The Family Rain is a band completely unabashed by their love of music. They create a chilled atmosphere from the moment the interview began, with an easy banter that can only exist amongst brothers, joking about stolen toothpaste and finishing each others sentences, beer in hand, as they informed me why they preferred The Beatles to the Rolling Stones (“We’ll never play with the Rolling Stones again”) and why playing a little drunk and a lot “themselves” is the only way to play.
Tim (drums), Olly (guitar) and Will (lead singer and base) form The Family Rain whose sound is one of “a raw fronting rock and roll band” with influences ranging from the oh so typical The Who, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed (“when we were growing up we just listened to our Dads’ records”) through to classic hip hop –for example the Notorious B.I.G who heavily influenced the track ‘Ready to Die’ through its uneasy feel and that it came from “a negative place” as well as just the idea of having the “filthiest base lines and the big fat beats” – and even such 90’s tracks as Blue by Eiffel 65.
They may define themselves in 5 objects as; “a bottle of Jameson’s…a pair of Doc Martins… jeans… [a] fake beard [a real beard couldn’t be counted, and] white socks” – they assure me that despite drummer Tim wearing orange socks they “always try and wear white”. In fact in a Mean Girls-esque move Tim was banned in interview from playing until his socks had been changed (unfortunately I was unable to tell if this had been followed through for the gig) – but they assure me that for them it’s all about the music. “No one gives a fuck about music anymore” they claim. “All the music magazines are not talking about what the band is doing or what the music sounds like you know, no one’s putting music at the forefront of things, it’s all about stories and personality and image”. Undoubtedly their self-definition was meant ironically.
They spoke a lot about the state of ‘music today’ and they expressed concern over the “lazy journalism” in which a journalist will define any boy with a guitar as the new Bob Dylan and so on. “Nothing’s allowed to be itself anymore…the current music scene is dictated by what happened before which is like it and I’m not sure it’s a very healthy thing and I don’t think it will end because like instead of saying the strokes are the new stooges, a new band will come out in a few years and they will say they are the new strokes, it’s like an ongoing thing, like a generational thing but we just see it as being pretty damn lazy”. They are adamant that the best way to find a band is to see them live, to come in with no pre-judgment, and I can’t say I disagree.
You can expect an original show every time with The Family Rain, “almost subconsciously” they say the bands they support influence how they play “the one [we] noticed the most was the Biffy [Clyro] dates because we just found ourselves able to play heavier and putting down the heavier end of our repertoire because their fans respond to that more and with the Jake Bugg dates we have to rein it back a bit more, not massively, it’s not really noticeable but its more of a feeling you get when you’re doing it.”. Apart from that there is also a good chance the band will be drunk; they focus on an “honest approach to playing music live”. Wanting their music to sound like they “had a good time”, they are not shy about admitting that on stage that they may well be “drunk and fuck it up”. The band put this down “artistic license”.
They tell me that the most important thing for a band to be is deluded: “you have to have a certain madness and a certain blind hope that normal people don’t have”. You have to be “interested” too, they say, in the music. They tell me that a lot of their friends just were not passionate enough and ended up giving up. The benefit of being a band of brothers really helps that they say: they may have some “kind of [Oasis] situations” but all in all it’s like a “family holiday” and most importantly they “actually like doing it”.
Why should you go and see them live then? They tell me jokingly “People should see [them] now before it gets worse“. The Family Rain do not look to be getting any worse however, with a solo tour this month and into the next which they tell me is their “time to show off” and the promise of an original show every time The Family Rain are just a really exciting band. They refuse to “jump on a scene”, promise to do their own thing and do so with a unique intensity and passion. So I agree that people should see them now, not because it’s going to get worse but because they promise to get better.
“See you on the other side” they say as the interview ends and final pleasantries are exchanged. The other side of what? The other side of a fantastic supporting slot.