Rachel Haden (That Dog, The Haden Triplets) on her new solo music and upcoming 7″ single

Photo: Ben Clark

Rachel Haden with Warren Defever and Ryen Slegr at the Grand Star Jazz Club/Save Music in Chinatown 7 (Photo: Ben Clark)

Rachel Haden is known and loved among music fans for being a member of That Dog and the Haden Triplets, as well as contributing to killer groups such as Weezer, The Rentals, Jimmy Eat World, The Gears, and California. But now she has solo work leaking out, including a limited-edition 7″ that can be pre-ordered on Sunday. How could I not ask my friend about it?

The songs on the 7″ single are so dark and lovely, but they aren’t exactly brand new… What was it like to revisit and release them? Do the lyrics have new meaning so many years later?
The lyrics don’t have new meaning. But I felt stuck for years and felt like it wasn’t right for me not to release something. With the help of friends, I finally did it and it feels great. The music feels comfortable and familiar, and brings up emotions that reverberate with what I’m going through now.

Some people don’t like the idea of living in the past, but I do. Revisiting the songs brings me back to the time I recorded them–the way I was, the struggles I was dealing with. Recording them helped me through all that at the time.

I love the digital EP  that you just released as well. Was it difficult to pick and choose which songs to share? Is there a huge stash that you are holding out on us?
Yes, there is a huge stash of songs. Well, maybe not huge. But there is a handful of songs I’d like to revisit. The EP is essentially the first chunk of an unreleased record. Hopefully, more in the new year.

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It was amazing to hear the music live at the Grand Star. So epic and gorgeous. Was it difficult to translate the compositions into something you can play onstage?
Warren Defever and Ryen Slegr were big motivators. I automatically think that people won’t like my songs, but the fact that Warren and Ryen believed in them really gave me confidence. I should’ve had Adam Pfahler play drums at the show, though. He’s my number-one supporter.

Any chance you’ll be playing solo more often now that these songs are out there? Or maybe it’s only for extra special, extra awesome occasions like Save Music in Chinatown?
Yeah, maybe at extra awesome occasions like Save Music In Chinatown! If I can get Warren and Ryen to live with me, it can happen again.

Do you think writing and playing solo instead of with a band is something one can get used to or grow into? What’s your experience and where is it going?
Although my brother once told me that I could lead a band, I never think of myself as a leader. I love collaborating. I love being with That Dog. I don’t have an easy time being in charge and I always struggle with it. Is it fear that I’m going to fail? Maybe I need to do another record… I have the songs.

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Visit rachelhadenmusic.com and pre-order her 7″ single  from Greenway Records on Sunday, November 15 from Greenway Records! I’m going to buy the red vinyl with portraiture by Nate Pottker…

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