LOS ANGELES, CA- These days, it can be pretty tough finding a good time. Life, in general, is heavy. With the COVID 19 pandemic, protests fighting social inequity … and just the general cluster f…. our country is currently in, it takes a lot to put a smile on our faces.

Our friends in the Los Angeles based indie-pop band RAINNE forwarded me a link to their latest “quarantine cover” of Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time”. Sounding as polished as ever, the recording had me missing seeing them perform this song live (they are one of the few acts to have performed at our Madame Siam showcase multiple times!).

I reached out to Justin Klunk and Annie Dingwall, the band’s founding members, to catch up with them to find out how they are dealing with the current times. Read what they had to say, and also peep the video they produced for “…Baby One More Time”.


First of all, how are you guys coping through this pandemic? It must be rough not being able to perform given the circumstances. Everybody healthy and … relatively… happy?

JUSTIN: We’re not going to lie, it’s been an interesting few months, to say the least. There’s never been a time when almost all forms of performance art around the world came to a complete halt. Luckily, we’ve been comforted by, and have been comforting, other artists that are in the same boat as us. We’re just trying to focus on “what’s next?”, and predicting how life as a musician is going to change over the next few years. That being said, we are happy! We’re focusing on preparing some new projects and songs, and keep an optimistic outlook on this situation. We just want to share a little musical joy when we understand that there are many, many others struggling right now.

On top of the pandemic, there’s all of the social unrest that’s been going on. Have you guys been impacted by any of that, personally or through friends? How has your creativity been impacted by the rage our nation is going through right now?

ANNIE: I think what is happening right now is a much-needed wake-up call for our country. Racism is not a new problem in our society and changing the way we respond to it is long overdue. This is a battle of humanity vs. oppression and is not something that any of us have the privilege of opting out of caring about, speaking about, or doing something about. As a society, we owe so much to Black culture -, especially in music. Our music has always been inspired and influenced by musicians we admire and what is happening in the world so there is no doubt this will have an effect on the music we make moving forward. It already has. In truth, we will never be able to fully understand what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a Black American. And while we can’t undo the years of oppression and unfairness, we can control how we move forward – towards creating a more equitable society for everyone. A society that embraces, recognizes, and amplifies the beauty of diversity. One in which gives credit where credit is due. One in which Black Lives Matter. As a band we will continue amplifying BIPOC voices, supporting their businesses, and raising our voices in order to help fix the system and the intolerable acts it has allowed to happen for so long. As much as we think we know, it’s important to understand that there will always be room to learn more and use that knowledge to make improvements. While it is inspiring to see how members of the music community are stepping up and coming together, we must remain vigilant because there is still a long way to go.

TImes certainly have been little nuts these days. I notice that you guys just released a cover of Britanny Spear’s “One More Time”. Are you just trying to keep it light and get the musical juices flowing again?

JUSTIN: We are releasing our version of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” simply because we really miss playing live shows with our full band. When the shelter-at-home orders started, we and everyone in the band was pretty bummed that live shows were going to take an immediate (and indefinite) pause. We had a bunch of shows on the calendar and then all of a sudden they were all gone. As the first month went by and we all were trying to figure out what to do, we kept texting each other about how much we missed playing together and eventually had the idea to record a couple covers for YouTube. Since we were all spread out we couldn’t actually ‘play’ together, but this was the next best thing! We chose to do “Baby One More Time” since it is a cover that was already in our repertoire (we actually premiered at our first show at Madame Siam curated by Blurred Culture in 2019). The song is such an iconic pop song and our rock version is definitely a crowd favorite at live shows, so it was a natural choice for our first “quarantine-cover” video.

So many artists have released their own “quarantine sessions” at this point, and what we love about all of them is seeing how much every musician and artist truly loves performing. This pandemic put a damper on many artists’ plans, making a lot of us feel very uneasy about the future. Finding online outlets to perform on, and creating video content like this, gives up hope that live entertainment won’t end when the quarantine is over. When we started editing our own bandmate’s videos, seeing the joy and focus on their faces, it reminded us why we do this.

The original intent of this video was to be a light-hearted performance amidst the pandemic situation, to bring a little outside joy into people’s lives while sheltering-at-home. And we hope that we are still able to share the joy and good times with people, now more than ever. The landscape we are living in is changing more rapidly than ever and there is a lot of fear, anger, and uncertainty constantly being circulated. We are trying to inject a little joy in people’s timelines and at the same time spread awareness of the very real issues our country is facing. We have linked information about different ways to get involved in the description of the video. We will continue sharing resources online through our own platforms and take individual actions offline to help make this country a better place for everyone.

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