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NEEDTOBREATHE’s new acoustic live album brings more inspiration than you might think

NEEDTOBREATHE will stop by Township Auditorium on March 9.
NEEDTOBREATHE will stop by Township Auditorium on March 9. Submitted

NEEDTOBREATHE is a rock band from Seneca. Brothers William “Bear” Rinehart (lead singer) and Nathaniel “Bo” Rinehart (guitar) are two of the members behind this five-piece, which also includes bassist Seth Bolt, pianist Josh Lovelace, and touring drummer Randall Harris.

The band’s latest album, “Acoustic Live Vol. 1,” is exactly what it sounds like. They recorded the 12 songs while performing live and then changed the composition of the tracks to be acoustic. They’re currently on tour for this album and will make a stop at Township Auditorium on March 9.

Bear and Bo were introduced to music at a young age by their father, who was a pastor. He had a love for music that he shared with the boys and even got them performing on church stages as children which taught the brothers how to work a crowd.

And while the band has popped up in the Christian rock genre (their song, “Multiplied,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song), their music also has hints of Southern rock, pop, and even some electronic influences.

“I think we’re in a great situation where we have fans that stretch across different genres, different beliefs, and ages,” said Bo Rinehart. “I think it’s an amazing thing, and I think when we set out to do what we do we wanted to be that.”

Bo took time to talk about family, their latest acoustic live album, and what it’s like to come back home to play a show.

Q. How does it feel to come back to your home state to perform?

A. It’s always sweet. We just moved to Nashville and even going to see parents and all that stuff back in South Carolina is just sweet. It’s familiar. It just feels comfortable. We love it there. We love the people there, and we’re excited to be back.

Q. What is it like being in a band with your brother and having such a close working relationship with him?

A. Well, it takes a lot of work. I think you have to keep roles separated a lot of times. We’re both musicians and songwriters, but we’re also brothers. And so, I think you have to work very hard at making sure when you’re having a conversation that you are like, ‘OK this is a fellow songwriter,’ versus this is my brother. It’s taken us a lot of time, but ultimately, it’s always worth it to work it out.

We’re brothers first. So to get to do what we love and be able to share that with family is an amazing thing. It’s no question that it’s tough at times, but it can be the most rewarding thing when you can work through those things.

Q. Why do you think you guys have been put in the Christian rock category?

A. We’ve been trying to figure that out for quite some time. It can get very complicated in terms of if you want to talk algorithms, if you want to talk first success, if you want to talk fans showing up in the early stages of a band’s career. But ultimately, we obviously want to be heard by everybody. I don’t think there’s any agenda other than us saying whatever we’re thinking, whatever we’re feeling, whatever’s on our minds and our hearts.

Our music is made up of songs that are real life stories, and music can take on different meanings for everybody.

Q. What made you guys want to do an acoustic live album and tour?

A. It’s always been something we wanted to do and we experimented with it last year for about 12 shows. We’ve also done acoustic music in one-off situations such as charity events at area hospitals where we were forced to be acoustic and turn these electric rock songs into acoustic singer-songwriter storyteller kind of songs. It was fun and challenging. We felt this kind of freedom that we are able to look at our songs in a different way and we loved that the band could interact in a more intimate setting.

Q. What do you enjoy about performing acoustically?

A. You can hear everybody on stage because it’s not as loud. Each time I’ve been to a show when it’s acoustic, you can hear all the harmonies, you can hear all the intricate guitar parts, and it’s very exposed. I think acoustic shows allow fans to enjoy the music in a different way and appreciate the songs and the musicianship with the talent of the band on display in a different way. It’s really fun.

Q. You guys have toured with names from Taylor Swift to Tim McGraw. How does touring with big names influence your music?

A. Anytime we’ve played with artists who have been around longer than us, there’s wisdom that you can gather. It’s more than the music side of things. It’s the artistry and the business side of stuff. Most bands and performers are very open to talk about how they got where they are and those are very interesting conversations because there’s no one formula for music. You have to take your own path, but the the more information you can gather about how others have done things is very helpful.

Q. You are either touring or putting out new music. Why is that? Are you guys just constantly inspired to do it?

A. We joke with other people when they ask us if they should get into music or what advice we have and for all of us in our band we say if you don’t absolutely love it to death then you probably shouldn’t do it. And we do — we absolutely love making music. We love creating.

I think one of the biggest things for us is that we are very inspired people. For me personally, music has inspired me for so much of my life and been such a big part of crucial moments in my life. To get to be apart of something that could potentially be that for someone else is an amazing job. So, I’m working hard and doing what I do because I am inspired and I want to give back and try to inspire other people.

If you go

NEEDTOBREATHE — Acoustic Live Tour 2019

When: 7 p.m. Mach 9

Where: Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St.

Tickets: $39.50-$79.50 available at www.thetownship.org

Good to know: Matt Maeson will open for the band and $1 of each ticket sold will benefit OneWorld Health.

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