Virginia duo Native Run, composed of Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley, took some time off promoting their single, “Good On You,” and opening David Nail’s I’m A Fire tour to chat with us about life on the road, writing together, and of course, sharks.
So how are you guys? What’s new?
Rachel: We started touring with David Nail which is so freaking exciting I can’t even stand it.
Bryan: It’s gonna be a great little run.
R: We definitely are just excited because kind of having it be an intimate tour, just us and him for the majority of the dates, is a really cool experience. I mean, we’re learning so much and that’s just really important for us to get all this learning experience from a seasoned player.
Do you have any interesting pre-show routines? Anything you have to do, can’t do?
B: Yeah. Well. My favorite thing that we do is we have this thing called BOTS that we do, which stands for “balls on the stage,” which is where we prefer to leave them. Basically it’s just a reminder to go out there and play your ass off like it’s the last show you’ll ever play.
R: Especially my balls, they’re always on the stage.
B: So we put our hands in the middle and we do ten BOTS before we go onstage.
R: It also helps gauge how much alcohol we drank during the show if we can actually count to ten while also saying ‘BOTS’. We’re like okay we’re good, everyone’s had a drink and a half, we’re at a good level, that’s great.
Who takes longer to do their hair?
R: You know, oddly enough, I absolutely do, just because I have more of it, and Bryan’s got a routine down.
I think men have it easier no matter how good it looks!
R: Oh, absolutely.
B: I’m feeling very ganged up on right now!
R: It’s true Annie, it’s like, listen: Bryan, when he styles his hair, it takes ten minutes, and it’ll stay like that for three days, he locks it in. And my hair is like, longer, and frizzy, and wavy, and so I’ll like do my hair and it’ll look great and the next day it’ll be like ugh and I have to do it all over again. It’s nice with Bryan’s hair looking so sharp, it kind of gives me motivation, it’s like alright Rachel, you can’t just wear a ponytail all the time. Although like when I’m home I literally, like my hair’s in a bun right now, it was in a bun yesterday, I wash it like once every three days, it’s pretty bad. So off the road hair Rachel is very different.
You’re touring – I assume that doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing. Are you guys taking a break, or are you always kind of writing and putting things together? Are you working on your album now, or what’s the timeline for all that?
R: The great news is we already finished our album last February, so it’s kind of been an interesting journey for us. We spent about a year and a half writing songs not only for our album but maybe for the next album, maybe to pitch to other artists. We’ve got a bunch right now just in our catalog, so I think we were kind of like okay, this is a good time to take a break from writing and really focus on tour and focus on radio, so we’ve been doing that mostly. But I think Bryan and I both, we’re always writing down titles or ideas or lines or hooks or Bryan’s always coming up with different instrumental hooks and we’ll record ’em and stuff like that, so I think you’re always constantly in the back of your mind looking for ideas and opportunities.
B: I think [writing] kind of happens all different ways really, there’s such a span of different writing scenarios on the record. Just as an example, the single was a title that we’ve had for a while and we just brought it into the room and it took like two hours to write. It was super fast, and really fun song to write.What makes it fun for us that that it’s not lopsided, we both really love to write together, and both have very different but awesome things to bring to the table.
R: I just feel like Bryan and I, we’ve been together in Native Run for over 5 years now and we’ve gotten to this place where we know our strengths and we kind of like lean on each other and write, and it frees us up to not feel pressure from either one of us to not have all the answers and that just mentally allows us to write freer and faster. Teamwork makin’ the dream work!
B: I think it’s great too that before we even played music together we were great friends, and so it’s not a convoluted thing where you’re like having to tiptoe around in the writing room, like we’re pretty honest with each other. We don’t like to waste time, so if she doesn’t like something she’s like eh, change it. And we do. And I’m like eh, that lyric idea. You just cruise through it. And I that’s something that I’m thankful for and I think is a strength.
I just heard “Good On You” on the radio for the first time yesterday! So excited for you. Do you guys have a good ‘first time you heard yourself on the radio’ story?
B: Actually, we do. So we’ve done a lot of radio tours this year and we’ve hit a pretty good chunk of country radio. I think one of the coolest times that we heard it on the radio was we were just showing up to a bus call to go out and do some shows with David. I was almost at the little warehouse where they keep the buses and I heard it come on and I totally blew by the exit and had to spin back around. But I ended up making it in time to blast it and have everybody in the band and Rachel and all our management and everybody hear it on the radio. So it was a cool experience.
