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CRS Spotlight: Gloriana, The Best Of Today's Nashville
Amid the soaring four-part harmonies and electric stage presence, Gloriana is an exciting new and vibrant force in country music
By Cindy Beth Gordon
(more articles from this author)
2009-04-03
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I recently caught up with Gloriana after Country Radio Seminar. Amid the soaring four-part harmonies and electric stage presence, it's clear that Gloriana represents an exciting new and vibrant force in country music. The group -- Tom Gossin, Mike Gossin, Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball -- consists of four uniquely talented and enthusiastic young musicians joining forces to create a fresh, one-of-a-kind sound that reflects the best of today's Nashville.

From the outset, Gloriana has been winning supporters at all levels from Grammy-winning producer/label owner Matt Serletic and premiere Nashville songwriter Jeffrey Steele to the fans who've already had the chance to experience them live. They're self-titled debut album, reflects both the sheer talent of its members and the level of commitment they have put into making every note count.

Gloriana got its start in the winter of 2007, when brothers Tom and Mike, who had moved to Nashville after sweating it out in clubs in North Carolina, discovered Rachel. It wasn't long after seeing the group perform at 3rd and Lindsley that Cheyenne fell in love with Gloriana. Immediately after the show, she asked the trio if she could get together with them and jam. When they did, it was magic. From that point on, commitment was everything. The band spent the next six months getting their songs and our live sound together. They accomplished a lot, working non-stop, playing shows, making sure they were tight and ready to go.

The band sent a demo to Emblem Music Group, the new label founded by Matt Serletic, known for his work with Willie Nelson and Matchbox Twenty, among many others. Emblem is an evolution of Melisma Records, Serletic's Diamond and multi-Platinum award-winning label, with over 50 million album sales to its credit. An intense creative process got underway. Serletic began writing with one of Nashville's finest songwriters, Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, etc.) and co-wrote their high-energy debut single "Wild At Heart" with Josh Kear and Stephanie Bentley. At the same time Gloriana was collaborating with a talented array of Nashville songwriters including Trey Bruce, Kyle Cook, Ben Glover, Chuck Jones, Kevin Kadish, Wayne Kirkpatrick, and Danny Myrick.

The band members moved in together and secluded themselves to begin making their mark on the songs. They spent an intense month putting their stamp on the songs. One at a time, they worked up songs, and performed them before the best critics that any artist has…the fans. That sense of assurance and the hard work they put in are evident in every track of their debut CD. The feels vary from "The Way It Goes" and "How Far Do You Wanna Go?," which display the four-part harmonies, energy and big sound that make the group so exciting on stage, to "Lead Me On" and "All The Things (That Mean The Most)," songs whose passion and intimacy are undeniable.

Hi ya'll. Congratulations on all your recent accomplishments. What inspired you to record the song Wild at Heart" and release it as a single?

Tom From the first time we heard "Wild at Heart," we knew it was something special. The demo that we heard was an acoustic version with one voice. We instantly put together some harmony parts and the whole "stomp and clap" thing, and the song came to life! Matt's production on the recording really sealed the deal, and we knew that it should be our first single. It's a really fun song with a good summertime feel, which was exactly what we wanted!

You opened up for LeAnn Rimes - in Feb. 2008. What was it like opening up for Leann. Did you learn anything from her? What advice, if any did she give you?

Rachel Opening for LeAnn was a great experience for us. It introduced us to playing for bigger crowds/venues, which has been good preparation for our tour with Taylor Swift. We didn't really get the chance to hang with LeAnn, but every night we'd watch her play, and she was always a very solid performer, and her vocals every night were flawless. Her crew is also very gracious and welcoming. It was a great run!

I heard you will be opening up for Taylor Swift on her Fearless 2009 Tour. How did you feel when you first heard the news? That's a long tour - What does it take to get ready for a tour like that? Heard Kellie Pickler will also be a warm up act. What are your thoughts on being on tour with Kellie and Taylor? I'm sure it will be a lot of fun!

Rachel When we first heard the news, we were SO thrilled and happy. Being a new band, we weren't expecting to be added to such a huge tour so early on, so we feel very grateful and blessed. In preparation for this tour, we're going to be rehearsing and re-arranging our music/set for a couple weeks before we go out on the road. We'll be playing acoustically, just two guitars, a mandolin, a tambourine, and our vocals. We are still yet to meet/speak to Kellie, but she seems like a fun girl, so we're looking forward to our new friendship with her and her crew! As for Taylor, she has gone out of her way to reach out to us/make us feel very comfortable, which means the world to us. She's a sweetheart, and we think its going to be a very fun/eventful summer for all of us!!

