Lexxi Raine Interview – Fun While It Lasted, The Songwriting Process and News!

Posted on 12 March 2020
By Dana Andersen
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Lexxi Raine is a New York based musician, having recently released her new EP Fun While It Lasted. Having enjoyed her music so much, we just had to chat to her about her inspirations, song writing process, and what she has coming up for us next! Without further a do, lets get to Lexxi.

Your music has a sort of 00’s pop punk vibe to it, what kind of music did you listen to growing up? Did any specific artists especially influence the style you have today?

I’m so glad you think my music sounds like that because I take it as a huge compliment! I listened to a LOT of Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch when I was younger and taking guitar lessons for the first time. I think they influenced my music and image the most because they showed me how badass girls could be in the music scene. As I got older, I started listening to more pop-punk bands like All Time Low and Paramore which defined my style of writing instrumentation. Taylor Swift has even played a big part of how I write lyrics and structure my songs.

They’re definitely influences you can hear in your new EP! What was the song writing process like for Fun While It Lasted?

Fun While It Lasted was a tricky project. It actually took over a year to record (to my producer’s dismay) because I just wasn’t inspired enough. I didn’t have the right concept at the start of it and had too many songs to narrow it down from. FWIL was originally planned as an 11 song album until we decided less songs meant better production value.  When I finally decided that the concept would be about different facets of love, everything seemed to fall into place.

The EP includes recently written songs from 2018 but also some older ones from 2016. I opened up my lyric book and tried not to pick two songs that sounded alike. That’s why “Camelot” is the only song about falling in love and being hopeful about it while “Dear Kellie” is the only angry/jealous one on the EP. My favorite track on the project is the opener, “He Says, She Says”, because it’s tongue-in-cheek about how men and women really do fall into sabotage-like relationship stereotypes and that’s totally fine because sometimes loving yourself is more important. I helped write the instruments in this song (drums, bass, lead guitar) and that’s usually my producer’s job when it comes to my projects so that was my favorite part! I had a much bigger hand in the instrumentation of Fun While It Lasted and that’s probably why I’m more proud of this than my first EP, MOXIE. 

You play live very often, I’m assuming FWIL is included in your set? What kind of reaction have you had while playing these songs live?
What are your favourite gigs you’ve played at, and what made them your favourites?

It’s funny. I spent so much time on the production of Fun While It Lasted that I’m kinda sick of all the songs! I still make sure to put a few into every set, though, so it stays relevant. It’s just that since it was released, I’ve probably written another 20 new songs and of course it makes sense that your newer songs are better because you’re always growing as a musician and honing your skills. I have noticed a few things while playing the songs live, though. “Camelot” is almost always everyone’s favorite. This is so surprising because it was the last song we finished on the track. My producer and I were so unhappy with how it was turning out that we almost cut it completely. We had a bit of an epiphany moment near the end and it stayed on the EP. Thank goodness, too, because it gets everyone in the audience dancing and people will come up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed the song.

Right behind that is “He Says, She Says”, and I think it’s because the audience has started to scream “sex” in the third chorus right where it’s the quietest part of the song. That part is always fun for me on stage because I know it’s coming but it still makes me laugh every time! Overall, I love the audience’s reaction when I’m playing songs from FWIL. They seem to really feel whichever emotion I had while writing it. 

I have had a ton of great shows with my band here in Buffalo. My favorite one locally was my FWIL release show at Mohawk Place. We nearly sold out the venue (which was, of course, covered in pink and melted ice cream cones) and it brought tears to my eyes thinking that everyone, in one way or another, was there to support me and my dream of becoming a famous musician. If I had to pick my all time favorite show, it’s going to be the one I played in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I opened up for a Foo Fighters tribute band in Trillians, a very heavy metal/rock bar.

I had no idea it was this type of venue when they asked me to play. I showed up in my pretty red dress and setlist full of love songs and Taylor Swift covers to be met with a crowd I didn’t blend well in. I was so afraid that the crowd wouldn’t like me and I had a momentary panic attack with my mom in the corner. To my surprise, (or maybe their surprise) the crowd absolutely loved my music! Okay, they weren’t a fan of my T-Swift song, but I had an endless chain of new fans coming up to me saying how great my originals were and that they had no idea a girl like me could belt like that. Playing at Trillians will be always be my favorite memory, until I’m selling out stadiums that is!

That sounds like an unexpectedly brilliant gig! Do you get nervous before playing live, and do you have any routines or traditions before going on stage?  

Trillians was an amazing gig! Thankfully I don’t get nervous anymore. I used to when I first started performing back in 2012 but over the years and with an abundance of experience, I just get up there and do what I do best. The only routine I have is a glass of Jameson on the rocks. It eases up any nerves that may still be lingering.

You recently also toured the UK, definitely a big step for any musician! What were your favourite parts of getting to explore and play over here? Any difference in audience reaction? 

Touring the UK was the best thing I’ve ever done! I honestly loved everything about the UK (so much that I’m planning on returning to Manchester permanently this fall). The people were so friendly, the food was delicious, and the cities I got to visit were beautiful. In Buffalo, music isn’t the biggest deal. I didn’t know this until I played in places like Manchester, London, and Newcastle. Music was a HUGE part of the community and every venue was packed no matter what night of the week it was. I loved getting up on stage and introducing myself. Immediately every head in the room turned towards the foreign accent on stage. Once I got their attention and started playing, it seemed like they were even more into my performance. Buffalo is over-saturated with pop-punk musicians whereas in the UK, a lot of what I heard was sad, melancholy, finger-plucked melodies. When I took the stage, people noticed. I played a completely different style of music than the musicians around me and it was that huge difference that made people stop and listen. I loved the reactions I got from the audience over there and I earned a few thousand more followers!

Finally, could I maybe get a few fun facts about you? 

I’m pretty much an open book and put everything about myself on YouTube. I’m not sure if any of these will be “new” but I definitely have some fun facts! 
* I have had 5 surgeries: two on my left foot to correct the club foot I was born with, one on each knee (one being full reconstruction that resulted in titanium pins in my shin), and a spinal fusion to correct terrible scoliosis. I always tell people I’m a cyborg with how much metal is inside of me! 
* Even though I’m focused on becoming a famous musician, I actually got my degree in Forensic Chemistry and graduated top of my class with Honors. I may be blonde, but I’m not a dumb blonde.
* Finally, I love musicals! My favorites are Moulin Rouge, Chicago, and The Labyrinth (some say that’s not a musical but David Bowie stars in it so I put it in that category!)

Of course no interview is complete without trying to get some new info! Do you have any announcements coming up?

I have two big announcements coming up in the next couple months and I haven’t shared either on any social media yet. The first is that I’m going on an 8 day tour of Canada this April with my drummer and we’re so excited! It’s closer than the United Kingdom, but it’s still international. Make sure to follow me on Facebook and my website for all the dates and locations coming up! The second announcement is that new music is coming and it is going to be a huge change from what I’ve been putting out the last few years. Stay tuned because this is going to get WILD. 

A big thanks to Lexxi Raine for doing this interview with us. Remember to check out her social media, her new EP Fun While It Lasted on Spotify, and if you’re in Canada you can start getting ready to see her live!