R: It’s really cool too, because WMZQ, which is our Virginia/DC/Maryland country station, has been so supportive. We’ll probably get like a photo or at text or something on our Facebook every day like, ‘listening to Native Run in my car, getting teary eyed’ like really sweet things like that just from our friends and people at home that have sort of taken pride in having their hometown get to the radio, so we love to share that with everybody at home. I’m thankful for WMZQ because of that.
DC is funny too, that whole area, because it’s not really a country music scene, but then in a lot of ways it is. Did you guys grow up with country?
R: Yeah, I mean you know particularly WMZQ… My parents when they got together – this is my stepdad and my mom so I guess 18 years ago – they started going to WMZQfest every year. My grandparents listened to a lot of older country like Patsy Cline kinda era, but my stepdad actually is really what turned me onto country music as a young person. At that time it was like Garth Brooks, Shania, Billy Ray Cyrus… Tim McGraw was just coming out, Kenny Chesney… so that was kind of the crop that I really latched onto. Bryan can speak more from his personal preference, but we listened to everything growing up, being from DC, we had all kinds of interests.
B: I kind of came to the country thing a little later, like after college. I studied classical bass in college, so I didn’t really have much connection to country, and then, I guess I was a junior in college, I started playing mandolin and banjo a little bit, so it kind of was the perfect melding of pop music, which I’ve always loved, and the bluegrass thing, which I took a liking to sort of toward the end of college. So it was sort of the most natural melding of both worlds that I’d already loved anyway. During that time a lot of ideas and musical things sort of forged around me loving country at that point, and so we hope that translates in the music!
I’ve noticed you have a recurring little gray shark in your Cover Under the Covers YouTube series – Does he/she have a name?
R: He’s called Sharky. But I have a couple sharks, and one of them is Beauregard, which is my last name – I did not name him, it was a gift – and then I have another huge shark you can actually get inside, and that one is called Chester.
Wait… you can get inside your shark?
R: Yeah – like it’s big enough so that you can actually get in its mouth. It’s kind of like a mini sleeping bag for kids or something probably. I don’t know. My brother got it for me for my birthday and he told me, like I just googled the biggest shark stuffed animal and I found this one, and I was like, awesome!
So does Chester come on tour with you?
R: Chester is bigger than most of our bandmates, so he unfortunately has to stay home. but we feel his presence on the road. Chester is great because my friend – this was like a couple years ago – donated money so that I adopted a shark physically like adopted in my name, like he’s tracked and he’s out there, and his name’s Chester, and so this stuffed animal is representative of my little adopted buddy out there.
Are you a Sharknado fan?
R: I know it’d be funny to see it just for the sake of the ridiculousness, but I’m like you know, if I really wanna see a good shark movie that’s definitely not the one I’m gonna go ahead and start with.
B: And that’s the problem, because I saw it with my girlfriend, and it’s incredible. As soon as you get swallowed whole by a shark and you shoot your way out with a 12 gauge, that’s the kind of movie I need to be around. It’s amazing.
Rachel, that’s not your style?
R: You know, maybe I just need to give it a shot. I think I will eventually, I’ve just been wrapped up in other endeavors.
I saw that your name was generated by fan suggestions. Given the nature of suggestions, did you have any particular runners up, hilarious options, etc?
R: Oh yeah. Well, one of them in particular that we had involved the name Sex Cathedrals. It was a total joke, but we were just like laughing about different… You know, we kind of looked at a bunch of different bands and it could be like a name and then and… whatever. Like Rachel and Bryan and the Sex Cathedrals. So we tried for a long time to think of the different words that described us, and we were like well we met at church, so we could have like a gospel type of spiritual theme, like cathedral, or you know, whatever, saints, or this or that, and then we were like and we’re from Virginia, so we could do commonwealth or magnolia something, so we went through all these different things. We were just like man, it sucks naming a band twice, like we already have a name, and so that’s when we reached out and let other people decide what it was.
I saw you recently cover TLC’s “Waterfalls,” and Rachel, I just wanna say, your rapping skills are rather impeccable, I was impressed!
R: Well thank you! People say like, I didn’t know you could rap, and I just wanna say that rapping is like eating, you just have to practice. It’s like you know, everybody is able to have a speaking conversation, and all you’re doing is talking at a very rapid pace and some kind of rhythm. So I always appreciate when people compliment the rap, but I also wanna encourage anybody out there that all you have to do is learn a lot of words and you can rap. You, too, can be a rapper!
B: And by the way, you should probably watch 8 Mile too. I saw it for the first time the other day and it’s badass.
So are you gonna be taking over the rappers now?
R: We may or may not cover Eminem, who knows.
B: I think probably what we’ll do is just instead of playing our set in front of David, we’ll just do rap battles.
Haha, perfect. Thank you both so much!