Philly’s Reading Rainbow is one of the few band that sort of won me over by a few happenstance live sets. Before knowing anything about their recordings, I caught them about three times as part of showcases or opening for other bands. Every time they played a set, I took a little mental note about how seriously delightful their energy was on stage; not silly or frivolous, just like really positive, direct, and always super sharp.
In the last year since they’ve been on my radar, Reading Rainbow has gone through a number of live changes. Drummer Sarah Everton went from standing percussion with just a floor tom and snare to a full drum kit, and the original duo got a +1 this summer adding guitarist Al Creedon to fill out the sound. September will mark their first big tour as a trio, hitting the road with buddies Eternal Summers, and scaling the US for a month or so.
I’ve heard that founding guitarist Rob Garcia has a career type job as an engineer and that he and Everton are married. OK I hate discussing musicians personal lives, but it’s a nice change of pace when artists can play double duty in the world–walking that line is far more punk.
Rob was super cool to answer a few questions I had about the project so read on!
Over the last couple of years you guys have really been burning the candle from both ends–running a band is a lot of stress on only two people. Has the addition of Al eased up the general pressure on everyone?
The pressure is definitely still on. We are always trying to push ourselves and develop as a band, especially now as we are writing material for the next album. We realized we needed to add another member while we were on a 6 week tour this past spring.
For the majority of those shows we were opening for the Dodos and playing in venues that were a lot larger than what we were used to. In spaces like that Its hard not to get nervous about playing essentially stripped down punk songs. By adding a third member we’re able to have more orchestrated parts and just sound bigger sonically.
It also helps with the driving.
You guys are going on a big US tour with Eternal Summers in September. It sounds like all of you have pretty full time jobs, has touring become a sort of vacation for you from the daily grind?
Absolutely. Going on tour becomes a much needed break from real life. You get to spend all day traveling to new places while having time to think about stuff and listen to music, and then each nigh you have a total adrenaline rush.
Being in a band, you get to nerd out all the time with fans about music. I’ve read that you guys are health foodies, do you ever meet people on the road who show you a hooked up co-op or insane local vegan cafe?
Eating healthy is crucial for ensuring we don’t feel like crap all the time while on tour. Whenever we are passing through Virginia, we always try to stop in Roanoke to hang out with Eternal Summers and go to the Co-op where Nicole works. She hooks us up!
I hear you’ve got some new material in the works. The next time you go into the studio, will it be the first time you’ve recorded as a trio or have you had guest musicians in the past? What do you prefer working in a studio or home recording?
We are actually having a split 7″ with Super Wild Horses come out on HoZac very soon that has Al playing guitar on it. All 3 of us actually recorded brutal guitar noise solos for the intro/outro of the song.
Initially we were really nervous about working in a real studio. We had just never been exposed to it. While recording at home is relaxing and fun, we were always really limited with our recording equipment. Its also really nice to have an opinion and another perspective from someone that’s not in the band or a close friend.
Reading Rainbow live sets are consistently so tight and sincere, which I guess stems from the songs and arrangements themselves being equally meticulous. Is that a characteristic you take pride in with your act? Because it definitely is one of the factors that sets you apart.
Thanks! We write songs that move us personally and that deal with events that are happening in our lives, so its great to know that other people can relate to it too. Playing shows is absolutely the best part about being in a band. In a live setting its really easy to tap into whatever we were feeling when we wrote the song. So I’m sure that comes through.
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