Interview with Rachel Reynolds from Room 17 by Holly HewittInterview
It was great to check in with lead vocalist of Room 17, Rachel Reynolds. Our kids went to school together and we started performing around the same time. Her straight forward attitude and powerful vocals make her a popular face on the local scene.
Rachel, tell us about your musical influences and what lead you to want to sing and perform.
''Growing up, my Mum was always singing! She had the radio playing all day long! As I got into my teenage years, I'd record the Top 40 every Sunday, listen to it all week, learn lyrics to my favourite songs of the week and sing! I auditioned for Stars in Their Eyes twice, both times as Belinda Carlisle, then I auditioned for X Factor. I always wished I could be in a band, but didn't know where to start. I just wasn't confident enough!
Tell us about Room 17 and any other musical projects you are involved in. What are the best and the more challenging things about being in the band.
Room 17 actually happened by accident. My husband Steve had taken up learning to play the drums and got into a newly formed band. My father in law Rob was the guitarist for another band and wanted Steve's band to do a little support act at one of their gigs but the band didn't really get going and they called it quits, much to Rob's disappointment! He'd heard me singing around the house so asked Steve if he thought I'd sing, and long story short, here we are! What I love is how we take any song, all learn our bit, take it to rehearsal and put it together with our own rock feel to it. Rehearsals are always massively productive and great fun! Going out on a weekend and doing what we absolutely love to do is just the best feeling! People dancing whilst we perform is still surreal to me! Local gigs where we know lots of people are always really special to us.
What can be challenging is finding new venues to perform at. Pubs can often have restrictions on noise levels, and being predominantly rock, we're pretty loud! Fitting all our gear into the playing area can be tricky sometimes too, but, it's amazing what you can get into a small space when you have to!
I know you have another job as many musicians do. Tell us about that and how you strike a balance between your musical projects and other elements in your life.
I work as a Teaching Assistant at a Primary School. I'm always singing at work, and some of the kids think I'm a rock star - I'm happy with that! Striking a balance between that and my band commitments is easy because working in a school means I only work during the day and weekends are never scheduled into my working week; although I think some of the children think I live there! Rehearsals happen in a room in my garden, so I don't have to travel; I literally get home, eat and walk down the garden - it doesn't get any easier than that!
What are your thoughts and feelings about the music scene locally?
I think the music scene locally is great! There's live music on somewhere in the area every weekend, so if we're not gigging ourselves, you'll almost certainly find us supporting someone else! I'm constantly seeing advertisements for local open mic nights, which are great for people just starting out in music and want to gain confidence, or people who just love music so much they want to do it all the time! It's a really great way for like minded people to get together and socialise too.
If you could collaborate with any artist ever, who would it be and why?
If he were alive today, I would love to collaborate with Freddie Mercury. He wrote such brilliant songs and he performed them perfectly for the world to see what a great showman really he was. Also, Pink. She's just so super cool! I love her, I love her songs and I love her live performances. She uses all of her talents to their full potential, all in one show. Brilliant
Leave us with three top songs you love and we should listen to.
I just love so many different songs and genres, so three very different songs I'll give to you.
Electric Worry by Clutch. A bluesy rock song introduced to me quite recently by a friend. I love it!
Penguin by Christina Perri. Such a lovely song that my husband and I chose to have playing in church while signing the register on our wedding day.
Sandstorm by Darude. I still love this Trance track. It was my eldest son's favourite when he was four, he used to ask me to play the ‘bang song'.
local gigs coming up:
24th November Golden Cross Coventry
30th November Lamplighter Stratford
1st December Montys Bar
31st December The Lion KenilworthC
Check out our page on Facebook @room17band
- Next interview - Saxophonist, Dionne Sambrooke