Rainy and the dust? interesting name…
Rainy: I’ve always liked ambiguous lyrics. Some things are best left open to interpretation don’t you think?
Your style changes a lot during a set, what would you say is your biggest influence?
Rainy:That’s a really hard question to answer. I’ve had such a wide taste in music for so long now its sometimes hard to trace where ideas and influences come from. In 1994 I saw Seputura play a track called Kiawas at Donnington Monsters of Rock. The whole band dropped onto percussion in the middle of the tune. It totally blew my tiny grunge soaked mind and from that point on I realized you don’t have to stick to genres and do things that fit in a box.
I had no idea that the Paul Simon albums I’d grown to love through my parents had already instilled the same musical direction in me. The band as it sounds now has formed, in part, from my love of Jam Bands like Phish, Grateful Dead, Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band. I love the way they mix up genres but still deliver good tunes and a great vibe.
Blues, Reggae, Hip Hop, Soul, Motown, Folk, Latin, Indian, Cuban and West African music have always been very close to my heart.. All these genres and more factor in the melting pot when I sit down to write.
How did you and the rest of the band meet?
Rainy: The four of us have been playing together for coming up to a year and half now. The band has had numerous members over the years. In the winter of 2008 I played a gig at the globe in Cardiff. Matt was on the bill playing upright bass in a duo. After the show we geeked out over Cuban double bass and ended up switching numbers. I didn’t phone matt for 3 years.
I met Rich at a Jazz gig in Bristol a year later. I was looking for a drummer to kick start the band again after a two month hiatus. We met the next week at my place and started to run through the tunes. One day Rich rang me up and told me he’d got the number of a bass player he had met at a jazz session that week. He had just moved from Cardiff to Bristol and was looking for gigs in town. I saw the number, realized it was the same Matt I’d met at the Globe and picked up the phone.
Meanwhile, Rob had just moved back to the area and was looking for a new project. He and Rich had been to leeds College of Music together. Three weeks and three rehearsals later we played our first gig and stepped out in front of 6000 people……….
( 5990 had no idea who we were! )
Rainy: Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee. Its been a spiritual home from home for the past 10 years and it would be a dream to play it. Failing that, Red Rocks in Colorado or Central Park NY.
Matt: To play in a stadium.
Rich: Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.
Rob: I would love to tour the US and experience some of the large venues and receptive crowds that they have to offer. When you watch a band like Dave Matthews band play live it is that kind of gig that I aspire to experience.
What do you prefer, festival vibe or small intimate gig?
Rainy: There is something really special about smaller gigs. I’ve had some amazing nights in tiny venues. As most bands start out playing small venues you get used to that intimacy and vibe. We rehearse in a really small room so I think you get used to that ‘in your face’, ‘room shaking kind of environment. Festivals have been a big part of my life and I love them. Its always a buzz to be part of something way bigger than the four of you. I love the sense that somehow this ‘pop up city’ operates differently than the outside world and things are more simple and free. There is something genuinely special about so many people gathering in one place for the love of music.
Matt: I like both, Festivals for the general good vibes and getting to see loads of different bands. The intimate setting provides more of a listening audience so they really get to know your music well.
Rob: We have been lucky to have experienced a fair amount of both. As a “Jazzer” I have a love affair with small gigs but some of my favorite gigs have been to large festival crowds. I am increasingly indifferent to either. I am just happy to play with my friends to an audience who wants to listen.
Can we expect something big from Rainy and the Dust this year?
Rainy: Well, I’m in the middle of finishing some songs off for the new album. We’re going to start recording soon. I’m really excited. It’s the first record that I actually have some musicians for!
Matt: Hopefully but who knows.
Rich: New Album.
Rob: My hope for Rainy and the dust this year is to continue working hard on the new repertoire and hopefully record our new album. I would love to play some more high profile gigs and festivals with the new album to promote.
And finally… Where are you and what are you doing right now? (other than answering this irksome interview)
Rainy: In the studio, pondering the ever elusive third verse!
Matt: I am in the recording studio putting some vocals down for another group I play with.
Rich: Filming as an extra for Casualty!
Rob: Practicing hard.