16 July 2014

SunStock interviews Rainmaker

Rainmaker are an acoustic britpop duo from Lincolnshire UK (my home, yay) who are bursting into the scene with a young, new and refreshing sound. They're pretty damn good and we're playing them on our acoustic podcast so make sure you stay tuned for that!

What are your influences? (other bands, life situations etc.)
Hetty: I listened to a lot of crap pop when I was younger – like the Spice Girls and S Club 7. I liked that the songs were fun and simple. It was my older sister who introduced me to britpop (thank god). These days we're most influenced by indie, blues and funk. My guitar heroes are Graham Coxon, Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, Nile Rodgers, and my dad, who is a Jazz guitarist.

Matt: I’ve always had an affection for the britpop movement – which in itself lead me to so many different genres of music. Since being in Rainmaker I’ve had the opportunity to really broaden my influences. We go to the Cleethorpes Jazz Festival every year, where the level of musicianship always leaves me inspired. I like a lot of blues music, ska, soul, allsorts - but I'm most influenced by brilliant songwriting in general.

What is it like working as a duo together? Have you ever had any disagreements?
Matt: We both worked in full bands before Rainmaker so we're used to having loads of ideas being chucked around in rehearsals. But a lot of the time it was a 'too many cooks' kind of scenario. We often have disagreements but I think that's healthy - both in a working relationship or otherwise. I like to think we balance each other out.
Hetty: 'Disagreements' is an understatement! We're not nearly as bad as we used to be though. We used to row over which songs we wanted to cover and things like that, but we're more open-minded to each other’s suggestions now. I still like to wind Matt up from time to time about questionable albums I find in his CD collection.

When songwriting, do you work together, does one of you write the lyrics, the other the music, or does one of you come up with a song? Tell us the process.
Matt: Usually I'll think of a verse or chorus, record a demo and send it to Hetty on Facebook. Then Hetty fills in the blanks, structures it into a song and sends it back for me to complete the lyrics. Then in rehearsal we'll kick it about until it sounds right. More recently though we've started writing songs from scratch in rehearsals, and Hetty has taken to writing lyrics as well which is a great thing!

Hetty: Sometimes we just hit a brick wall and get stuck with half a song for ages. Our latest song, 'Still Young', is the result of two half-written songs stitched together. There have also been a couple of times where just one of us has written the song in full and we work on it together from there.

How has having a home studio affected your songwriting and recording process? Do you feel it’s given you more freedom?
Hetty: It's more of a glorified spare room to be honest! The recording process is brilliant though, because there's no pressure to get all the takes down in a certain amount of time. I play in the tracks one instrument at a time so it's a really time consuming process when we're doing a record that's got drums, bass, synths, 10 million guitar parts and god knows what else. I'm learning all the time about producing though, which I might not have got the chance to do had we recorded in a proper studio.

Matt: Hetty's mixing abilities have saved us a lot of money as a band! Plus it's great - when we have quite a clear idea of how we want to sound – to be able to cut people out who might distort that idea. The only downside really is that we never know when to stop!

What made you both want to start making music and how did it all begin?
Matt: I just always wanted to write my own songs. It just seemed like the perfect opportunity to say the things you wouldn't be able to in normal conversation. I used to fill books with poems – then I was shown a few chords on the guitar. I immediately went home and strung them together to write a song. I could never see myself being a solo act though – it just doesn’t appeal to me.

Hetty: I'd been playing music for years before I met Matt but I never thought I'd be able to write my own music – I was in covers bands and that was all I knew. We met at college when Matt needed a guitarist for a one-off acoustic gig. Everything fell into place really quickly from there. We still do loads of covers and I love putting my own twist on the arrangements, but it’s great to work with someone who has faith in my original ideas as well.

Would you say the Lincolnshire area offers a vibrant music scene?
Hetty: If there is a vibrant scene in Lincolnshire, we haven’t found it yet. We get tired of playing in bars and clubs where people really take the piss. Not the audiences but the venues themselves. The saddest thing is that some artists don't know any different so they never challenge it. The only positive we can take from it is that it's encouraged us to put on our own nights. We joined a lovely group of young people called the Riverhead Producers who program events at the theatre in Louth. We work so hard putting on the events and we're really proud of them because the audiences appreciate the music and the acts get treated properly - and that's the way it should be.

Matt: Living in a rural area it's hard to get people to come out and support local bands – but I don't think we should pin the blame on the people. We shouldn't make people feel morally obliged to support the scene – if the music is enjoyable and entertaining enough then eventually the word will get round. Or at least that’s the plan…

Should we expect to hear more from you in the future?
Definitely! We’re yet to conquer the world of YouTube, so our next mission is to get some videos up. We’re working away at new material for our live set too. We’re also planning to set up a monthly music night in the area which we’re really excited about.

Where can we find you on social media?

We're on most of the main sites:

And our EP is available to download at:


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