What do you like to do on your time off (from Tour)?

Rachel I'm a very laid back person, so when I get time off, I love coming home to Nashville. I live by myself, but my brother lives down the street from me because he's a student/football player at Vanderbilt University, so we like to go out around town together! I also enjoy watching tv and movies, spending time online, hanging out with friends and family, sleeping, working out, shopping, cooking, writing, etc;. Our lives are so busy and hectic now, I just try to keep things as mellow as I possibly can for myself when we have down time!

Any special hobbies aside from music?

Tom I've always been pretty consumed with music for most of my life! I'm always either writing, playing, learning, or thinking about music--so it doesn't leave too much time for other hobbies! I do like to cook though.

What has it been like working with Emblem Records Producer Matt Serletic and Songwriter Jeffrey Steele?

Tom Matt Serletic is one of the best, if not THE best producers/musicians I've ever met. He's a great inspiration and mentor for a guy like me. I'm totally still in disbelief that I get to make music with him! Jeffery Steele is such a great writer, and such a cool guy! As a singer/writer, I'm just trying my best to be more like him! He's awesome.

How did you feel when you heard the news that "Wild at Heart hit" #16 on CMT Top 20?

Rachel Pleasantly surprised! I honestly wasn't expecting it to happen so soon, but we all feel so blessed! I've watched the CMT Top 20 countdown for years, waiting for the day that I'd be on it, and now it's really happening! It just feels so surreal, and I'm absolutely thrilled. We are so grateful for all the support we have received as a brand new band. It's been an incredible journey so far.

Who are some of your favorite artists and influences?

Mike My favorite artists are the Beatles. They have been my inspiration and role models in my life and in music. They define perfect songwriting and harmonies in an unreplicable fashion and I aspire to be them.

How did you hook up with Jeffrey Steele and Matt Serletic?

Mike Tom and I met Matt Serletic through a mutual friend and sent him a tune we had written and that's when we hooked up. Matt was someone we had admired and wanted to work with for years and we couldn't be happier. He's one of the most talented guys we know. Jeffrey Steele was a friend of Matt's and is an amazing songwriter. We are blessed to have him writing with us for this project.

Does the band write songs as well? Are you open to accepting songs from outside songwriters?

Mike Tom and I being brothers have been writing and producing our own music for ten years now. It was an honor for us to write for this album and to co-write with some of Nashville's best writers. Truly an amazing experience and we have learned a lot and continue to grow in a positive direction from it.

What do you like to sing about?

Rachel I like to sing about real life experiences; I think that's what country music is all about. I love singing songs that are honest and tell a story. To me, it's all about feeling connected to the lyrics, and as a singer, emoting vocally is my priority. So when I'm singing a song that I can relate to, I get into that "zone", and I try to deliver a performance that feels raw and honest.

What are some things you'd like to do that you haven't accomplished yet at this early stage?

Rachel I'd really like to perform outside of the United States. I've never really been outside of the country before, and I love to travel and experience different places/people, so I think that would be such an amazing adventure. I'd also like to perform at the Grammy's!

What was it like recording your first video in Nashville?

Cheyenne It was SO cool! We got to film the first scene in the car on Broadway. They blocked the street off for us and we even had police escorts! It was really cold at the time so we had to act warm... which was a little tough at some points. (laugh)

What are some of your favorite songs on your soon to be released CD and why? When is it scheduled to be released?

Cheyenne The record will be released at the beginning of summer. We are all so proud of it. My favorite songs on the record would have to be "Lead Me On" because it gives me chills every time I hear it, "How Far Do You Want To Go", (I turn that one up really loud in my car) and "You Said". Jeffrey Steele had a hand in writing that one and it's such a good song I was so happy to sing lead on it.

What's it been like living together? How do you handle any disputes that come up?

Cheyenne We are all like family now. When we first formed as a band, we lived together for 2 months. It was eventful to say the least, but we all go to know each other very well. You find out a lot about a person when you live with them like that! So now we all understand each other and what not to say when a silly question like "Who ate my lucky charms?" arises. There isn't much fighting that goes on to be honest. We all get along very well and I love them all!

Thanks ya'll. We wish you the best of luck with everything.

Gloriana Thanks Cindy.

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