Hot Chelle Rae isn't a household name yet, but it's not for want of trying. The rockin' Nashville four-piece, best known for multi-platinum singles "Tonight Tonight" and "I Like It Like That," off their sophomore album "Whatever" (which guaranteed them a Best New Artist win in 2011), have toured with some of the biggest artists, from Demi Lovato to Taylor Swift. They're currently playing to tens of thousands of fans a night on the Justin Bieber "Believe Tour," which kicked off last month. But they have yet to go on a major headlining tour, themselves.
With "Hung Up" cracking the top 40 and their next full-length almost complete, Hot Chelle Rae hopes the third album's the charm. Download.com caught up with lead guitarist Nash Overstreet to chat about the Believe Tour (which runs through Aug. 5), apps he's most hung up on, posting photos of Justin Bieber on Instagram, and finding out about "Glee" star Cory Monteith's death over text and Google.
How has the "Believe Tour" been going so far?
We started on the 22nd of June and we've been on I don't know how many shows. It's been crazy. Every night we have 15 to 20,000 fans screaming, going crazy. So if they don't know us, it's such amazing exposure for us; and if they do know us, they're singing along. So on many nights, it's pretty much ear blowing.
In light of your current single "Hung Up," tell us what's the latest app you've been hung up on.
I downloaded an app called Traktor by Native Instruments. It's a DJ app, so you can play one song and the next song blends into it and you can beatmatch it, fade in between them, and add effects and delays and filters and everything. So at a dance party, I can just crank up the music and start DJing from my phone.
In your mega-single "I Like It Like That," there's a line about losing your iPhone. If you did, in fact, lose your phone, what would be the one app that you couldn't live without?
I use Twitter and Instagram more than anything, but I think that the hardest one to live without would be Maps, because I don't know how to go anywhere if I don't have some kind of GPS thing going on. If I need to look up a store or find directions somewhere, I'm lost. If I don't have a GPS in my car, I'm just wandering around.
Speaking of Instagram, you're so active on it. What makes a good Instagram photo?
The thing that the fans love about Instagram is how before, the only way you'd get a candid photo of someone whose movies or music you like, is when the paparazzi took a photo. Now you can see Rihanna when she's chilling on her private jet or me having drinks after the show, on the tour bus. It gives you this backstage view of whatever in our lives you're curious about. It kind of shrinks the distance between fans and celebrities and allows you to be a little closer to the people who are following you.
Are there things that you've been instructed not to post on social media, while on this tour?
No, we haven't gotten any guidelines. We just post photos of us hanging out backstage or sound-checking, But we have to use common sense if we're hanging out with one of the other artists, I'm not going to take pictures and post them unless they bring it up. You don't want to make somebody uncomfortable. But it's never, "Hey, don't take pictures of me." But I'm never going to volunteer someone for a photo unless they want to be in one.
Considering your most popular single thus far, "Tonight, Tonight," is there an app that you use more at night than in the daytime?
Yeah, I've gotten on this pretty crazy sleep cycle where on tour I'll stay up pretty late on the bus after the show, so I'll watch Netflix or some shows -- or I've been playing Tetris Blitz recently and just going to town on that for an hour. It really makes me good at something that's not important in life.
With your brother Chord Overstreet acting on "Glee," can you talk about how Cory Monteith's death impacted you both?
When I heard that it happened, it was such a sad thing, because he came to our video shoots and was hanging out, so I knew him fairly well. My brother was incredibly close with him so it broke my heart when I heard that. Then calling my brother that night and he was so torn up and he told me that he spent so much time with him and it would have been like if one of my band mates had passed away -- and that just floored me. So it's the most tragic thing that's happened that I've been close enough to feel affected by in such a long time.
How did you find out?
My friend texted me and asked if I knew, and it had just happened. So I was hoping that it was completely false and someone just said something. But all of a sudden it was everywhere on the Internet. I just googled it. It was really before Twitter had gotten a hold of it. It was just a couple news stories.
Let's finish with a more upbeat question. Where do you see Hot Chelle Rae in five years?
When we first jumped on the Justin Bieber tour, the first day, all the people involved were so cool to us and they said, "You don't want to always be the openers. Next time you'll be the headliners." It was cool and gave us the foresight and goal of "I want to be doing this." Anytime we do something on a big scale, for a big artist we're jumping on board with, we think, "We need to get to that level." So in five years we want to be headlining.
Watch the "Hung Up" video: