It’s the first time coming to the UK for He Is We and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been keeping up with them for a while and couldn’t believe it when they announced a Newcastle date. I was fortunate enough to sit down and have a chat with Rachel Taylor to talk about everything from the Tour to Tattoos.
Rachel: Hello, I am He Is We. That’s my stage name.
Jack: Let’s go from the beginning, where’s that name come from?
Rachel: I was like 14 or 15 years old and I decided if I was ever going to have a band, I wanted them to understand people on stage shouldn’t be above anybody. They should be eye level. At the end of the day, nobody should be idolised so the people on stage are with the people in the crowd, just with a microphone or guitar, drums or flute in their hands. It kind of became a more religious experience where I started to see social issues and understanding that faith was being used in a negative way I wanted to promote that the god I serve would not give a shit about your sexual preference.
Jack: Can I get a halleluiah?
Rachel: He loves you and at the end of the day he created you the way you are and He Is We is a collective of that though.
Jack: That’s a nice way to put it.
Rachel: Your accent is so cool.
Jack: I was going to say the same thing as well.
Rachel: Oh really? We’re cool but thank you very much.
Jack: and the Let’s Talk About Us Tour. The first time playing in the UK.
Rachel: For sure, this will be officially the first He Is We show ever in the United Kingdom ever in the ten years of its existence. I came to the UK when I was a kid but this is the first time I’ve been able to play music over here. It’s pretty rad. You guys have Starbucks so it’s cool.
Jack: Best beverage to have?
Rachel: Oh, Matcha Green Tea Latte. It’s powdered but it’s not and I love it.
Jack: Would that be your official endorsement tag? It’s healthy but it’s not?
Rachel: The Medicine Ball is another one. You take mint majesty, steamed lemonade and six packets of honey and then you drink it and feel better. It’s good for vocalists.
Jack: I’ll take your word for it there but I’ll pass on that concoction to a few friends.
He Is We: Please do.
Jack: I did notice the picture of your dog last week on your Instagram feed as well.
Rachel: He’s my little nugget. I got him because I started looking into adopting children and figured I should get him first and make my way and so far he’s alive. He’s perfect. I wanna donate his time to military hospitals. The last dog I had served with the soldiers that had just come back from Germany which was pretty cool. If he here, he’d be on his back sleeping next to your feet, he’s awesome.
Jack: And then just snap a picture of him
Rachel: I always do, I’m creepy as hell. Only toward him though. I talk to him all the time. Every time he pees or poops outside I get stared at because I’m like that was so good, you’re number one at number two like over and over again and he stares at me I’m like please stop mom.
Jack: God help your child when you eventually have one.
Rachel: God help them, for sure. That’s my life.
Jack: Then you’d be going from playing to supporting your kid in the crowd and they’re like mom please stop, please stop.
Rachel: Oh if my kid plays sports and someone puts a hand on my kid, I’m going to jail, for sure.
Jack: I’m imagining that right now and I’d pay to see that.
Rachel: I would. I definitely would so maybe I should just stick to dogs.
Jack: And after you wrap up things here in the UK, you’ve got a little break then straight back to things in the US.
Rachel: Mhmm, in like a month and a week and a half off then Australia. I’m getting all my firsts out there.
Jack: And the latest EP, To Infinity and beyond, toy story reference right there.
Rachel: Hell yeah. Toy story is my childhood right there.
Jack: I’ll say I have already seen Incredibles 2.
Rache: Oh I haven’t seen that yet, we were gonna go see it. Did you see Deadpool 2 yet? It’s so good. It’s soooo good. I need to see a couple of movies. Incredibles 2 is on there, Jurassic world.
Jack: I really need to see Hereditary.
Rachel: I really wanna see that one. I like scary movies but I’m not good at watching them.
Jack: Halloween comes out this October.
Rachel: What? Really? They’re making a new one?
Jack: John Carpenter is aboard and working on the music and Jamie Lee Curtis is aboard as well.
Rachel: Oh wow, really?
Jack: And the guy who played Michael Myers originally.
Rachel: Holy sh**! I’m so stoked for that. Hopefully, when I’m on the road I can do that. On our day off. We did an amusement park the other day.
Jack: I have to ask what’s in that drink as well?
