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Hot Chelle Rae seems pleasantly surprised at how well the band’s career continues to progress.

“It’s everything that we thought it would be, but it’s also surprising at the same time,” lead singer Ryan Follese told me backstage over the weekend. Hot Chelle Rae was on one of its many sold out stops for the “Beautiful Freaks” tour. “To be able to have this job and have it take us to the places we’re going, it’s incredible.”


Case in point: the band recently wrapped a tour through Australia and New Zealand supporting fellow Nashville musician Taylor Swift. Follese said the band and Swift simply had one of “those moments.”

“We were on this boat with Taylor, and we were all just sitting there, trolling about in Sydney Harbor,” the front man recalled. “I was actually standing next to Taylor, and I was like, ‘This job is amazing.’”

Swift concurred.

“As big as she is, she knows too,” Follese said. “The fans are unreal. This whole thing is just incredible.”

Guitarist Nash Overstreet used similar adjectives to describe the tour itself.

“They’re very, very polite and welcoming,” Overstreet noted of the band’s New Zealand fans. “They’re stoked that you’re in their country, they’re stoked that you’re playing.”

But the fans overseas didn’t just make HCR feel welcome by acting as tour guides during the day, or using “please” and “thank you” when asking for photos.

“They knew every word to every song, not just the singles,” Overstreet said. “It gives us a validation of songs we wrote that haven’t been on the radio yet, and to see them fall in love with those is really cool.”

Hot Chelle Rae has charted two tracks from Whatever on pop radio, and a third could be on the way with “Honestly,” a break-up anthem with a music video that features “Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson.

“I think somebody from a show like that is always a really cool edge to add to the video,” Follese said of Benson’s role as his eventual ex-girlfriend. “We reached out to her and she was down to do it.”

Of course, it wasn’t that simple. The actress was getting ready to shoot a movie, and HCR was on tour. All parties involved found one 24 hour window to film. The final piece took 17 hours. Benson left after for her movie; Hot Chelle Rae flew to Australia the next day.

In the end, the guys found a way to make it work. You can’t be surprised at that.

Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight” opens with the line, “It’s been a really really messed up week.” In another example of life imitating art, it was an awful week for the Nashville, TN band. The lead guitarist was the victim in an alleged armed robbery and the lead singer was physically removed from a Nashville pizzeria late at night for what he claims was no reason at all.

“I got mugged for an iPad,” revealed Nash Overstreet. “Yeah, don’t sell stuff on Craigslist.”

If you do use the site, make sure you show up to a planned meeting with someone else. Overstreet linked up in person with the potential buyer, only to be greeted with a gun. Nash gave up the iPad and fled. A police report was filed and authorities are currently searching for the alleged robber.

“I was shaken up for sure, but what are you going to do?” Nash said. “You got a gun, I got an iPad, let’s just… yeah, okay.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, lead singer R.K. Follese claims he was physically thrown out of Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria in the Music City last week. A bouncer allegedly threw R.K. out by his neck for “no reason.” The New York-style restaurant is open late on the weekends, when the incident occurred.

The boys love Nashville and claim that despite their stories, the city is great to its musicians. Yet still, Follese conceded that “it was a really really messed up week.”


Thankfully for HCR, it isn’t all bad news. The guys are currently working on a new album, which is slated for a September release, right after a tour with We The Kings. “Tonight Tonight” is the LP’s first single, and the track cracked the Top 30 on the Billboard charts. The music video for the single was just released last week, and it features a cameo from Nash’s brother, “Glee” star Chord Overstreet – who is seen making out with a woman on a Xerox machine.

“There were hundreds of (girls), but only one was shot,” explained Nash. “The casting was great; they were like e-mailing photos in, of just, all these girls sending in whatever photos they thought would land them the gig.”

Apparently Chord gets all of the tough jobs in life. However it wasn’t completely smooth sailing – the copy machine that the actress was sitting on shattered during the filming. Video of the mishap will be released soon on the band’s YouTube page.

Then again, given their past week – a broken office supply doesn’t sound so bad.