Interview: Randall Scott from Railer

posted June 30, 2002

by Corinne

Randall Scott from RailerWhy don't you introduce yourselves and tell us a little about Railer.

Railer was formed when Randall Scott and Gabe Castro started writing songs together, and asked some friends to help us play our music live. We formed in Anchorage and have just moved to Portland and are recruiting new players for live shows.

Where did the name Railer come from?

I didn't even know it had so many meanings when I picked Railer as the name of the band... it was more for me railing against my frustrations in life, and since then I've been told it means doing a line of coke, that it is a biblical bird, all sorts of things that I never new when I named the band.

Tell us about the cover of your CD, "Frame of Mind," I think it's interesting. Was that something created by a band member? Is that a cellular phone she's holding?

That is a painting by my friend Aaron Jasinski, who is a fantastic artist and I have many pieces of his work. (www.aaronjasinski.com). The painting is from a series called "Urban Angels", and it is a cell phone. I guess I was thinking a little about how our songs are about communication, but really I chose her because I'm in love with her eyes and innocence. I own the painting and Aaron was nice enough to sell us the rights to use it for Posters, t-shirts, the album, etc. I just think it depicts our music visually.

Why don't you explain a little about the Railer Underground Network. It seems ambitious -- how has it worked so far?

The RUN is my idea for allowing our fans to get involved, moreso than just a street team. It's a band of dedicated fans who can actively help us promote by selling the album on the street, spreading the word about our band, helping in guerrilla based tactics, and a way for us to say "thanks" to our fans with free goodies.

Congratulations on debuting at #18 in the CMJ top 200! Were you expecting this sort of success immediately?

Not really, I was happy to see us achieve that position. Unfortunately, even if you get added at a lot of stations, you have no way of knowing who will spin the record. Getting added just means you're in the library with 600 other CDs, so you have to call up the station and get personally in touch with the students at the station, get press so they know to look for us, etc.

What has the response been from the radio stations in the rest of the country and the music fans? Has it been or felt any different going national than just concentrating on a local level?

About 80% of the stations that we hard from like the CD, some said it's too soft, some said too hard, some just didn;t like it. You can't expect to please everyone. Ultimatley, it's just awareness. 99.99% of America still don't know who we are, so the labels we're talking to right now still have a good chance to break the record as new if we sign with anyone.

There's a mention of a US tour on your website, how is that coming? Can the rest of the US expect to see you anytime soon?

Not anytime soon, not until I feel positive we have a great live show, and we're still trying to find a new drummer at the moment. I guess our tour is TBA.

Where do you see the band in 10 years?

You know, I can;t see planning that far ahead, because it would be too much of a disappointment. I think more like 3 years, having recorded more albums and built a loyal fanbase. I don;t care about fame so much as hearing that people are emotionally connecting with our music and band.

Ok, what are you currently listening to?

Some local Portland bands, one is called UHF, another kind of like Radiohead called Room 101, and another band I met on the Internet through MP3.com, called Go Go Galaxion. We swapped records by mail, and I think these are all talented musicians. They have a sound that remind me of bands like the Stone Roses and Suede. As far as mainstream, I can't listen to radio stations right now due to the state of homoginized rock.

Favorite album(s) of all time?

I'm a putz... I want to name all these obscure albums and be cool, but my favorites fall in the realm of Violator, The Bends, Siamese Dream, and Isola by the Swedish band Kent.

What bands or albums have influenced you?

See the above...

What band do you think is underrated and deserves more attention?

My friend Matt Hopper, who actually helped me with the Railer album. He is the best songwriter I know, and blows away other Emo riders like Dashboard. Imagine Tom Waits amazing stries and lyrics with Weezer pop sensibilities. That's Hopper.

Anything else you'd like to add?

We recently made "Frame of Mind" available on CDbaby.com, the link is www.cdbaby.com/railer, and $1 of each album sold goes to the Sierra Club. Thanks for the opportunity to let us talk about our band, we'll see you on tour sometime :).