We talk to Kate Moran about her band, Rainbow Rock, and success behind its kid-friendly music.
By Micaela Williamson
Since 2006, Kate Moran has successfully made a name for herself in the DMV area with The Kate Moran Band. The talented musician has recently launched Rainbow Rock, an upbeat band for children. With ongoing performances throughout the metro, Rainbow Rock is quickly gaining ground and popularity. Find out more about the band’s roots and visions in these exclusive behind the scenes interview with singer and songwriter, Kate Moran.
Q: After having a successful band, The Kate Moran band, why did you decide to branch out into children’s music?
A: Two words, Henry and my rainbow skirt Let me explain…my regular band, played a sock hop in Del Ray, and we dressed in costume. I pulled out a skirt I had worn in high school when I was in the play, “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” the skirt had the large rainbow and cloud pocket and there were a ton of kids at the show, which was typical for many of the events in Del Ray. After the show, Jen, one of the moms who had been there, told me that she and her daughter were playing at home a couple of days later, and were going to have a dance party, and her daughter Molly excitedly said to her, “Mom, is the RAINBOW LADY coming?” I had always thought doing kids music, my cousin Henry, the absolute love of my life, was 4 years old at the time, and I immediately thought what a great character that would be for a kids band, and when I talked to Lynn Rovelli, my fiddle player who had a 4-year-old too, she came up with Princess Fiddlesticks as her character, and Rainbow Rock was born. My mom, Patty Moran, joined in as Pattycake Patty, helping out with the instruments and stickers with the kids. Kevin de Souza, the bass player in my regular band, became Captain Toe Tappin, and has played guitar and bass, Derek Evry joined in as Guitarmony Gus on guitar, Matt Berry helps out on guitar and bass, as Bassious Berry, and Sam Carolla came on board as Sergeant Bam Sam on drums.
Q: What message do you want to get out to children through your music?
A: I end every show, saying I will be hanging out after for “High Fives” and “Hugs” for anyone that wants one, and we have also just begun a “Rainbow Collection,” at every show, Our message aside from getting the kids up and moving with our songs, is to think of others, be kind to one another, and learn a few things along the rainbow way.
Q: Do you have a favorite song and why?
A: My favorite track is “The Squirrel Song,” it was inspired by my special guy Henry. We were all eating cupcakes at my birthday and he had this very tiny toy squirrel that he was playing with, and he kept burrowing it into the bottom of his cupcake. The rest of the song just built from there.
Q: Do you have any upcoming plans to record your kids’ songs?
A: We are about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to begin work on our first EP of original songs, and we are so excited. We will be working with Sound Masonry Recording, and Derek Evry (Guitarmony Gus) is producing the EP. We are super pumped to finally record and track our songs.
Q: Share with us the best compliment you’ve ever received from a young fan.
A: The best compliment I received from a young fan did not really require any words. Derek (Guitarmony Gus) and I were performing at a school for children with severe disabilities. For this performance the majority of the children were in wheel chairs and on ventilators. During our set, Guitarmony Gus always sings, “The Rainbow Connection,” and I go out into the crowd and dance with the kids. They had told us before the show, that some of the children liked to dance, so I said, “Ok, this is one of our dancing songs,” not quite sure how we were going to adapt this, when the staff lifted two children who had been in their wheel chairs out. And before I knew it, these two children, who had just been sitting in wheelchairs, were standing next to me and holding my hand, and as we swayed back and forth to the music. The smiles on their face were the best compliment; the joy on their faces was beyond words. I looked up at Derek, and I just knew that this was it; this is what I was supposed to be doing. As musicians, doubt cannot help but trickle in. Am I doing the right thing? Does anyone listen to my music? Should I keep performing? And in that moment, all of my doubts fell away, the smiles on their faces were all I needed, none of that stuff mattered. I knew I was supposed to be doing this and that I was meant to be the Rainbow Lady, and I feel so very lucky that I get to rock the rainbow.
For more information about Kate Moran and Rainbow Rock, visit www.rainbowrockband.com
Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.