Bonnaroo Backstage Banter: Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are a seven-member band unlike any other. Their energy literally pulsates on stage, reverberating psychedelic vibes from their eclectic sound and outlandish outfits. With such a commanding stage presence, it’s no wonder they are all making a name for themselves.
I sat down with Joe Hertler, lead vocalist, guitar jammer and lyricist, to find out why the audience can’t stop moving after hearing their groovy tunes.
How did you get started?
We were all just college buddies, really. Michigan [where we met] just has a really strong core community. I was actually an IT and my guitar player came in to fix his computer and he became one of my best friends. There were other members that I met who just had bands that broke up, so we all came together. We are all obsessively interested in things, which makes things fun.
How would you describe your music?
We don’t confine ourselves to one genre. I listen to a majority of techno/house music, so as a whole we find inspiration from a lot of different genres. We have tight grooves consisting of funk, americana and folk. I think it works jumping around with different music, it gets the crowd moving.
What is the inspiration behind your song lyrics?
I obsess over different topics. I read a lot, so I fixate on a certain idea when reading and figure it out from there. One of our songs is based off a fable about two gay samurais that fall in love, make a promise to each other to return after the war with a samurai vow. Sadly, they commit suicide, but are eternally in love.
Any pre-concert rituals?
We play a lot of Super Smash Bros Melee. Ya know, old school on the GameCube. Some of us are really huge gamers. We sometimes meet up with other professional gamers before. It’s actually really intimidating. I play Marth, it’s awesome.
What is your craziest concert memory?
Our drummer used to wear a huge Yeti helmet. HUGE antlers. Some drunken jumped on stage, grabbed the helmet, put it on and then threw himself off stage and flattened these two small girls. Everyone moved out of the way. We actually stopped the music, and everyone was just like “are you serious?” I don’t know what happened after, but at least we got the helmet back.
Any chance you all will be in Florida soon?
I hope so. We have a lot of listeners in Florida. I promise on our next national tour we will, it’s the one corner of the U.S we haven’t performed at yet.
Take a look at their very colorful website and listen to their new album “Terra Incognita” to get a feel for what the hype is all about.