Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE joins Hillary Scott on Country Faith Radio, and talks about writing differently during the pandemic, new album Into The Mystery, collaborating with Ellie Holcomb and Carrie Underwood, and more. Tune in and listen to the episode in-full this Sunday (July 18) at 8am PT / 10am CT / 11am ET or anytime on-demand at apple.co/_CountryFaith
Bear Rinehart Talks About Growing Up Without Secular Music
My parents, dad was a preacher, but before that he was a horn player in the 70s, like Roy Clark and Glen Campbell. And my mom was a piano teacher growing up. So I, of course, did not want to play any instrument because all I heard was little kids playing bad songs around the house all the time. So I started playing when I was 16 maybe, and kind of wishing I would have listened to my mom earlier. And then for me, it was like, we were really strict growing up. This is crazy because my dad was a musician, but there was no secular music in the house. It was very you know… In a lot of ways I didn’t love that. I was always like, “Man, I want to listen to the music my friends are listening to.” At the time there just wasn’t that great Christian music as far as I was concerned, so we were really into heavy Christian music and then anything we could get away with outside of that.
Bear Rinehart on Unintentionally Writing NEEDTOBREATHE’s New Album
This is the first time I’ve been forced to do my own demos. It’s sort of a blessing this time… we always had somebody in our band who was really good at that. And I was like, “I’ll never do that.” But I was writing these songs and I just started, honestly, partly to keep some distance between me and my kids a few hours a day, I would go in there and try to write a song. I think I wrote 75 or 80 songs over the pandemic time, just by myself, which I just haven’t done that in so long. And really, it allowed me to get back into that childlike thing that music really is, just being in the moment with it. I’m a pretty serious person, but this was like, “Hey, you can go in there and put a candle on and just let your mind run a little bit and play kind of crazy things.” And so honestly, it was just really, really rewarding. And I’m really thankful that the record came out of that idea of I just started playing the guys songs. I did not think it was the next NEEDTOBREATHE record, or anybody’s record for that matter. I was just kind of like, “Hey, is this terrible or cool? Or what do you think?”
Hillary Scott and Bear Rinehart on Spending More Time with Their Kids During the Pandemic
Hillary: These months have probably with us being home so much more than we normally are, it’s changed the trajectory of [our kids’] lives, potentially of like what they do, how connected they feel to us and secure. And I just can’t wait to see how they continue to grow into the person that God has created each of them to be with having this undivided time with them. It really was. And I’m with you, like finding those moments. I would hide in my closet or I would just go like take a drive because it was a lot, but I think it was really important. I know for me, and it sounds like for you as well.
Bear: Yeah, I’m glad to be going back [on the road] too … I’m like, my six-year-old is just old enough maybe to stay up late enough to watch us play, which has never happened. So I just think about that kind of things. It was like where do we go next and how he will be involved in that. But also just how simple the time was. I think our kids are going to take that with them.
Bear Rinehart on Collaborating with Ellie Holcomb for “Sweet Ever After”
I think Ellie’s amazing. I know that, you know that too. Growing up playing with them, with Drew [Holcomb] and Ellie, and had them out on a bunch of tours, I felt like she’s just got a stronger voice than ever and it’s finding that way as an artist, and it’s really cool to be a part of. And that song is a good example. That was something I wrote during the pandemic for the most part. And sent it. As you know, you never get a record, the pitch record that works or whatever, especially something I write by myself like that. So it was really cool that she saw something in it and made it her own and rewrote some of the parts that weren’t good, obviously.
Bear Rinehart on Being Scared to Work with Carrie Underwood
I got a chance to sing on [Carrie’s] record first, and we did a hymn together. And I didn’t know her and she didn’t send me the track or anything. And then she’s like, “Just come over to the studio and we want you to sing harmonies.” I have just always been a lead singer, harmonies scare me to death. And so I was like, “Okay.” And then of course, you get there and it’s just her in the room, her producer, and me. I told my wife, I was like, “That’s the scariest feeling I’ve ever had in anything.” I was like, “That was more scary than getting married.” So I feel like we got over the hump pretty quickly. I was like, “Listen, this is going to take a while and just be patient.” So I think we became a little more friends that day, which was awesome.
Bear Rinehart on Collaborating with Carrie Underwood for “I Wanna Remember”
She’s just super sweet, to be honest. Like we’ve been through it with some of these. And some of those collaborations go great, and sometimes they don’t. And Carrie was kind of like, “I want to do this because I like the song and I’m not going to take your money.” Which I think is kind of… you know what I mean? It’s a crazy thing. So, she’s really, really sweet. And then the fact that she was able to do the video. I’ve done enough on other people’s records to know that’s a lot. And she was just super about that whole thing. It’s like, “Yeah, we’re going to the CMT’s and we’re going to let you play your song.” So, that was really cool.