Have I mentioned how much I love female-fronted bands? How about female-fronted bands who REALLY know how to rock? Take my love for rock music and add the intensity and dynamic that can come from a female voice, and you’ve got Orange County natives Neo Geo. Their sound is just the right amount of edgy, their lyrics are unapologetic, and their music is diverse and moving. Truly a band to see live, as they will make sure you have an experience that you won’t soon forget.
I got the chance to talk with Rainy Terrell of Neo Geo about the passion behind their music, and what the band is up to next. Trust me, you’ll have a new-found appreciation for the badass-ness that is Rainy Terrell after reading this, or your money back. Which doesn’t really apply because this site is free, but read below anyway, and possibly discover a new favorite band in the process.
I know how difficult it is for “female-fronted rock” in this genre. How do you feel about that?
I see it as an opportunity more than anything. I don’t see it as a challenge; I see it as something new and it can be really awesome for our younger generations to see that also women are so captivating and emotionally very invested. I truly love it and it’s a challenge but yet it’s not. I see it as an opportunity more than anything to really convey how I feel. I really want to be an inspiration for younger women and kind of help them find their way. I’m trying to inspire younger women to find themselves.
You have a little bit more of an edgier, brash sound. How much of that is conveyed from your personal life?
Honestly, I used to do theater and I was in opera and that’s how I studied technically how to sing. As I got older I realized I really didn’t want to sing other people’s things. I wanted to be able to be in a band and actually convey what I feel and my emotions. So anything that you ever see on stage or anything that I write about is honest and true. I love artists that are real. I think that’s really important for any kind of music, because you expect to get something from the energy. I am theatrical, but I would never be a gimmicky band.
I can tell that your group has the passion for it! You can tell when a band is passionate about their music as opposed to gimmicky.
Exactly, I would never be a gimmick band. It’s always very real. I am human and there are some times when I am in a bad mood, or I’m in a great mood, or I am hurt about something, like anybody. I think it’s important to express that and not be fake about it. I hate fake!
So Neo Geo has been hitting some of the western tour dates. How has it been being on the road with the guys?
You know, I think I’m used to it by now. I have three brothers … and then being in a band with four other guys, and then all the techs are guys. So, it’s something that I find me picking up on certain things in their personalities. There are some things that I find myself doing that are kind of guy like, even though I am very feminine. Like, I’m okay with being able to be around them, and doing work. I do understand when they talk about girls or whatever. I feel like a little sister to them.
What kind of fan base have you noticed with Neo Geo? How do you interact with your fans?
It’s really cool because our fan base is a wide variety. I have women that are coming up to me that are in their 40s and 50s and guys that are in their 40s or 50s in our fan base. They’ll come to Warped Tour and they’re like, “Don’t ever stop what you’re doing.” A woman told me, “You’re like the next Gaga or Pink or No Doubt.” It feels really good to hear something like that.
What does the band have coming up in the future?
We just released a single called “Superstar”. When we go home [after Warped Tour] we’re going to be recording the second record. So that’s going to be really fun. I absolutely love [the single] “I’ve Done It Alone”, it’s even more of a favorite than “Superstar” but I love them both. Then we have a lot of other songs, another awesome ballad as well. So there’s a lot of really good songs that are going to be on the next record. It’s still going to be Neo Geo but it has a little more of an electronic/hip hop type feel, but it’s still very rock. It’s really hard to put a genre on it. It’s just Neo Geo; just a little different, but the same at the same time. It’s evolving.
Make sure you check out Neo Geo’s next show at The Roxy, September 12th, and if you’re not in the So Cal area, why not grab a free download of their latest single, “Superstar”? You’re welcome.