Lansing-based band with MSU alumni members signed to record deal
After a few years of impromptu gigs and experimenting in the local band scene, Lansing-based band Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are launching an album and a tour under their new record deal.
“In the very beginning, there weren’t any expectations and it was just a super fun time,” vocalist and guitarist Joe Hertler said. “Getting a record deal never really crossed our minds but the opportunity just kind of came along to work with something bigger.”
Before becoming the Rainbow Seekers, MSU alumni Kevin Pritchard and Rick Hale were in a different band when they met Hertler for the first time during a collaboration project.
The three musicians ended up crossing paths in 2010 at the Mitten Fest in Ypsilanti, where they spontaneously decided to collaborate again, this time including guitar player Ryan Hoger. After acquiring a manager and adding three more members, including MSU alumnus Aaron Stinson, Hertler said the band started to take their music more seriously.
“At that point, I think we all felt creatively fulfilled in the roles that we had,” he said. “We love the communal aspect of music and I think all of us really see music as being the way we most effectively communicate.”
The band’s Facebook page refers to their sound as “psychedelic post-motown pop with a side of funk, folk and R&B.” Alumnus Pritchard said this diverse description is clear in their new album called “Terra Incognita,” which is expected to be released in November.
“We’re essentially a combination of all the quality music that has come out of Michigan, blended into one genre that I don’t know how to explain,” he said.
Pritchard said the correct definition for their new opportunity is a “distribution deal” because they have more flexibility, creative control and ownership over their music than a typical record deal would allow.
“We get to be part of the professional network, which is really going to help us out,” Pritchard said. “We can tour cities that we have never played before with some credibility, and our record will get pushed through these channels that we didn’t have access to before.”
Once the album is officially released, the band plans on making music their primary focus as they set out on their first national tour beginning in February.
“We’re right at that edge of being able to jump off and hopefully support ourselves,” Hertler said. “Ultimately, we want to do what we love, make art and try to be as honest with it as we can. You know, you just cross your fingers as tight as you can and hope it works out.”