Many transcendent moments in life are experienced with music. Some filled with joy. Others awash in sorrow.
I, too, have had many, though most of my revered "moments" are specific to the discovery of the next shining light of a generation for I have a self-effacing affinity for the sound of divinity!
I'm tuned into these moments...much the way that people remember historic events by where they were, whom they were with and what they were doing. All of my favorite bands/artists provide these moments for me. It's like I'm thunderstruck and time is frozen for a fraction of an instant as I absorb the transgression of titillation.
Fortunately, with the world seamlessly connected via the interweb, these moments occur with much more regularity than when we toiled in the age of analog. God rest ye acetates.
And so as my musical life marches on, I never know what each new day will bring.
One bright sunny day last summer (in 2011), my world, once again, spun off of its axis as I heard Neo Geo for the first time. It was while watching the video for the scintillating "Can't Catch Me". The video is good, the song is strong but, for me, it was all about a rivering indelible voice!
What breath control! Hearing the powerful notes, eclipsing one another, I was immediately enamored with the seemingly effortless transcendence of one Ms Rainy Terrell!
With a critically-acclaimed self-titled debut stamping its bold mark on the rock world in 2011, Neo Geo sharpened its prowess this past summer by unleashing the haunting bombast of Superstar?, a bold glimpse to the bright future of New Earth.
Neo then bestowed a mellow flow as they Stripped Down four fan favorites and released them as a digital Ep in September.
With the midnight oil percolating beneath the embers of a bountiful fall harvest, Rainy shadowed a move made notoriously popular by Skylar Grey, with Eminem and Dr Dre, by contributing her soaring vocals to the chorus of a gritty hip hop track called Hate Me by The Guinea Bastard & The Irish Prick. With her effervescence able to satiate, Hate solidified its fate to propagate all that is great.
And now the oil reaches full boil as she and Ryan Walter, keyboardist/guitarist for Neo Geo, are waist deep in mapping out global dominance, phase two, as opus numero dos is in the periphery.
Self-professing that punk princess Avril Lavigne is her celebrity doppelgänger, Rainy can brazenly rock a glittery pink tiara with the best of 'em though she's much more than just a mutha f*ckin' Princess.
She reigns a multilateral domain... A glorious Goddess wielding the luminescence of an existential Empress for which there is no resistance.
With her time and talent in high demand, Rainy was gracious enough to (virtually) kick it at the Matrix for a few...plenty of time to gorge on a sumptuous platter of mack and cheese glistening with a hint of verboten au gratin.
1. Neo Geo stands for “New Earth”. Are you a fan of science fiction? With all the new worlds created by the likes of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Stephanie Meyer (Twilight), J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter) and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings), what do you envision for your new world?
RT: Yes I am a fan of Science Fiction, I enjoy a lot of movies and books in the science fiction realm. We named the band New Earth because we wanted to create something new, and different. Music that is passionate and inspires while keeping it in a Rock, Electronic, Pop Element. I love the world we have, it's the perspective of how YOU see it and that makes "New Earth" a reality within your own mind. Your thoughts and emotions create your reality.
2. You’re a classically trained vocalist with an amazingly powerful voice and an incredible range! Before starting Neo Geo in 2008, had you performed in any operas or theatrical productions? If so, which ones and what part/role did you embody?
RT: There's too many to mention, but my favorites were The Mystery Of Edwin Drood as Rosa, Pagliacci the Opera, Pirates of Penzance as Mabel, and Shakespeare's or Edward Deviere or even possibly Sir Francis Bacon's (if you're into all the Shakespeare conspiracies) "The Tempest", which I had an amazing insight when playing the singing Nympth (at 14 yrs old) in Shakespeare Festival LA's Production.
3. As I mentioned after one of your Viper Room shows, my life is now complete...I got to see Neo Geo perform “Masquerade”. The lyrics, and the way you bring them to life, really resonate with me. Ryan Walter, your keyboardist, told me the song has only been played about five times live but never with the dramatic flair with which it was done at Viper.