Rachel: Oh. Lemon.
Jack: By the looks of your face I could’ve guessed that. Going to Infinity And Beyond again, what’s your favourite track to play off that?
Rachel: I’d have to say Every Other Man. I like playing it live, it’s just empowering. To Infinity is really fun but I think it’s Every Other Man. There are ones that are fun which is hold my heart and every other man is like a story. It’s like if I got on stage naked, the vulnerability would be there. I’ve never gone on stage naked but I’d assume it’s like that.
Jack: Have you ever seen Birdman?
Jack: There’s a bit where Michael Keaton walks through times square semi-naked.
Rachel: See, he gets it a little. I wrote that song on the piano and we were going to try and write something that was upbeat and I jumped on a piano while the producer wasn’t there and he came back in and I was just this emotional mess. I finally started talking about stuff that was going on with me and that song came about and it was about the way to verbalise everything that was going on with me.
Jack: I’d be ashamed if I didn’t ask about your tats as well. I’ve not inked myself.
Rachel: Don’t worry about it. On my right arm, I told my dad if he came back from Iraq. He’s been there most of my life with military stuff, I’ll dedicate my right arm to you so I dedicate my entire arm to that man. The feather is because he called my his phoenix growing up. My left arm is so that my kids will know where I came from so they know what makes up half of who they are. Story of my dad, right-hand side, left-hand side it’s me. And so I intend on filling this thing up.
Jack: And I’m guessing you’re getting something dedicated to the dogs.
Rachel: Oh I frickin’ hope so. I got this because I have the way my dad sees me which is the Phoenix and then I have the way I see my which is the lion and the lotus is the new chapter. The Hercules knot is ever binding, never parting then one of my favourite lines from a song, let my name be feared at the gates of hell but it’s in pretty handwriting.
Jack: It looks very sweet but then you read it and it’s like woah.
Rachel: I wanted the arm to be strength but on an intimidating level like the strength in me that goes what you see really. It’s more for interpretation. You’ll get one then you’ll get it and it’ll be so cool
Jack: Well I just have to decide on that first.
Rachel: You just have to decide on something that represents you to the point that you’re reminded of who you are. You get it as a reminder that you’ve been through this, you’ve had bigger demons and I’ve fought them and I can do it again and so, that’s how I look at it so I can persevere. Get something that makes you excited to be alive. It shouldn’t be for aesthetic purposes, what would you want to have on you, to remind you of your character, of your upbringing, the things you overcame. Did you come from a religious background?
Jack: Yes and no because my mum’s Catholic and dad’s Protestant.
Rachel: That’s some intense religion man.
Jack: But the only church experiences I remember were when I went on Christmas Eve to the local church with my family.
Rachel: That’s so cute. That’s precious. It was a lot of corruption in church so that’s why I love what I’m doing right now. That’s how I wanted church to be. Get on stage but you’re not talking at people, you’re with them. And so a lot of my tattoos they reflect the religious stuff that turned me away from God and what ended up bringing me back. Finding stuff like that, that’s like hell yeah, this is who I am. It’ll open a door to discuss at surface level and get people to connect with you. We were actually talking about getting tattoo’s on this trip but we don’t know where to get them or what to get.
Jack: Finding someone’s half the battle then deciding on what to get’s the other half.
Rachel: Well for us, it’s more what because we don’t lack the courage. It’s the first time he is we have come to the UK and that’s huge so I don’t know what I should get.
Jack: The British flag?
Rachel: My dad would die if I get the British before the American.
Jack: Well, get the American one then when you come back to get it done
Rachel: That would be hilarious. I was thinking something, Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s face. That is like it says the UK, is there a flower?
Jack: There’s the poppy that comes to mind.
Jack: A poppy? Hey, Josh do you wanna get a poppy flower tattooed on you? On your butt?
Josh: A Poppy Flower.
Rachel: I’m asking what would represent us coming to the UK? Is ther like a bird?
Lizzy Farrall: You could get a bumble bee.
Rachel: A Bumble Bee. Would you get that? That would be cute. I get a flower and then you get a Bumble bee and then we would pollenate one another. My boyfriend would be like what the fu**?
You can watch the video for He Is We’s track Happily Ever After below.