Exclusive Q&A with Hot Chelle Rae!


The boys of Hot Chelle Rae -- bassist Ian Keaggy, drummer Jamie Follese, singer Ryan Keith (R.K.) Follese, guitarist Nash Overstreet -- stopped by the J-14 offices just a few days after they filmed the music video for their single, "I Like To Dance." The pop rockers were psyched to talk to J-14 about where their band name came from, their fave dance tunes, and... flying?

J-14: Did you name the band Hot Chelle Rae after a girl? Ryan Keith Follese: We actually don't know what her real name is -- that was her handle on MySpace. Before we had anything significant going for us, we saw pictures on the Internet of her hanging out with like Pete Wentz and Snoop Dogg -- just mad musicians! She supposedly worked at Universal and was going to help us. Then we found out that she was fake. Ian Keaggy: She was jacking model's pictures. R.K.: When we actually started getting things going for us we were like, 'Yeah, we're going to be going out to L.A.' And she's like, 'Yeah I'm a friend of Butch Walker. We're said, 'We're going to be working with him in a couple of weeks!' She was like, 'He may not remember me.' Needless to say, we named the band after her. My friend still texts, 'I miss her!'

J-14: How did you guys meet? R.K.: Nash was working at a music store where I was buying gear, and we just got hooked up through a guitar friend of ours. Nash and Ian have been friends since childhood, and Jamie and I obviously have been brothers since childhood. Actually, Nash and I didn't like each other at first. Nash Overstreet: Once we met and hung out, we got along great. But there was this judgmental first sight thing like, 'I don't like his hair.' R.K.: We were both in our worst style era - we met when were 18 and 19. Nash: That awkward high school phase - actually, that's why we became friends. We actually started to like each other. R.K.: That sounds like we're dating. Nash: No, no, no. We started to get along, and we found out that in high school we went through the same exact clubbing phase of JNCO jeans and horrible clothes.

J-14: What's your favorite song off your album, Lovesick Electric? R.K.: My favorite song to play live is "I Like to Dance," but my favorite songson the record are "Never Have I Ever" and "Bushes." "Bushes" is just a really whack song and fun and weird. It started off as a joke!

J-14: What inspired "I Like To Dance"? Ian: I think the music kind of lent itself first. R.K.: Sometimes we will premeditate lyrics, and sometimes the very first thing that comes out of your mouth is the best because a lot of times it's how the song feels. That sounds so artsy and not like it makes much sense, but it's true. Whatever the song feels like, that's the first thing that comes out of your mouth. A lot of times we'll be sitting there, and the first thing that comes out we'll go with that. Nash: A certain A&R guy -- who we didn't end up working with -- was like, "Change it to something more meaningful like I love to dance.' And I'm like, 'Then it's not cool anymore.' Girls can love to dance. That's great. When guys are loving to dance it may be a little [odd].

J-14: How did Stephanie Pratt get involved in the "I Like To Dance" video? Ian: She was actually into the song before hand -- she was all about being in the video. She's a sweetheart. She was really cool and down-to-earth. We'd hang out again, no problem. We had a lot of fun.

J-14: What are your favorite dance songs? Ian: [Michael Jackson's] "Billie Jean." R.K.: One of my favorite dance beats of all time is INXS's "Need You Tonight." Every time it comes on I'm like, 'Man, I wish I wrote this!'

J-14: If you guys weren't in a band, what would you be doing? Jamie Follese: Up until the moment I got into this band, I played baseball. I also want to be an FBI agent or an Air Force pilot. Ian: I've been into photography for a long time -- I would have probably gone down that road. Nash: I think I would probably do hair. My mom did hair growing up, and I'd always use her salon to mess up my friend's hair. Right before my friend got a job where he couldn't have any [fake] color in his hair, he was like, 'What color is this going to be?' I said 'A dark auburn, brownish,' and he was like, 'I'm going to have to shave my head." R.K.: I've always wanted to fly helicopters or maybe write.

Hot Chelle Rae's new album, Lovesick Electric, is in stores now, and you can get more info on the boys at their MySpace page.

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