Rainbow Party melds EDM and live music with no lack of hacks and tweaks

rainbow_party_logoRainbow Party, a spin-off project from Coverflow, brings an EDM-like feel to the stage with mad beats and the technology to prove it. Band members come from FitMob, Mayfield, Initial Capital, Branchout and more.

Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
Rainbow Party is a spin-off project of tech exec band Coverflow. We wanted to explore the idea of fusing the energy of a live band-meets-DJ performance with textures and sounds of Electro, Dubstep, Trap, and electronic dance music + Top40. This will be only our fifth performance, as we’re literally only a couple months into it! 

This project is one giant hack, born out of a late-night brainstorm around, “How do we perform some of our favorite EDM sounds through a live band setting?” We’re using SW and experimental digital instruments in ways they weren’t designed to be used, and kind of inventing a new hybrid genre. As a result, we’re constantly having to come up with technical workarounds and debugs — keeps things interesting to say the least, when you’re not even sure if everything will work properly during a set! 🙂 

You wouldn’t believe the complexity of programming and technology that goes into our set. It’s literally hundreds of hours and takes ridiculous concentration to pull off live and in synch across multiple instruments. But of course, on stage, our job is to make it look easy, like we’re just pressing a bunch of buttons, ha ha.

Who are your major influences?
Avicii, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5, Skrillex, Knife Party, Porter Robinson, Tiesto, Glitch Mob, as well as top remixers like Moonbeat and WildBoyz.

What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?
We’re mostly here to challenge and delight ourselves and each other, because it’s such a crazy concept to try to implement. Half the fun is getting through a set and finding, “Oh hey — it worked!” We’ve been thrilled by the response we’ve gotten from early shows. People really seem to dig the vibe of a killer Vegas club style set, with the energy and connection of a live band performance. We’re going to keep experimenting and weaving in more formats, and getting deeper into original production and sound design.

What are your day jobs?

  • Phil Kaplan – founder of Fandalism and DistroKid. Former founder/CEO of Adbrite, CEO of Blippy, F*ckedCompany.
  • Kristian Segerstrale – founder of Initial Capital. Former co-founder and CEO of Playfish (acquired by Electronic Arts).
  • Tim Chang – managing director at Mayfield Fund.
  • Jack Dunham – senior engineer at Fitmob. Former developer at BranchOut, Postini/Gooogle
  • Pangfua Her – recruiter at UXtalent. Formerly BD and recruiting at Yelp, Salesforce, VMware, Reactrix.
  • Christina Dunham – VP Mktg/BD at Froomz. Formerly marketing at EarthLink, OmniSky, PinTouch
  • (guest vocalist) Raj Kapoor – founder/CEO of Fitmob. Former partner at Mayfield Fund, CEO of Snapfish.

How does your music influence your work or vice versa?
Music is a shared passion and creative outlet for many entrepreneurs and tech execs in the Valley, and it’s no surprise that music and math are so closely linked. We use music as a vehicle to connect with others in the tech industry and the Bay Area, and also bring a hacker mentality into the music we play.

Why is music education important?
Music education empowers children to know that everyone can be creative, and can create music — without the need to pursue music as a profession. Modern music education also teaches people that anything can be a music creation tool — from traditional acoustic instruments to software running in the cloud and in mobile apps. Music education also teaches us how to actively listen to and collaborate with other people.

What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?

  • [Tim] tiger parents started me on classical piano as a little kid. I rebelled in high school and picked up rock guitar. Burning Man turned me on to new directions of creativity through electronic music.
  • [Phil] grew up as a drummer, playing in well-known death metal bands.
  • [Kristian] grew up playing in professional cover bands in Finland, performing at weddings and clubs from an early age!
  • [Pangfua and Christina] grew up singing and with music all around everyday.
  • [Jack] grew up geeking out on the bass, jamming out on everything from punk to technically demanding prog-rock