Exclusive Interview: Chasing Rainbows and their DIY Spirit
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
After spending two years in Amsterdam to record their latest project, Until We're There, Chasing Rainbows is ripe and ready to push their new tunes across the pond.
While attending a Dutch art school out in Amsterdam at the age of 25, guitarist/vocalist Lawrence Rengert met fellow bandmate Henk Jonkers who had his own studio at the time. Shortly after Henk invited Lawrence to jam at his space, the two started recorded together as Chasing Rainbows. Over a span over several weeks, a variety of friends and other musicians came to the studio to add to the mix. A demo tape surfaced soon later, yet Lawrence had to move back to New York since his studies had also ended.
A year later, Lawrence made the move to fly back to Amsterdam to record their first full length album, With Henk Jonkers, which was picked up by a notable European label called Excelsior Records. This release was followed up by a run of shows throughout Europe and the US. After touring, Lawrence moved back to America to care for his kids and didn't return to Amsterdam until about a year later.
Going back to the original studio where their demo tape was created, Chasing Rainbows spent some time to record their latest album which they released on their own indie label, Drink Me. The group had their eyes set to promote their new release with a string of shows across the West Coast as well as parts of Europe, but the rise of Covid-19 stifled their initial game plan.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Lawrence while he's sheltering out in Ventura, California.
Here's what he had to say:
Q: Do you ever consider how people will listen to your music while you’re recording it?
A: Absolutely, I always think about that. Pretty much every day at the end of the recording process, which is usually 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, I email myself the mp3s. Once I email it to myself, I’ll drop it into ITunes or something and burn a CD. Then the next day, the first thing I’ll do is get in my car to get coffee and play the CD and listen to it like that. Then, I’ll listen to it on my computer.
So for the last two records we did, we pressed vinyl for both of those, but it’s really hard to know what it sounds like because we have it remastered for vinyl. Until you have the actual vinyl record, you’re still listening to a file over a computer. I do think about those things though.
In our studio, we have one of those old portable cassette boomboxes and you can take a quarter inch cable and put it from our setup into that. You can literally play the files from your computer out through the speakers on that little boombox, so you can also hear what it would sound like in a really crappy situation which I think is kinda the most important way since most people have crappy gear, like either one of their speakers is blown in their car or their stereo isn’t that great. Most likely, it’s not the really great stuff.