Just over a year and a half after the release of their incredible debut album, Tolono, Champaign folk quartet Rebecca Rego & The Trainmen are hitting the studio to record its follow-up. To coincide with the start of recording, the group will launch a Kickstarter campaign this Friday aimed at aiding production costs and getting their fans involved in the process.

Rebecca and the guys will be celebrating all of this exciting news with a show at Township this Thursday, 11/5. The show kicks off at 8 PM with Holly Golightly & The Broke-offs wrapping up the night. If you’re in Chicago, you can grab tickets online for just $12. In anticipation of the show and Kickstarter launch, we talked with Rebecca about the new record and how it compares to Tolono.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process and inspiration that led to the group’s formation? 

I met Eric, Cory and Matt in Kankakee Illinois. They had all been friends for over 10 years and been playing music together in various bands during that time. I met Matt because I saw his friend drum with another band and someone told me that his name was Matt Yeates. I contacted Matt thinking he was someone else but when he showed up to play he was such an incredible drummer that I was like… “Dam… Yes lets do this.”  Eric and Cory were also looking for new projects to work on at the time.

You’ve said that Tolono was heavily influenced by the Midwest and your time spent in small towns across Illinois. Do you think that your music would have found the same sound had you lived elsewhere? 

No probably not. The songs on Tolono were very influenced by time outside of Chicago. It was about the idea of growing up in a place that you found very uninspiring but then looking back on it as an adult and loving it for what it was.

There seems to be a recurring theme of small towns throughout your music and the identity of the band. How important is community to you?

I think since moving to Champaign I have found a great community of musicians that really support and love each other.  Being apart of this community for the last 2 years has really grown our music in a very interesting way.

You’ve mentioned to me that your upcoming record will be taking a new musical direction. Can you tell us more about what we can expect to hear and how it compares to Tolono

I think some of our new songs are leaving the folk genre and moving more into full on rock songs.  We are going to be working with Beau Sorenson on this new record.  He has produced records with bands like Minor Characters, Elsinore, and Field Report we are thinking that we are heading in that direction with these new songs.

For Tolono, everything was recorded live to tape with the help of local musicians. Can we expect a similar recording treatment on the new record?

I think for this record we aren’t doing everything live. Some things will still be tracked that way but we are also looking to make something that crafted and layered.

What led to the decision of crowd funding the production of this record? Other than the obvious monetary benefit, what are your goals for the campaign?

We are looking to include our fans in this process. We have had lots of people the last few months ask us when we are going to start recording and want to help us with that. We have some amazing people that we have met over the years in our home town and on the road.  We have the songs but we were looking to bring things to the next level this was a way we found that we could do that.

At a time when a lot of musicians are shying away from full-length albums in favor of singles and EPs, why is it important for you to put out a full-length release?

Well we have the songs for a full-length and I think we are looking to make a full album experience. All of us have gone through some pretty heavy personal stuff in the last couple years since we have made our last record and these songs are a document of that.

Don’t miss Rebecca & The Trainmen live this Thursday at Township in Chicago, and be sure to keep an eye on social media for updates on the Kickstarter launch!

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