By Nicholas Jason Lopez
When his best friend David Pickup was tragically killed in a hit-and-run in 2016, guitarist Damian Carruthers hoped to be able to finish the song they wrote together, but needed to make sure he worked with the right musician to do so.
Through social media, Carruthers connected with vocalist Kerri Rasberry and instantly found the perfect fit. After an incredibly emotional recording experience four years in the making, Carruthers can breathe easier now that “Strong Soldier” has officially made it out to the world.
Rasberry and Carruthers make up the Norfolk-based indie/clockwork pop band RAIN, whose debut single is a bonafide power ballad to the max – a slow start, sure, but it gradually picks up to deliver an epic finale best fit as a tribute to a lost friend.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the duo about “Strong Soldier” and more.
Music Bugle – Was RAIN the first choice for the band name?
Damian Carruthers – We were recording and whilst Kerri was doing her vocal takes, the sky opened and it absolutely poured down. After brainstorming a few ideas for band names, RAIN just seemed to stand out.
Kerri Rasberry – That and I kept singing the word “storm” rather than “strong,” so RAIN just seemed very fitting.
Music Bugle – Given its emotional backstory, are you proud of the way “Strong Soldier” has turned out?
Damian Carruthers – I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. Owen from Sick Room Studios did a fantastic job with production and every single time Kerri got in the vocal booth, it gave me goosebumps.
Kerri Rasberry – Hearing the first copy – which was good – turn into what we made, it was a very proud moment for us both for sure.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Norfolk to someone who has never been there before?
Damian Carruthers – I live in Hunstanton, right by the sea. It is one of the most beautiful places to live and full of inspiration, plus the chips shops are amazing!
Kerri Rasberry – What Damian said! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your musical style?
Damian Carruthers – It is just way out of my comfort zone, as far as writing goes. That and Kerri’s vocals are incredible.
Kerri Rasberry – Every song so far just sounds so different to the last. So many different styles coming together, we’re like a bag of pick ‘n’ mix!
Music Bugle – Since you guys connected on social media, would you say that it is a great tool for musicians or is it too oversaturated?
Damian Carruthers – It has its pros and cons. It is great for connecting with other artists and a great promotional tool if you know how to use it, but people have very short attention spans these days due to social media and it has certainly changed the way a lot of artists write. It feels like a lot of songs are now written with this in mind and art is definitely suffering as a consequence.
Kerri Rasberry – I agree. Also, there is so much music on social media, along with some incredible artists. It’s very easy to get lost in the chaos of it all.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Damian Carruthers – Writing so far out of my comfort zone.
Kerri Rasberry – Nothing thus far. I’m still furloughed, so making the most of the free time! I’m loving writing new material. It’s opening up a whole side to me I didn’t know was there!
Music Bugle – What keeps you focused in the recording studio?
Damian Carruthers – Coffee.
Kerri Rasberry – Hearing a song build for sure – that and tea!
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Damian Carruthers – Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Kerri Rasberry – “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Damian Carruthers – Anathema, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, Deaf Havana, Excerts, NOFX, Cyndi Lauper, T’Pau…. such a random bunch!
Kerri Rasberry – 90’s R&B, Pink, Stevie Wonder and Joel Corry’s new song is on repeat too!
Music Bugle – What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the past year?
Damian Carruthers – Never give up on your dreams. You never know how close you are to achieving them.
Kerri Rasberry – Don’t take anything for granted! Pay more attention to the small things.