Interview with Raintown
Following their Spotlight Feature Raintown, Paul Bain and Claire McArthur very kindly agreed to be interviewed for CMNI.
Livewire: On your album are ALL the songs co-writes with Greg Friel ? Are there any individual writing credits ?
Raintown: We wrote all the songs on ‘Hope in Troubled Times’ with Greg Friel. He also produced the album. The only song now available with us on the writing credits is our song ‘Hero.’
Livewire: Where was HOPE IN TROUBLED TIMES recorded ?
Raintown: We recorded ‘Hope’ at Frielance Studios in Glasgow.
Livewire: Who are the musicians who play on the album?
Raintown: We brought in a range of session musicians including Stevie Lawrence(various guitars/Bouzouki/Mandolin), Fiona Cuthill (strings) and Greg Friel.
Livewire: Do either of you play instruments on the album?
Raintown: Neither of us feature on the album playing any instruments, other than our angelic voices, ha ha!
Livewire: How was the album orchestration created?
Raintown: We used a mixture of both live strings & synthesized samples.
Livewire: Is the album only available DIGITALLY or do you sell hard copy CD's at gigs?
Raintown: Currently is it only available digitally, but we are down the road to getting hard copies produced.
Livewire: If it’s available as CD does it come with lyrics?
Raintown: Not at the moment, but it will feature lyrics.
Livewire: I have been a railway buff so your Album cover interests me. It's great, where was the photograph taken?
Raintown: It was taken on location in Scotland and features the Royal Scotsman!
Livewire: Congratulations on your CMA Global Artist Showcase appearance – How did this come about?
Thank you. It was an amazing experience that really cemented our belief that we are on the right track. The event and our success on it really opened us up to new contacts that will allow us to continue to develop both as artists and performers. It truly came about with hard work and the willingness to go out and get ourselves known. We also performed at an event during CMA Awards week in Nov ’10, which allowed us to meet some really good people.
Livewire: What did you play ? What was the experience like?
Raintown: We played at the world famous ‘Stage’ on Broadway, which was streamed on the internet and by both CMC Australia and CMT. It was a phenomenal experience and one which only whetted our appetite for more. We aim to be on one of the big stage next year! It was a real joy to play with such brilliant musicians and to meet other artist’s from across the globe.
Livewire: Did you get to meet or watch any big country music artists at CMA Fest?
Raintown: We got to see all the evening shows while CMA Fest was on, which was really incredible to see that many great acts over 4 nights. We would recommend CMA Fest to any Country Music Fan. There is so much going on all day everyday during the week; it really is an assault on your sense, but in a very good way! However during the day we were pretty much kept busy with meeting fans, media work and meetings. We did get to see Dolly up close and got a number of photos!
Livewire: What big country artists have you seen live?
Raintown: We have been lucky obviously to see many more than most because of our trips to Nashville and CMA Fest, but we have seen:- Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Band Perry, this list could go on & on.
Livewire: Apart from HOTDISC and CMA Fest how have you been promoting your music in 2011?
Raintown: We have been using the internet extensively, building our fan list and social networking. We have also continued to feature in press and have recently appeared in Billboard Magazine in the US as part of the CMA Global Event.
Livewire: In your promo pictures Paul you are seen holding an acoustic guitar yet on the Youtube video's you aren't? Do you ever play live?
You will definitely see me play live in the next round of live events. Up until now it is something I have used more as a song writing tool, as opposed to a live one. I suppose that is code for I needed to practice to get up to speed! Ha ha.
Livewire: You don't seem to have any Live Gigs on your websites have you any planned for the future?
Raintown: We are currently in talks with a leading UK/European agent about some live performances. We will bring news about them very soon.
Livewire: With your country influences you cite Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves and Don Williams.
Raintown: When we are asked about influences it is all to easy to cite the Country Greats, for us these artists is where our love affair really began with Country Music. However we have a very eclectic taste in music and influences can stem from many of these areas. However, for us Country Music is very much part of our DNA as it is with many folks here in the UK, we’d guess.
Livewire: Can you adapt your live show to Country Music Clubs or does your music not lend itself to these type of venues?
Raintown: Great question and one we would like the opportunity to test out. I suppose it gets right to the crux of the ‘Rhinestone Prejudice’ . Here is the thing, there is and always will be a place for the great singers and the songs of the past, but Country Music will not stand still, it will grow and develop as it always has done. New and exciting developments will take place and we see some really exciting things just over the hill. However everyone is entitled to their individual opinion and we respect that we might not be someone else’s type of County Music; but we represent our interpretation and not an impersonation of anything else. If that makes sense
Livewire: What types of shows / venues do you like to play?
Raintown: We like people to come to our shows and go away thinking, ‘if that is Country Music, then I love it!’
Livewire: Have you played live in England?
Raintown: Not as Raintown. However that may change in the coming weeks. We are due to play in September at the UKCountryMusic.com awards. We have reached the final 5 in the Listeners Award 2011 for ’Just One Kiss.’
Livewire: What is the best gig you have played?
Raintown: Hands down the CMA Global Artist Party. We went there as the only Independent Act, the first ever Scottish Act and went on straight after Keith Urban had been on stage presenting tommy Emmanuel his award. The feedback has been awesome. Not bad for a night’s work.
Livewire: Where were both born?
Claire McArthur: Paul - Kirkcaldy (Fife, Scotland – Although moved to Cumbernauld when he was a baby.)
Claire - Glasgow
Livewire: Do you reside in Sandyhills or Cumbernauld. The internet information states both ?
Claire McArthur: The internet is sort of right. When we have done the various interviews we have lived in different parts of the City. We are currently in Easterhouse in Glasgow. The reason we are reffered to as a Cumbernauld act is due to the fact that (Paul) lived there for most of his childhood. However it did spark a rather lively debate online!!
Livewire: What was the company where you first met ?
Raintown: We first met and worked in The Parade in Glasgow. It was a brilliant start in this crazy business and it latterly changed our lives! It was like a Las Vegas show bar with singers/dancers, lots of feather etc. Not Country at all! lol
Livewire: Are you a couple in real life ? - The emotion and love in your songs comes from somewhere !
Raintown: Yes we are and that makes everything else that bit special!
Livewire: What music is currently on your iPod or MP3 player?
Raintown: Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, Mumford & Sons, Adelle, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Palo Nutini. Told you we listen to alot of stuff ha ha.
Livewire: Have you been approached to play the Wembley Country Festival planned for 2012?
Raintown: No, but if you know who the right person to speak to is, please pass it along we would love to be involved!!
Website - http://www.raintownmusic.com/
Youtube Channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/RaintownMusicTV
Twitter - http://twitter.com/raintownmusic
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Raintownmusic