Monday, November 29, 2010

He Is We Interview with Rachel Taylor and Trevor Kelly

He Is We originally started off as an acoustic project between vocalist Rachel Taylor and guitarist Trevor Kelly. Soon after, the two hit a basement studio and created some demo recordings just for fun, not knowing that they were on to something big. After gaining nationwide touring experience with big bands like Yellowcard and the Rocket Summer, they are set to release their anticipated debut LP. Recently I met with the two founding members of He Is We while they were opening for Bryce Avary, (The Rocket Summer), on his fall acoustic tour. Go pick up their new album, "My Forever," recently released on Universal Motown!

The “demo” songs that you have out right now have been out for about a year now, how did those come together? Was it an actual Ep?
Trevor: Yeah, that is actually a collection of stuff that Rachel and I wrote in a friends basement.
Rachel: We had absolutely no intention of it actually becoming an Ep at the time. To be honest with you, I had no idea what an “Ep” was when we were recording. I had never been in a studio, and didn’t really know anything. When I heard that all of it was going to compiled into an Ep, I had no idea what that meant! Now I do!
You guys have a full-length in the works correct?
Trevor: There is a full-length album, completely done and ready to be released. Dates coming soon!
How long ago did you guys finish up the record?
Trevor: It was finished about two months ago, the recording side of it. Now we are just going through the “red tape,” of signing who gets what. We have just been laying low for these past two months, and putting our full-band set list together. Unfortunately, we did not get to play the full-band set tonight.
Do you have a tour lined up soon after this (Rocket Summer Tour)?
Rachel: Yeah, it is all in the works. We are trying to perfect the whole full-band thing right now. Due to the fact that we are doing an acoustic tour, we haven’t gotten to practice as a full-band yet. I think that we are taking several weeks off…
Trevor: To re-vamp our set and hopefully go back out early next year.
How has this tour been so far?
Trevor: Three days in, sold out every night, you can’t complain! Oh and great food of course!
This project started out with just you two, but how did the other guys come into the picture?
Trevor: To make a long story short, I was in a metal band before I met Rachel. So basically the band was compiled of old metal band buddies and we met Harrision through one of our other buddies. Then, of course, Rachel just came along…
Rachel: We met at work.
Trevor: We like to say eHarmony, but it was actually work.
Rachel: I always tell people that we met there, and they are like “that is so cute!”
I love the Iyaz cover, how did that come about?
Trevor: The real story? Well, let’s just say we owed somebody some merch money and the company owns a little label in Seattle. They said “instead of paying us back for the merch, why don’t you just do a song for our compilation?” To be perfectly honest with you, we aren’t really satisfied with that song…
Rachel: It sounded like me singing Karaoke…
Trevor: We went into the studio and recorded some “scratch” guitar, and then a couple months later we were expecting a call to come back in to finish tracking the rest of the song. Instead of that, they just handed us the finished product. We were like, “you released that?” For some reason, all of the fans like. It.
Yeah, it’s the most popular song on that compilation on iTunes.
Trevor: Which is ridiculous! Ha. We weren’t satisfied with it, but what can you say? Our fans like it!
Rachel: We had fun! I love that song.
Trevor: I love that song too; we just felt that would could have done it more justice. Made it a little bit more acoustic, less karaoke, more us…
Did you guys do SXSW last year?
Trevor: Yeah, we played the PureVolume House with Nevershoutnever, Versaemerge…
I heard a funny story about you changing a tire and then boom! You are in your underwear. Can you elaborate on that?
Trevor: That was our first tour down to L.A. and back, and basically on our way back home we were really excited that we were going to drive through Oregon and get home early to surprise our girlfriends. But of course, the tire blows out on the side of the road. Needless to say, we are broke down, it’s hot and we are on the side of the road. So we all get out of the suburban in our “undies,” and start throwing rocks into a Burger King cup on the side of the road.
Rachel: They were all doing the hard work, and we were just sitting there.
Trevor: Yeah, Rachel and I are sitting there and throwing rocks in cups. I think I won, but it doesn’t have to go on the record.
Rachel: I don’t care.
Trevor: OK. I won then.
So how did the song with Aaron Gillespie (The Almost, formerly of Underoath), come about?
Rachel: Well, one of the producers that we worked with on our new record, Aaron Sprinkle, basically said that Aaron would love to do the song. We were speechless! It was the coolest thing that I have ever experienced. Word got around to him and it worked out.
So who all did you work with on the new album?
Trevor: We had Aaron Sprinkle, who has worked with Anberlin and the Almost, Dan Romer, who worked with Ingrid Michaelson…
Rachel: Completely different producers made it awesome. It wasn’t even about who they worked with, it was more about what type of genre they worked with.
Trevor: Kasey Bates who did Chiodos and MXPX…
Rachel: Yeah, more punk and scream type of stuff…
Trevor: Rach didn’t actually scream so don’t get too excited.
Rachel: No, but it was so cool to be able to work with producers that have worked with so many different genres of music. It wasn’t like “Holy crap, they have worked with so many different artists.” It was more like “They are going to bring so many awesome elements to this record.” We have some pretty interesting songs, that are different because we developed them with that producer and they still have the “He Is We” sound, just with a little edge on each one.

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