They opened for Taylor Swift's three Auckland shows in March, now Nashville four-piece Hot Chelle Rae are back in the country. This time around they're the headliners, have all the freedom they want and are keen to show their fans a bit more of themselves.
While touring with Swift the band toned it down a notch and avoided swearing on stage.
"The thing about swearing was our decision," guitarist Nash Overstreet says.
"We got a lot of younger fans out there and we don't want to offend anybody or make their parents wish that they hadn't brought them to the show, so we tried to tone it down a little bit.
"We don't swear too much, we just have a couple of lyrics here and there," he says.
Having just wrapped up an US tour with the lads from The Script, they say that touring with guys was very different from touring with female performers.
"You find yourself minding your manners a lot more when you're touring with a bunch of girls," singer Ryan Follesé explains. "Taylor got a lot of background dancers and singers and you do kind of act like you're around your mum."
"But when it's just a bunch of guys we can cut loose a little bit more," he says, but is quick to add that the band prefers girls. "Obviously."
Hot Chelle Rae's singles Tonight Tonight, I Like It Like That and Honestly, have stormed up the charts both here and overseas but sometimes they still can't believe their success.
"We don't consider us famous," Follesé says. "Just because we've been a band for so long. I met Nash almost eight years ago and we've been playing together so much, so no matter how many people show up at a show, we will always be grounded and keep that mindset."
The band played in Wellington last night and are off to Auckland for a show at Vector Arena tomorrow. The four heart-throbs are certainly used to flocks of enthusiastic fans, but say their New Zealand fans were "amazing."
"They are very polite. Instead of them screaming when we pass them on the street, we hear them murmuring with each other and then they say 'excuse me, could we do a photo real quick,'" Overstreet says. "Luckily they don't scream in our ears and our faces until we play the concert."
Hot Chelle Rae got together in 2005, when Overstreet and Follese met and started writing songs fresh out of high school and by 2007 they were supporting the likes of rapper Lil' Jon. They also roped in Overstreet's childhood friend Ian Keaggy and Follese's younger brother Jamie and released their first album Lovesick Electric in 2009.
But it was last year's Top 10 single Tonight, Tonight from their sophomore album Whatever that launched their edgy pop sound big time. The band made such an impact, they were named Best New Artist at 2011's American Music Awards.
Fans at yesterday's show in Wellington were able to hear two new songs and even a busy tour schedule can't stop the band from working on new material.
Now the guys are excited for tomorrow's show. "Auckland is actually our largest headlining show that we've ever done."
"And just from the Wellington show, we're expecting to have our ears blown out," Overstreet says. "The New Zealand fans are so loud. The show in Wellington was probably one of the loudest shows, I've ever been at."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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