The Rain Within is the solo project of Andy Deane, who has also been the vocalist of gothic-punk band Bella Morte since the mid 90s. While both projects are dark and melodic, The Rain Within has more of a synth wave sound influenced by both 80s horror movie soundtracks and pop music. Deane recently released a new The Rain Within album, “Atomic Eyes,” and discussed the project in an email interview.
How does your general approach and process differ between The Rain Within and your work with Bella Morte?
Andy Deane: The key difference is that The Rain Within is a solo project. I write, produce, mix, and master each song myself, so the process is streamlined. It can be tricky not having a second voice checking my work, so sometimes I’ll run a track by friends in town or the guys at Negative Gain to get a different perspective. But I write the way I always have; synth lines followed closely by drums and topped off with vocals. I’m all about melody and hooks.
Creatively, do you keep them completely separate?
Andy Deane: They actually separate themselves. When I am working on a new song it doesn’t take long to figure out which project it should call home. And I write a ton more songs for Rain than Bella because it’s just me, so if an idea hits at four in the morning I can just crank up the studio and bring it to life.
What made you name this project The Rain Within?
Andy Deane: The project is named after the song “The Rain Within Her Hands” from the Bella Morte album “Where Shadows Lie.” As Bella Morte grew and evolved the more stripped-down, synth-driven sound found on our early releases disappeared. And I found myself missing it. So I started writing a few tracks and fell in love with what I was doing. Add a lot of encouragement from close friends to push The Rain Within to be more than just a side-project and suddenly I’m releasing EPs… A couple years later I crossed paths with Negative Gain in LA and the rest is history.
You’ve used crowdfunding quite a bit to support your work. How has that been working out? Do you feel that it has an effect on you creatively?
Andy Deane: Crowdfunding has been nothing but a positive experience for me. Whether it’s raising money for a new album on Indiegogo or releasing exclusive songs through my Patreon page, the result is having more time to be creative. I’ve never been this prolific in my life, and it’s a wonderful feeling. I spend an insane amount of hours in the studio working on new songs and trying out fresh ideas. And when I’m not doing that I’m on tour. Without crowdfunding, I wouldn’t have the time or funds to make any of it happen. The other aspect is just how much fun it is for my supporters on Patreon who get much more intimate access to me, my work, and my process.
There’s a definite 80’s influence in the music of The Rain Within. Are there particular sounds or musical elements of that era’s music that influence and inspire you?
Andy Deane: My biggest influence from that decade would be horror films and their soundtracks. I grew up loving horror first and foremost and never grew out of it. On the other hand, I was a big fan of those cheesy John Hughes movies and adored their sugary happy endings. Those two things, the darkness of horror and the light of love stories, each impacted me and still find their way into the sound that defines The Rain Within. Add in the irresistible chorus hooks of Duran Duran, The Psychadelic Furs, The Thompson Twins, etc… and you have the recipe for one of my songs.
Are there any elements of 80’s music that you intentionally try to avoid?
Andy Deane: Not really. I’m not steering away from anything so much as forging a path forward.
You’re also an author; do you feel that your novel writing and music affect or feed off each other? Have you done (or considered) any projects that bridge the two?
Andy Deane: When I released my first novel, “The Sticks”, I included an instrumental piece I had written as a soundtrack. Aside from that, the two have been exclusive. However, one of my goals is to have a film made from my books, and at that point, I will absolutely want to create the soundtrack. That’s been something I’ve been working toward for many years. I’m currently working on my next novel and will certainly include a soundtrack piece when it is published.
What is your approach to performing live as The Rain Within? For example, to what extent might you change things to make the music work in the live setting?
Andy Deane: I honestly don’t have to change much at all. The key for me is connecting with my audience. I want every The Rain Within performance to be an emotional journey for the listener, and I want to convey the feelings that fueled each song in a way that truly reaches them. I want my audience to leave my shows emotionally exhausted in a positive way. I want my music to be cathartic. And so Mike and I just get on stage and let it flow naturally.
How do you tend to balance your time between your various projects?
Andy Deane: The lion’s share of my time has been spent on The Rain Within lately, but I still find plenty of time to work on Bella Morte. I believe that when we love something we will make time for it even when it’s hard… in that way being in a band is similar to a relationship. And the nice thing about having multiple musical outlets is that it is damn near impossible to have a total writer’s block. If I’m having trouble with a new Rain song I just shift gears to Bella and keep moving. In this way it is actually beneficial.
What is in the immediate future for you?
Andy Deane: Things have been happening at light speed since Atomic Eyes was released! I’m looking at a whole lot of touring and couldn’t be more excited about it! And of course, I’m already working on my next release. I never stop writing new music and think I’d come apart at the seams if I did.