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Rains Frontman Talks Touring, Tattoos and Filming Videos

Jeff Rains
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Rains, a band hailing from Fort Wayne, Ind., are heating up radio with the song ‘Look in My Eyes’ off their debut album ‘Stories.’ In addition, Rains were part of the lineup for the recently wrapped ‘Share the Welt’ tour with Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains and Hatebreed.

We sat down with frontman Jeff Rains before the band’s recent gig in New York City, and he talked openly about the single ‘Look In My Eyes,’ filming the tune’s video, his time on the ‘Share the Welt’ tour and his 4-year-old daughter’s love of Hatebreed.

The first single off of ‘Stories’ is ‘Look In My Eyes’ — can you talk a little about the track musically and lyrically.

The song was written about an old band member; we were trying to get him to do the right things in life and get his life straightened out and he just wouldn’t take our advice at all. So I sat down and wrote down a song about him and he was still in the band at the time. I’m the one who writes and records everything so I went up to Toronto, recorded the song, he still knew nothing about it. The first time he heard it was when I got the final master and he was at my apartment and I was getting ready to fire him in like a week or so, I was working on a replacement.

I play the song and I had a few beers so I wasn’t even thinkin’, so I play it and he looks at me and he’s like that song’s about me isn’t it? I said yeah and he walked out of my house and we never spoke again. It kind of sucked but then it was kind of like well didn’t have to fire him. [Laughs] He took that one hint I needed him to, if he would’ve taken some other hints from us then maybe that song wouldn’t have come about.

Loudwire exclusively premiered the video for the song; how was that experience of shooting that for you?

It was funny because right before we joined this tour, because originally we were suppose to join the tour Nov. 8, Rev Theory was dropping off and then something happened with Rev Theory so we got an email at midnight one night that said can you do the tour from the beginning, which is in three days, I had just had two band members quit. So I figured it out, got everything put together and then our PR team wanted a video done so I’m like okay on top of everything else, let’s try to figure out a video. We found a local video guy from where we’re from and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. He was having my wife and I act out all of this weird crap and fighting scenes and we don’t even fight, we get along better than any couple I’ve ever met. So it turned out really bad, I wasn’t happy with it.

We filmed the new video in Dallas, Texas, at the Palladium; I was really nervous, I had a lot of anxiety that day, we hired a professional video team to come in and do it and they were awesome, they made me feel so comfortable and they gave me direction on everything and it was very specific so it was a blast. I think it turned out pretty cool. We wanted to show a day in the life on the road and all that kind of stuff. The first cut of the video was nothing near what it is now, it was more me, and they filmed this awesome sold out show in Dallas and the crowd shots are phenomenal and I was like we need more or that stuff in there, I’m sick of seeing my face. [Laughs] Put the rest of the band in there.

The whole singing into the camera thing was kind of awkward but they brought this huge portable speaker system with an iPod dock on it, so we’re standing on these train tracks and the song’s just blasting. I was actually physically singing the song, they were like that’s how you get the most energy into the camera and it worked. I made the band turn around and look the other way, nobody has to see this.

What are some bands you would love to hit the road with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

I’d to do a tour with Shinedown or Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, something more in our genre because now we’re having to win over this heavy crowd and we’re playing heavier than our album is so it’s fun but I think if we could tour with bands more in our genre, I think we could do really well. We’ve been doing well on this tour so I figure if we could win over this crowd then maybe we’ll go out on tour with Justin Bieber or somethin’ and win those kids over. [Laughs]

For the people that aren’t familiar with the music of Rains, how would you describe it to them?

I think it’s just honest rock ‘n’ roll music, I got sick of the cookie cutter songs about booze and drugs and all that, enough is enough. And if one band puts a song out like that then all the other bands are like “s–t we gotta do that, too.” So I just wanted to do what I wanted to do; I’m very influenced by the Seattle scene, Alice in Chains, all that kinds of stuff, and when I was growing up I listened to a lot of country so I think the storytelling part came from that. I just think it’s good honest rock ‘n’ roll music, kind of taking it back where it needs to be.

What’s the next single that we can look out for?

It’s called ‘Liar.’ I think that one went in the Top 5 on Sirius Octane but that was the only station that was playing it so now we’re gonna go back and do it the right way. So in January I think we start that campaign.

Do you have any more tours lined up after ‘Share the Welt’?

We’re working on that right now. We’ve got five or six tours offered to us, we’re just trying to decide what to take. Going from a tour this size, we want to make sure that we’re not taking something too small. We can go a little bit smaller, if we were playing big clubs and stuff like that, that’s fine as long as the rooms are filled. We’re just trying to take the right steps because we’ve had a few years where, not by choice, but the right steps weren’t taken on our behalf. Now we have the chance to do things the right way and it seems to be paying off, it takes a lot of patience … and a lot of money. [Laughs]

We own our own record label, we’re completely independent, we have our own distribution, we hired a PR team, a radio team, so I feel really fortunate to be in this position — because with the music industry and how it stands today, you don’t want to sign to a major label, if you ever want to make a penny then stay away from it. We were one day away from signing with a major label and we were waiting on the contract to come via FedEx and the day it was suppose to arrive, I think 5,000 people got fired from the company and that included our soon to be A&R rep, and the president of the company and all this stuff.

I see you’re all inked up; is there any tattoo you regret getting?

I was a tattoo artist for seven years — I got so jaded from doing stupid tattoos on people. For instance one time I tattooed a piece of poop on somebody. The reason they got the tattoo was because they won a bet and the bet was if they ate poop they made 100 dollars, so I don’t know who really won that bet, to add on to it he came and got it tattooed on him. People just get stupid stuff and I got so jaded, I know I hate all my tattoos and I want them removed but it’s actually in my contract that I can’t remove them until the contract’s done because I have to keep my image. But then I have a 4-year-old daughter and I’m like well actually I’m gonna wait to remove them until she’s happily married because then if boys come around I can scare them a little bit. [Laughs]

Is your little girl into the heavy music or does she rebel against it?

Her and my wife came out on tour for a couple weeks and the first day she learns how to say “Hatebreed.” So now every time I call her on the phone she’s like “Hi Daddy” and I’m like “Hey baby” and she goes “Hatebreed!” And I’m like, ‘Say Rains,’ and she says “No, Hatebreed!” It’s horrible.

Watch the Rains ‘Look in My Eyes’ Video

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