Interviews

Hot Chelle Rae Interview – Drummer Jamie Follese

Hot Chelle Rae Interview
Hot Chelle Rae

The boys of Hot Chelle Rae are living the dream. After moderate success with their 2009 debut album, ‘Lovesick Electric,’ the band dominated radio in the summer of 2011 with their smash hit “Tonight Tonight” from their sophomore album, ‘Whatever.’ A #1 hit with double platinum sales to boot, what more could a band ask for? How about an invite on tour to sold-out arenas with one of the biggest names in music, Justin Bieber? Well, that’s exactly what they got! The tour stops here in Cleveland on Saturday, July 13 at Quicken Loans Arena. [Complete show and ticket info]

HCR drummer Jamie Follese phoned into our hotline on July 5 to discuss the tour with Bieber, reflect on the band’s success, and gives us an update on the progress of Hot Chelle Rae’s upcoming third album.

While Hot Chelle Rae previously played gigs overseas with Taylor Swift, they are in the midst of their biggest stateside tour, ever. Follese says that it is a dream come true:

“We have been hoping for a tour like this. I remember riding in our van four years ago talking about what it would be like to play in arenas. These are definitely the largest crowds we’ve ever played for and it’s just ridiculous. My brother (lead singer, Ryan) takes a panoramic picture of the crowd each night and we post it on Twitter afterwards. I go look at it each night. It’s just mind blowing. “

Jamie stumbled trying to put into words the awesomeness of playing in front of sold-out arenas:

“I try to describe it to people, and the thing is, fans really have no idea how much they impact a show. The difference between two crowds…every crowd is completely different from one another, and the energy that they bring, they have no idea how much it gets us going and that changes everything. But there is no feeling like it. It’s not describable to people. It’s just the greatest thing, ever.”

Few who saw the band in their earlier days would have predicted their massive success. I first saw them perform as an opener for Third Eye Blind at a 1,200 capacity club in 2009. While I was moderately impressed and the band was well received by the crowd, I would have never predicted a #1 hit and big time album sales. I asked Jamie if he was surprised by the band’s success:

“I was surprised, but also not surprised. My brother and everyone in this band, we have been working so hard for so long to achieve this. The only way you can really succeed in my eyes, my brother’s eyes; all of our eyes, is just to be stupid enough to think that you will. We’ve worked very hard at it, but it also requires just a small bit of luck, and I feel that we got that luck. I don’t know how we got it, but we got it.”

With big success comes bigger expectations. Follese says Hot Chelle Rae is up for the challenge and claims there is an upside to match the success of their last album:

“There’s a lot of pressure. You have to be able to deliver. You have to have a song do equally as well or better than your last song, so there is pressure. But, the best about that pressure is that it makes you want to do better. I personally feel that the music we have coming next is, by far, the best and the most different from what we’ve been doing lately. I think we’re going to be able to get over that hump.”

Hopefully the members of Hot Chelle Rae are taking time to enjoy the ride on their big arena tour. One thing is for sure, they are working hard to deliver a new album to fans during their time away from the stage:

“We are in the process of finishing the album while we’re on the road actually. We’re getting mixes back, sending in notes… . I’d like to say that by the end of this year or early next year we will have a new album out.”

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