Canadian singer-songwriter The Rainy Day Apparel is an alexrainbirdMusic mainstay – he’s featured on my channel four times thus far – but there’s not much information out there on this mysterious alternative/indie/folk artist. He’s been playing music since 2002, toured with Jon Bryant and tells incredible stories through his songs, but today we’re looking at his story. Read on to find out more about this elusive artist and listen to his song ‘This Too Shall Pass’ (the first TRDA track that I featured) above!
Hi The Rainy Day Apparel! What’s your name and age?
My name is Nathan Strange and I am 32 years old.
Thank you! Now The Rainy Day Apparel is quite an interesting artist name, could you give some background on it as well as how you started the project?
Way back in high school I was in a Creative Writing class and we had to complete some original writings for our final project. I was already in an emo band called “Memmermint” (different name story all together) and I was writing quite a few songs that didn’t really fit with what we were doing so I thought I would use them instead of letting them go to waste.
I was sharing some of the acoustic ballad-y type songs with friends to see if they were worth using and someone said “this is the kind of music you put on when you’re sad and it’s raining”. So I thought The Rainy Day Apparel is something you put on when it is raining.
The project has been off and on ever since; but in the last 3 years I have had a rekindled passion for it and have been really feeling the urge to create and share.
I really like that, it makes so much sense now! How would you describe your music in three for someone who’s never heard it before?
Mellow Indie-Folk. That’s the best I can do with 3 words. Either that or listen for yourself.
I’d say that sums it up pretty well. If you could tour with any band/artist, who would it be?
This question is damn near impossible! I suppose I’ve always been a massive Green Day fan; they are the reason I picked up a guitar and started writing. However, I don’t know if I would be a good fit because my music is completely different.
I was very fortunate to have the chance to do a show with Jon Bryant on tour last November. He is a friend of mine but that doesn’t change the fact that I believe he is one of the best songwriters on the planet. That was a huge opportunity for me and the best part is that it was completely non-hypothetical!
Haha Green Day are awesome! Congrats on the Jon Bryant show too, I wish I could have been there. I know you’ve been writing music for a long time; could you describe the process you go through? Do you write the lyrics before the music?
It really depends; I think more often than not my melody and lyrics are created separately and then combined later on.
The last batch of songs that I wrote for my Sketch Pad EP was written during a time when I was struggling with chronic nerve pain, off work and just kind of tumbling toward rock bottom. The poetry that was happening late at night when I couldn’t sleep or when I was on morphine in the hospital was pretty revealing and raw. I actually had to dial back the anger and frustration in some of the lyrics; it didn’t feel or sound like me. Prior to Sketch Pad I was always used to writing from a position of optimism but to stretch your writing into new places is pretty exciting. And towards the end of the album after I got my surgery when I started to feel healthier you can see the shift; it has a “light at the end of the tunnel” vibe. I think that shift is carrying over into the new stuff that I’m just starting to put pen to paper on.
Man, that’s amazing. So sorry to hear about your pain though it’s great you were able to channel it into your music. It’s always interesting to hear artists change their sound when they go through hard or happy times. I’m glad you mentioned Sketch Pad because I was going to ask, do you have a favourite song on that EP? Any particular tracks for readers to check out to best introduce them to your sound?
I think Second Guess is a really good jumping point. It’s kind of a clean, echoey and mellow snapshot of who I am. I wrote it for my wife to tell her how much I appreciated her patience and love when I was hurting and not acting like myself.
I’m really proud of that song; but that being said I think all of the songs on Sketch Pad complement each other nicely and are more meaningful as a collective.
They definitely do, I highly suggest that readers give the full EP a listen (links below) to take in the whole record. Now that we’re into 2017, what are your plans for the future?
I am getting ready to start writing again and I’m thinking that in the next year or so I will try to do more shows. The Rainy Day Apparel has always been about me sharing my music and I want to push that a little harder and see where it takes me.
Sounds good! Finally, any last words?
I mentioned earlier that The Rainy Day Apparel has had some new life pumped into it; I think this is the perfect time to thank Alex Rainbird. He’s done so much for me and artists just like me. It’s a great feeling when someone, who genuinely knows music, to put his faith in the songs I’ve written and recorded. Thank you.
Aww you’re more than welcome, it’s my pleasure! I’m very lucky to be in the position to share music with so many people and I’m glad my audience have been enjoying your songs!
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