The time has come! Slaves has finally undergone their rebrand and is officially now ‘Rain City’!! Being a ‘super fan’ of this band, I’m so excited for this new chapter! This band has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations, rebuilding from the ground up and always coming back stronger than before. They have such a unique sound and they just radiate positive energy, which I think makes them stand out from the rest.
In 2020, around the time of the BLM protests, Slaves announced they were going to be changing the name to reflect their brand of positivity and cut ties with a name that carries a negative connotation.
The band said in a statement on their socials:
“As individuals, as well as a collective, we hold certain virtues close to our hearts, honesty and transparency with our fans being some of the most important. Early on in the process of writing and recording the new album To Better Days, we discussed what this new iteration of our band should sound like, what it should look like, as well as what it should be called. We decided then this would be our last release under the name ‘SLAVES’. The name ‘SLAVES’ was conceived as a reference to the band’s battle with substance abuse in the past. To the idea that we become enslaved by our addictions and by our own demons. Our goal has always been to tackle these difficult subjects head-on, as well as to build a community and share stories of hope to let others know that their inner demons can be defeated. However, this definition of the name neglects to take ownership of its racial connotations. As obstinate supporters of the BLM movement, we cannot continue to tie our music and our positive message to a word associated with such negative weight and hurt.”
There was talk about doing a rebrand when new lead singer, Matt McAndrew, officially joined since the band had changed and evolved so much since its founding in 2014. Bringing to light the fact their name may be insensitive or misinterpreted, they decided it was officially time to part ways with the old name. The new name is actually inspired by how the current members all met back in early 2019! The band, (bassist Colin Vieira, drummer Zack Baker and guitarists Felipe Sanchez and Weston Richmond) was at the airport, getting ready to board their flights for their UK tour when lead singer at the time, Johny Craig, didn’t show up leaving the rest of the band hanging. They only had a 45-minute window to find a new singer so they could still go on this tour. Luckily, a member of Escape The Fate, (who was also going on the UK tour) guitarist “Thrasher”, was working with Matt on a side project and recommended him to Slaves. They gave Matt a call, he was crazy enough to say yes and was on a plane a couple days later. The band met Matt for the first time right before their show in Manchester, a notoriously rainy city. Hence, the name ‘Rain City.’
The new name also fits perfectly with their former logos of a cloud and a triangle: they kept the logos with a slight altercation; the triangle now includes a raindrop on the inside. Rain City said on their most recent Instagram post that the cloud symbolizes “a reminder to keep looking up even when there’s a cloud overhead”.
After one of their shows on their most recent US tour, I was lucky enough to talk to Matt for a little about the name change and it was actually raining that night, too!
He said, ”You know, the new band name is Rain City and it’s raining outside, and that’s so cool!” I’m really grateful I was able to be at their last show as ‘Slaves’ at Rebel Rock Fest before they closed that chapter and started anew as Rain City!
Along with the name change, Rain City announced they will be releasing a new single “Cutting it Close” that will premiere early on SiriusXM’s Octane on October 21st at 6pm EST! It will be released everywhere on October 22nd. The little teaser of the song they posted goes hard!! Matt’s vocals are so incredible and the breakdown is so heavy! I cannot wait to play this song on repeat in just a week! They’ve already filmed a music video for the new song that includes a sick looking 1966 Mustang convertible and a rooftop location overlooking the LA skyline.
I’m so happy for these boys and excited to see where the future will take Rain City! They are heading off to the UK next week to start their headlining tour, featuring support from Siamese and Acres! So if you’re from across the pond, or not, be sure to catch one of their first shows as Rain City!