September 18, 2019 Interview – Haley Reinhart
A part of a musical family, Haley Reinhart was baptized into a life of Rock-n-Roll and Soul from a very young age. Appearing on the tenth season of American Idol back in 2011, Reinhart has since gone on to big things, releasing 4 studio albums including her most recent, 2019’s Lo-Fi Soul. Out since March, the latest collection of songs is a delightful mix of Pop, Rock, Blues, and Soul, making it the passionate vocalist’s most complete work to date.
Comfortable in her own skin, and taking strides toward big things, Reinhart continues to tour in support of the new album, anxiously awaits the new season of Netflix’s F is for Family, and prepares for a role in the upcoming Robert Rodriguez film We Can Be Heroes. A great time in her life, she recently sat down to chat about her beginning in music, her vision for Lo-Fi Soul, working on F is for Family, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – Involved in music since you were a child, at what point did you decide it was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
Haley Reinhart – My earliest childhood memories are running around festivals and clubs, helping my dad load in the gear, perusing around the adult crowd, dancing to my parents multiple bands playing all over Chicago land, and getting up on stage as early as 3 years old singing harmonies with them and their band Midnight. It was always apparent to me that music was a way of life in our household. I knew I would pursue it as a life long career and make a living off of it one day, like my family has for 45 years now. I’d say I solidified my dream on my 9th birthday on 9/9/1999, after I got up and sang at an international tattoo convention and got an overwhelming response from the crowd.
Cryptic Rock – Wow, it is compelling to hear the deep history of music in your family. It was in 2011 you were featured on the tenth season of American Idol, earning a lot of attention that would eventually get you signed to Interscope Records. What was that experience like for you?
Haley Reinhart – It was a complete whirlwind and feels quite surreal to me now. It was hard work and a lot of quick learning that has truly prepared me for most situations in this wild business. I’m grateful to have been on a season where we all gave it 100% and in turn, sold out arenas on our 50 city tour, following the live TV show. I soon realized I needed to stick to my roots and actually co-write my debut album, and the rest of them to follow, that would reflect my retro soul. Thankfully, Interscope gave me the freedom to make the kind of record that I wanted to make.
Cryptic Rock – It is great that you have been able to follow your instincts like that. Through the years, you have released four studio albums. Your most recent, Lo-Fi Soul hit the public back in March. A fantastic collection of songs, what was the writing and recording process like?
Haley Reinhart – I love this album so much, mainly because it paints a colorful picture of who I am as an artist. I wrote the ballads a long time ago in LA and other like “Honey, There’s The Door” and “Deep Water” more recently between LA and Nashville. It’s always interesting trying to hammer in your sound and get your message across to new writers/producers. I definitely stuck to my guns and did not compromise on this album like I’ve had to in the past.
Cryptic Rock – Well, the quality shows in the new music. This album is a wonderful mix of R&B, Soul, Blues, and Pop. Do you feel the album is the best representation of who you are as a musician?
Haley Reinhart – I really do think it’s a solid representation of all my favorite genres you listed above as well as Rock. I wanted it to be current enough for the kiddies and throwback enough for the folks who dig the oldies like me. It’s the first record I played some keys and tambourine on as well! I feel like I’ve entered the alternative music world where I’ve always wanted to reside.
Cryptic Rock – That is positive to hear. Making the album even more endearing is the production, which is quite warm and real. How important was it for you to keep the record as raw as possible?
Haley Reinhart – I gave these songs and the production some time to breathe. I thought about what sounds were important to me to achieve cohesiveness… From farfisa organ, to 808’s, and heavy reverb guitars… I needed these songs I’d written as far back as 8 years ago to have a nice blend sonically. These songs really show off my personality and some raw emotions I’ve never shed before on a record.
Cryptic Rock – Wonderful! You are currently out on the road in support of the album. How has the tour been going thus far?
Haley Reinhart – Touring has been a ball. I’ve had a crazy jam packed year filled with tours as well as one off gigs that led to more life adventures. My current band is LA based and “The Boys” are all complete shredders. It’s not only been a therapeutic experience on stage together, but also a great hang with absolutely no drama… Just the way I like it. (Smiles) We’ll also be hitting the east coast as well as Canada for my first headline show in mid October!
Cryptic Rock – It sounds like everything is going very well right now. Beyond music, you have also divided into the work of acting, taking a lead voice in the hilarious Netflix series F is for Family. How did the role come about for you?
Haley Reinhart – F is for Family has brought so much joy into my life! It was a dream I always had in the back of my mind, since I always did funny voices for my friends and family back in the day. The entire star-studded cast are complete sweetheart’s and I’m lucky to call them friends. Bill Burr or one of the other producers of the show found a recording of me auditioning for the roll of Charlie Brown for the more recent Peanuts movie and asked me to come in right away for a cold read as little Bill Murphy! It’s been a whole lotta laughing and smiling till it hurts ever since!
Cryptic Rock – That is awesome. F is for Family released its third season in 2018 and will be returning for a fourth season in 2020. You play the timid middle kid of the family, Bill Murphy. What has it been like portraying Bill, and working with the show creator, Bill Burr?
Haley Reinhart – Really looking forward to season 4 coming out! The show just continues to get funnier and more connected to different characters. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends growing up. As feminine as I am, I also liked to hang with the boys and play in the mud. The Sandlot (1993) is one of my favorite movies and I realize I’ve certainly picked up a lot of inspo from those kids for my little Bill-y voice. (Laughs) Bill burr is honestly such a cool guy and he’s so supportive of me and his cast mates. I’ll never forget opening for him at the Largo Theatre here in LA!
Cryptic Rock – Very cool, and it will be exciting to see season 4 come out. With the new album out, live shows lined up, and the success of F is for Family, what is next for you?
Haley Reinhart – I just landed my first lil role in a Robert Rodriguez film! I’ve always wanted to act and I’ve been putting it out into the universe since I was young… Besides being in plays and musicals growing up, creating my music videos has been my closest experience to acting and I want more! Robert and his lovely daughter Rhiannon are recent fans of my tunes and reached out to me to be in his next kids action movie called We Can Be Heroes. Stay tuned!
Cryptic Rock – Awesome, everyone will have to look out for that. Last question. Beyond music, Cryptic Rock also covers movies, particularly the Horror and Sci-Fi genres. If you are a fan of these genres, do you have any favorites and why?
Haley Reinhart – I love classics like Halloween (1978), The Exorcist (1973), Candyman (1992), and Carrie (1976)! Early 2000s like Jeepers Creepers (2001) and House of Wax (2005) are great, to newer ones like Get Out (2017) and IT (2017)!