Being thrust from bedroom producer to pop superstar can be a bumpy ride, especially when the final move is being unceremoniously fired. That is clearly an oversimplification of the past four years of Kris Trindl’s life, but his journey from being the producer of Krewella to being on his own as Rain Man is a story that must be shared. We caught up with him in Miami and he opened up about his musical passions, reality, and what it was like getting support from everyone’s favorite internet troll, deadmau5
RS: You working on your tan?
Rain Man: Absolutely, a vampire tan!
RS: I loved the way that you mixed drum & bass and trap on “Visionary.” When you make a track like that, how do you space it out or build the track?
Rain Man: With that one it was very important for me to express some sort of production chops on the song. I kind of channeled my love for Prodigy in the intro with the sirens and the weird, wonky, artifacty bass. I hadn’t even really considered that it should be a trap song and a D&B song at the same time. When I work on a song, I put a lot of parts together in the session just to see how they sound. Then I piece it so that all the ideas that I have worked with come together..
RS: I have to say that I am a little confused, “Dope” is a really sick track and I absolutely love it. “Bring Back The Summer” is out now and it sounds like it is from a totally different person. What is the story there?
Rain Man: Where do I begin? I think that Skrillex has done a good job of paving the way for people to basically release whatever they want. He is obviously Skrillex and he can do whatever he would like to do musically and it will be welcomed. He put out a dubstep song and then “Recess,” which is more of a chill EP to “Where Are Ü Now” which is more of a pop record. When I was in the band Krewella we would do similar things where we would put out a dubstep record and then we had “Alive.” When we had “Alive” in the studio it was on my hard drive and we didn’t think that we could put it out. We thought people were going to wonder why we made some dubstep, edgy songs and then we put out a house song. We said forget about it, let’s just do it! It helped the trajectory of us as artists in so many ways and if we hadn’t of put it out it would have been completely different and it wouldn’t have been as skyrockety. When I had “Bring Back The Summer,” which I made last May in one night working with the singer, it reminded me of the situation. I wasn’t going to think twice about putting it out and went for it. We were strategic about it, whereas in 2015 I only put out the bass records. When I signed up with Dim Mak, they wanted to put out “Bring Back The Summer” in February. I thought that they were going to say March, May, June, or July and when they said February I was like yes, let’s go! I welcomed that. People were like how do you go from “Dope” to “Bring Back The Summer”?
RS: I say this with love. The most lovable internet troll is DeadMau5. How did it feel when he came out in support of you?
Rain Man: I think it’s interesting, it was nice to have somebody speak on behalf of the type of dude I am, who is behind the scene and a bit of an introverted guy. I saw everyone saying that I wasn’t a producer or something like that. I thought it was funny which is why I put out “Visionary.” It was nice. I knew that DeadMau5 with his millions of followers was out there fighting for the producer in me and contrary to popular belief no one was like “yo Deadmau5 come on, why don’t you tweet something.” He is his own person and if I could get him to do anything it would be more like put me on, it wouldn’t be like talk crap or something like that. It felt good that I didn’t necessarily have to stand up for myself in that situation, anything that I could have said would have been overshadowed by anything the Mouse said anyways. So I was like, I can go back to making music now.
RS: You keep saying “we,” what is the biggest challenge of going from being part of a group to being a solo?
Rain Man: It is the “we” to an “I” probably, there is no synergy when it is just you but there is also a lot of freedom which is why I am loving my career, or whatever you call it, now. In 2014 I almost didn’t know what to do with my life, I didn’t even know if I should be a DJ. When I was with Krewella, they were the DJs, the ones that picked the songs, played the songs, and I was up there more like a hype man and less of a DJ. They are really great DJs on their own and I had to get back into that lane. When I decided to go off as Rain Man all these people were questioning whether I actually made beats or if I was a big fake or a latcher on. I knew what I had to do which was do my own thing and prove myself. That is how I got into doing the solo thing, I almost didn’t. I make all the decisions. I book my own flights these days. I know exactly what songs I am going to play and what songs I am going to put out. Dim Mak has given me complete, full artistic control of anything I do on the label. It is hard when you have a democracy, when you have three people and one person wants to get a sandwich and one person wants to sleep. Being alone is wonderful.
RS: What is coming next from you?
Rain Man: We are going to see how “Bring Back The Summer” does and if people like it as a crossover single, we would like to get it on the radio a little bit. Depending on how it does we are going to come out with a new single in 2-4months. I have a lot of vocal driven crossover stuff that I am sitting on. “Bring Back The Summer” is sort of like the gateway to more crossover Rain Man stuff that I will be doing. I also have to make the bass tracks because when I decided to be Rain Man and not give up on music, I realized I couldn’t not make music. I would go three weeks without making a song but I had to eventually go do it, I realized it is actually my calling. It is not something that I am just doing because I need money or need to pay my rent or I want to be famous, it is actually because I love to make music. It’s a wonderful feeling.
RS: Love that answer. When they make the movie of your life, what actor is going to play you?
Rain Man: You know who would be good is Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games. It would be someone very short and we would beat him up before the set so that he would have a wonky face. It’s funny, people would always tell me that I look like Keanu Reeves or Breckin Meyer from Clueless. It would be really funny to get Breckin Meyer to do it, to get him to tell the story of the first two years before Krewella was popular and then the next two years. The girls can play themselves because they are so gorgeous.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Rain Man: Thank you guys for supporting me. Check out my music on Twitter and Instagram and all of that @omgRainMan. Hope you like what you hear.
Interview conducted March 2016 during Winter Music Conference.