Hot Chelle Rae is a band we listened to growing up, producing hits like “Tonight Tonight,” and “Honestly;” finally their hiatus is over. We were thrilled to learn that Hot Chelle Rae is back and better than ever working on releasing their EP, “Tangerine.” The songs already released show the direction the band is headed in and we are so excited for what’s to come. The new EP lends itself to be an outlet for the time that has amassed and how the band has grown into their own producing some amazing bops. The band is comprised of Ryan Follesé (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Nash Overstreet (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Jamie Follesé (drums). WCBG was so lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with Nash Overstreet about the EP and of course tour! You can click the link below to buy tickets!
Thank you so much for speaking with us we are so excited for this interview! Can you tell us who you are and a fun fact about you?
I’m Nash Overstreet and oddly enough I’m really good at basketball.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
That’s always been such a weird question for me. I was surrounded by music growing up, my dad was a songwriter and my mom was a hairstylist—the people she worked with were also musicians. It’s hard for me to imagine something else. It’s all I’ve ever known. It would definitely be something creative, whether that means a hairdresser or a clothing designer. It would still be in the same realm and world as music.
Tell us about how you picked your instrument?
I play guitar in the band and when we are on stage. In the studio I mess around with whatever. It could be a piano part I come up with, or something on guitar or bass. My first instrument ever was the drums. A lot of the production I do for other people and the band’s music, I’m very drum minded. [Guitar] fell into being my main thing because when I auditioned for this band, I think it was for some Disney show, they had five drummers auditioning. They asked if I knew any guitar players since they needed one and I said I’ll just be the guitar player.
What’s your favorite guitar?
That’s a hard question, I have so many. My favorite guitar is a custom shop Guild Electric; they don’t make it anymore. It’s my baby—it’s the best playing, best looking, and it’s super unique. In grade school I would fall asleep holding the guitar when I was practicing or messing around until I was passed out. Sometimes it would end up on the floor and I’d be like “oh, my bad, let’s make sure it’s not broken.”
What artists inspire you?
I started picking stuff up from artists who inspired me when I was younger, like when John Mayer came out I learned a ton of acoustic guitar. The same thing for Lenny Kravitz’s electric stuff.
We’ve been focusing on production when listening to tracks lately and we really loved the sound on “I Hate LA”.
I’ve been producing since I was 15 and I’ve been doing it professionally for about 6 years or so.
Can you tell us the story behind “I Hate LA”?
It started as a spitball session and Ryan came up with the idea of the first couple of lines. It was about the ups and downs of a relationship and the effect it has on a town, city or place. Bad stuff was happening in life that makes the place take on that. Everything ended up getting fixed in the relationship and it is all good now and it had that timeline in the song. This only sucks because everything reminds me of you and oh you moved—I’m kinda loving it.
What’s your writing process like?
It’s varied on projects since it is the three of us coming back together. Originally Ryan and I did a lot of the writing. Jamie wrote on Ryan’s country solo record when we were on a break with the band. A friend of ours from Nashville, my parents and his parents were friends, and the four of us worked on “I Hate LA.” Everyday it was exciting since it was always something different.
What is your favorite part of a song that you’ve written? It can be a lyric, a guitar riff, a drum cadence, etc.
The 808 part for “I Hate LA.” It’s kind of weird and has these pitches. It hits really hard. I love making space in my music so you can hear everything that’s in a track.
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, or would it be and why?
H.E.R. I’m obsessed with her music. I watched her performance on the Tribute to Prince for the Grammy’s, her performance was amazing. She also killed it at the BET awards. It’s amazing, she plays the piano, guitar, and sings. She’s a star from head to toe.
What music are you currently listening?
A lot of podcasts. I also like to see what the newest release is to stay as aware as possible. There’s so much music coming out that it’s overwhelming in a great way.
What is your favorite album in your personal collection?
Gavin DeGraw’s stripped version of Chariot. It helped me come into my own musically. It was done in one take and some of the coolest vocal recordings are on that record.
We know that tour is coming up, can you tell us about it?
We are doing 26 or 27 shows, we will be on the road for six weeks and it’ll start and end on the west coast. Our VIP program is pretty cool—There will be lanyards with a custom backstage pass and posters and of course meet and greets. Part of the VIP package is to get to the venue early and sit in on sound check. It’s about the closeness and the interaction we get to have with our fans. Being back on the road and back on the bus is something I’m looking forward to.
There is definitely something special about sitting in on a sound check!
Yes, there are so many magic moments that happen behind the curtain and we wanted to give that with VIP.
What is your favorite venue that you’ve played in?
Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia. It rumbled. The people at the venue stomp on the floor and the whole place shakes. It was a super hype crowd to interact with.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened on tour?
So, we did a 7AM show on someone’s front lawn in Australia. They won a radio contest and we were performing, there was a petting zoo, and they brought in a taco truck. It was the weirdest thing to happen at 7AM.
What are your plans for the new decade of 2020?
Our number one priority is to drop new music. Tour starts March 12th so go buy tickets! We will be releasing four new songs before tour. We wrote so many songs and we are looking forward to dropping them, it’s going to be a whirlwind of fun!
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Check out their music here
Buy tickets for tour here
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