catch is that the other band members have to give the description for each individual.
JF: I’m going to just totally do a cop- out right now and say Ryan [Follese] is my brother and that makes this easy.
Aw, give me a little more here. As your brother what’s something really important that he imparts to your life?
JF: In one sentence, this is really difficult. Um, he makes living life on the road feel like I’m at home.
IK: Alright I’ll just do everybody. Um, Nash is absolutely the most outgoing person in our group. Really ties in all the different parties and groups of people we’re involved with and like makes friends with them and that’s a really important piece of the equation. Ryan, obviously lead singer and a great leader in the group, genuinely cares about what we are all in need of, or doing or lacking at any given time. Jamie is relaxed, quiet but cool- kind of like the little brother I never had. As a team I think we all work really well together.
How was the band formed? How did you guys come together?
NO: In the womb.
RF: We all were quadruplets. No, I met Nash in a music store which is ironic but he was working at a music store and I was just like buying and we were both doing solo stuff and started working together. Nash and Ian have been friends since forever, their parents were friends and ironically Ian didn’t even play the bass when he joined but he picked it up. All the while Jamie started playing drums and growing up and getting better and better and by the time he was about 15 he graduated high school and was allowed to join the band and go on the road. We got a record deal shortly after Jamie joined and we just played for years and here we are.
What was the inspiration for your top hit to date “Tonight, Tonight”?
We wrote that song with some songwriters that we were working on the last album with in LA and it’s like, everyone wants to ignore whatever is stressing them out and just get to the fun. So “Tonight, Tonight” became this anthem, like when we’re at a concert, like [fans] are in the moment right then and there and they’re screaming the lyrics and can identify with almost everything we’re singing about, except for looking like Zack Galifianaki.
So you guys have done a lot of collaborative work. What’s it like working with Carly Rae Jepsen and Jesse McCartney?
NO: Well we’re going to tour with Carly and we’ve done several shows together. We haven’t collaborated with her, we’ve done stuff with Demi Lovato and the New Boys and Bei Major.
IK: I think it’s all different for the creative process for the artist. Like rappers and singers are different but with Jesse McCartney that’s much more of a writing- as far as collab’ing- it’s awesome. He’s wicked talented and it’s really cool when an artist is not just someone who can sing or rap but can write and you get in a room with them and they challenge you to be better and it really brings it out of you.
RF: I mean that’s one of the coolest things about being where we are and achieving it, it puts us in a category with people that we respected and admired for their talent and now we’re like hanging out and we can work with them and then you get like a weird little kind of reality check moment when you’re in the studio– like we’ve worked with Gavin Degraw and Mike Posner and all these artists whose music we respect and it’s just so cool to be working with them. It’s rewarding.
NO: It’s also cool to hear their voice in- person, like when we were writing with Gavin and he was laying down the vocal demos it was just so awesome to hear.
Yeah, Gavin’s got an awesome voice. Where do you guys see the band in, say, 5 years?
NO: I hope that we would be playing arenas at that point. We want to be larger than life. We love what we do and we just want to reach as many people [internationally] as we can and keep challenging ourselves to get better and get bigger and get more fans and make our already loyal fans happy- continue to grow with us as we grow.
RF: Yeah, I mean the coolest thing about this Believe tour is not only the fans and the amount of people we’re playing for but the crew. Justin’s whole camp has been really gracious and kind of helped us way more than they needed to or should.
Any celebrity crushes?
JF: Well actually Miley Cyrus who is just beautiful as always and the new look, I’m really into it.
RF: And you like, uh, Matt Damon.
JF: Yeah, he’s my man crush 100%. No, but Miley’s new haircut is pretty sweet.
NO: Lets see, celebrity crushes. I’ve always had a crush on the Olsen twins since I was 5. “Full House,” got me there.
RF: Man, it’s just hard to pick. I bounce around daily on my choice but today I will go with Olivia Wilde.
IK: I’m gonna go with Emma Watson
Tell me about the craziest thing that’s happened on tour so far.
NO: There was a girl at one of our shows that made a run for it and got tackled by security. Not like tackled but they caught her and she was fast, she broke through the fence and past security and just went straight running down the ramp and they got her at the very end of it but she almost made it.
That’s hilarious! Last question, what was your favorite city to perform in, thus far? Give me your top 3 if you can’t pick one.
NO: Like, I don’t think we could pick a show. One of our favorite shows though- that was surprising- we did a show in Melbourne at the legendary venue Festival Hall and we did this acoustic partner set and it got to a point where we stopped and the fans just start screaming. We’re silent and then all of a sudden it starts to shake, it feels like an earthquake and we have no idea whats going on.
RF: It was this crazy earthquake vibration, like the inside of your head was shaking.
NO: And they started stomping is what it was and they started screaming and the floors were shaking.
RF: Festival Hall is known for like hollow floors so it was something we had no clue about and instead of clapping and screaming they stomp like crazy and the whole room rumbles.
IK: It was pretty overwhelming, but awesome.