J-14 Q&A with Hot Chelle Rae

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J-14 hung out with "I Like It Like That"'s Hot Chelle Rae before their concert in New York City with The Script. The pop-rock group gave us the 4-1-1 on their new album, their favorite songs off the CD, and the story behind the album's name. Their sophomore album Whatever is out now!

Q: What's your new album Whatever all about and how did you did you come up with the album's name? Ryan Follese:It's a lot about the journey that we've had over the last two years really. It's a lot of good times, a lot of missing your family, and if you like "Tonight, Tonight" then you're absolutely going to love the album. The way we got the name, it's obviously an ad-lib in "Tonight, Tonight" and when we were recording demos, doing all that, Nash burned me a CD and he just didn't want to put the tracks on there so he just wrote "Whatever" on the CD and he gave it to me. Jamie was in the car with me and I was about to put it in and he was looking at it and he goes, "That looks like an album title." And I called Nash and Ian and we talked about it the next day and we were all just like, "Yep, that's dope!"

Q: How do you think your music has evolved since your first album Lovesick Electric? Nash Overstreet: When Ryan and I started writing, we sat down with acoustics guitars and we just wrote pop music. And we kind of slipped in to a slightly more rock vibe for the first record and it's funny because we've really come full circle. We've done what we started doing and our real love is just pop music, that's what this album Whatever is all about and we're having a blast writing and playing this music and we just can't wait to share it with everyone.

Q: Do each of you have a favorite song off the new album? Jamie Follese: I would have to say "Keep You With Me." I think that song really connects with a wide variety of people. Ryan: I'm going to second that. As of right now, to me, that's the most important song on the record. It's the biggest and closest to my heart on the record, it means the most to me, whether I'm singing it or listening to it or playing it for someone, it's the most important song to me. Nash: I think "I Like It Like That" is definitely my favorite. I remember being completely jacked up on Red Bull when we wrote that and I was so hyped and really excited when we finished it. It was one of the few songs we finished and just had this weird feeling about -- you just knew it was the next single, knew that was where we needed to go. Ryan: It was going to be big. Nash: It excited me then and it's fun to play. We love what it came out as. Ian Keaggy: I can't really pick but I really love a song called "Beautiful Freaks" that we open our set with right now. It's just really, hard dance song.

Q: Do each of you have a song on the album that's the most personal? Ryan: I'd have to ["Keep You With Me"]. It is about being on the road and missing the people that you love and I felt like no matter if someone's away on a business trip or a guy could be at work, it depends on the situation. It's really about missing those people you love. Nash: "Keep You With Me" is definitely the most real because when Ryan and I had been out in L.A. for, probably going on three weeks, and we hadn't seen any of our families or our loved ones or friends in a long time. We'd been running around doing promo and what not and so it was the last night we were there we wrote that song because we were about to go back home. Ryan: But it's taken on a whole new meaning now because we actually haven't been home in forever so and we're not going to be home for forever.

Q: Are you guys big pranksters on the road? Ian: I definitely woke up to Leonardo DiCaprio's face in my bunk. A giant poster. That was nice. It wasn't his real face. Ryan: I did that. Jamie: Leonardo just came on the bus and got all up in Ian's face when he woke up. Ryan: I ripped a page out of GQ and taped it while he was sleeping and took a picture of it. I thought about tweeting it. Nash: I think we've taken turns picking victims for who to decorate bunks with. Our stage manager, he hates pink first of all, so we put pink hearts... Ryan: He hates pink gaff tape as well. They use it for everything and he hates it so we taped everything in his case pink. He got mad at me. He got me back.

Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Mazza/J14

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