Starting off with you standing on a catwalk under a single spotlight in front of a closed curtain, you majestically sang the opening verses before the curtain flung open at the point the song/band kicks in. It was extraordinary!
With the resurgence of marrying the power of rock ‘n roll with the theatrics of Broadway in hit shows such as Rock of Ages, The Beatles LOVE by Cirque de Soleil and Queensrÿche’s Cabaret Ball (which had aerialists, acrobats, drag queens and even a lil S&M), do you envision putting together a stage production one day that melds the two art forms together?
RT: That is exactly what I plan on doing. I plan on, in the near future, encompassing a huge theatrical production to compliment the music and give visuals for the listener. That is a big part of my backround in music and I plan on fully exploiting it in the most artistic way possible.
4. Your self-titled debut celebrated its first Anniversary in June and you commemorated the milestone by releasing a scintillating music video for “DT Killer”. At the same time, you also released a brand new song called “Superstar” that’s in more of a poppier vein. Is that direction just what was right for this particular song or a direction the band is going to move towards when it comes time to record the next album?
RT: We always go into a song with the idea that that's what's right for that particular song. That's why I don't believe in giving everything a genre. I think blurring the lines of genres is a must and keeps all different types of people engaged, so who knows what is to come. I tell you it's a surprise to even me, until the song is completely finished.
5. Getting back to “DTK”. The song has visceral lyrics to begin with, but you match them with giant hanging bird cages (ensconced with band members), coffins, chain walls and hundreds of lit candles and the result is a visual masterpiece! Props to you and Director Elliot Dillman. Most people don’t get the chance to consciously spend some time in a coffin though I bet it was a blast shooting the video. What was it like?
RT: The video was crazy, so elaborate and such a great team behind the scenes made it so much fun. Being in a coffin was a cool experience. I didnt find it morbid or scary. Just a new experience under my belt. I have that knack for the dramatic flair.
As road warrior veterans, what are your Top 5 apparel brands and/or accessories that you can’t leave Orange County without?
RT: Lots of Tea, an iPod with classical music to keep me balanced, makeup and readiness for the road.
7. Let’s touch on some favorites: Adult beverage? Midnight snack? Animal? Number? Opera?
RT: A lady never gives away her secrets, but I will say my favorite Operas would be Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Mozart's Don Giovanni, but I'm always on the lookout for new favorites.
8. I still remember the first time I heard Juliet Simms sing. It was when I watched the music video for Automatic Loveletter “Heart Song”. I thought to myself, Wow, what a Voice!
And I still remember the first time I heard you sing. It was when I watched the video for “Can’t Catch Me”. I said to myself, Damn, what a VOICE!
It immediately prompted me (not even knowing you at the time) to contact the Jimmy Star Show to passionately extol your virtues, which led to an on-air interview.
So, in a land of wish fulfillment, Carson Daly just announced, “After the commercial break, The Voice will be back with a Rainy Terrell & Deborah Harry duet. What song would you sing with her and why?
RT: Being that she is such a huge influence for me, I would let Deborah decide, after all she is Blondie.
9. One of my favorite Neo Geo songs is your cover of Berlin’s “The Metro” which has also been covered by System of a Down, Alkaline Trio & John Frusciante. The vocal and bassline on your version are so sultry! I’m sure Terri Nunn would dig it! Any other covers currently in the NG arsenal or plans for one in the future?
RT: Thank you! Yes we have some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.
RT: I would hop on a flight to Yucatan, Mexico and check out the Chichen Itza Ruins.
RT: Fuck Cancer is an organization I've supported for a long time. They're based out of Orange County. Check them out.
12. If you could spend a day with anyone (living or dead), whom would it be and why?
RT: I would spend the day with my voice teacher, highly esteemed opera singer Leona Roberts. She gave me my voice and so much more, and with that I owe her everything.