We interviewed Nash Overstreet, Ryan Follese, Jamie Follese and Ian Keaggy, the four members of Hot Chelle Rae, when they were in New York recently.
Ryan: There's lots of things that inspired us to become a band. I think mainly we grew up in musical households, so, like, our parents were songwriters and musicians. We were constantly surrounded by music at a really, really young age and we always kind of gravitated towards being in music. I don't know if there's another job that we can do.
How is like going up on the stage and winning best new artists at the American Music Awards?
Nash: That was the coolest feeling that we experienced. When you go up on stage and play songs for people, it's a whole different feeling, and we never won an award before, much less being nominated. So going up there and having our knees go weak and, like, just get all shaky and nervous was a really cool experience for us. How did you come up with your band name?
Nash: We called a dedicated fan, but Chelle Rae was her name on My Space and she kind of turned out to be stealing her whole life and identity from somebody who's an actual model. And we kind of believed the whole story that she made up and once we found out that she wasn't who she said she was, we decided we liked the name so much we wanted to name the band after her.
What are your own favorite songs?
Ryan: We have a lot of different favorite songs. They kind of change every day. We're so close to a project -- it's kind of like if you ask your parents what their favorite kid was, they don't have an answer because they wouldn't be able to say. So for us, we like all of our songs equally, but they change every day. And today I think my favorite song is "Honestly."
Nash: Today my favorite song of ours is "Whatever." I think the crowd goes crazy for it, and seeing everybody do three in the air is awesome.
Jamie: And I have to say probably "Radio." We just started playing that song live. Actually, tonight was the second time that we played it live. It's just fun, it's different. It's nice to have something fresh.
Ian: Mine's got to be "Tonight, Tonight." I feel like that's a cop-out, but it's awesome. Fun to play. I love it.
Did you ever think you'd become famous?
Ryan: I think in my brain I was already famous, but I don't know. We've definitely wanted to be able to sell out all the big stages and all the arenas. We want to play like shows Taylor Swift and stuff like that. We want to play to as many people as we can, and I think that in our minds we always had that goal in mind, and since we all have the same common goal, I think we did think we were going to make it no matter what.
Have you ever messed up during a performance?
Jamie: I messed up tonight. You didn't know.
Nash: He actually told me earlier, he was, like, I heard the bass player messed up.
Ryan: We definitely mess up, everybody hits a wrong note occasionally, but for the most part everybody in the band is pretty awesome at what we've been doing. I think these three guys are the best. So if they mess up, I sometimes don't even know.
Nash: I had a good one in Toronto. I ran out, and the first note of the show I jumped and slipped and almost fell and landed on my butt, but I didn't.
What brought you guys together?
Nash: Selling guitars in a music store brought Ryan and I together. I was working in a music store and he was in there shopping and a friend of ours recommended that we get together and write some songs and we started doing that and we're trying to form a band. In the meanwhile, Ian and I have been best friends forever and he was kind of hanging out and he was like, 'You know I think I can play the bass.' So he joined up, started playing bass and Jaime's is Ryan's little brother, so for four years Jamie's been sitting on the floor of the rehearsal space like mentally learning all the songs. So when he graduated high school finally, which we made him do first, he knew everything and jumped right in and it was just a perfect fit.
What do you do when you're not practicing?
Ryan: We love movies.
Nash: Since we're in NYC today we went shopping for a long time.
Jamie: We sacrificed our naps. We had to be up at 4:30 this morning to go play on TV. So we went shopping.
Are you ever followed by paparazzi?
Ryan: We actually had our first paparazzi experience out in Los Angeles the last time we were at the AMA's and I remember walking out of the hotel to get something to eat at night and this guy was there with a camera, and he's like, 'Hey, what's going on?' and I just have a light in my face and I've never experienced that before. So I was like, 'Oh, I don't know . . . going to get dinner. Like what's going on?' So it was like a weird interview.
Nash: Like the creepiest video.