A new single and a new look mark 2014 thus far for the pop-rock outfit Hot Chelle Rae. The band believes “Don’t Say Goodnight” will be the single that buoys its third studio LP. Meanwhile that album will be recorded without bassist Ian Keaggy, who left the band on amicable terms.
“I don’t think he was cut out for the road,” lead singer Ryan Follese told “The Ralphie Show.” “He loves playing music and he’s very passionate about art but I mean, we’ve been touring for two-and-a-half, three years.”
People change with the times. For Keaggy, that meant buying a house and settling down with a steady girlfriend.
“We’re ready to amp it up, where as he was ready to kind of tone it down,” Follese continued. “It all ended on good terms.”
Guitarist Nash Overstreet chimed in that the guys are all still close. It was simply just a matter of some people adjust better to life on the road than others. For HCR, most of their summer in 2013 was spent traveling with Justin Bieber’s “Believe Tour.”
“He was actually really, really nice to us,” Follese said. “He watched our show a couple times from side stage, which we thought was really cool. He even said songs that he liked in our set, which was really cool. It meant he actually did watch it.”
Overstreet went as far as to defend the beleaguered pop star.
“I went out to enough clubs during that tour to give eyewitness to the fact that like, ‘Oh, that club where he spit on the guy? That never happened!’” the guitarist said. “I was right there.”
With Follese’s brother Jamie still in the mix, HCR plans to stay a trio for now. The lead singer says the band has friends who can step in on bass once a tour pops up. No such plans were in place prior to the release of the new single.
“It’s got kind of, more of a classic like, soaring melody in the chorus, which is kind of a new thing for us,” described Follese of “Don’t Say Goodnight.” The song’s hook does sound like it could be related to something performed by the band fun. “But it’s got like this harder, almost rap-y verses which are really, really fun.”
Follese said the song’s inspiration came from bars closing too early out west. If “Don’t Say Goodnight” can be as big as Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight,” then the party won’t be ending any time soon.