Rainbow Kitten Surprise
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Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Boone, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Boone, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie




"The Outlaw Roadshow announces RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE!"

So good! From the first moment I heard their music I knew that Rainbow Kitten Surprise needed to be a part of The Outlaw Roadshow. The name is amazing, but the music's really the thing.With their dynamic indie sound and a flair for the dramatic, I predict this will be one of the very best sets of this year's three-night long party in Manhattan. The five-piece band with the stellar name play The Bowery Electric late Saturday night 10/17.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise hails from the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. The Alternative/Indie-Pop band takes influence from great artists like Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, and Kings of Leon. RKS was formed in early 2013 when the first two members, Sam Melo and Darrick "Bozzy" Keller, decided to begin writing and composing music together. What started out as just two college students with acoustic guitars has become something much, much more.

I am thoroughly impressed. Get involved with their two records, Seven and RKS. Both are stellar. Spotify certifies the band at more than a million plays. This is a band for right now! - Ryan's Smashing Life

"Make A Band Famous: Get To Know 12 Of The Finalists!"

What city or town do you call home?

Boone, NC

Are there any fun facts about your band?

All 5 members of RKS lived in the same dormitory their freshmen year of college, before the band was assembled.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Our friend Noah Toomey, who almost died of bacterial meningitis, was given the honor of naming the band. He randomly said “Rainbow Kitten Surprise” and it stuck.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Our song “Fail!” We used to always start our shows with it.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

With the exception of our lead vocalist, every other band member has missed a show. So that would have to be Sam. Other than him, we can make it happen.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

It’s like a ring chant, but it’s hard to explain…

What artists made you want to play music?

Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, and so many others.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Lorde or maybe The Neighbourhood. We feel like our sound would mesh well with artists like these and would make for an awesome show.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

We want our music to heard and remember by as many people as possible.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Hire a lawyer.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Our songs. - Vh1

"Seven (Make A Band Famous '14)"

"What a voice... So original sounding... This guy, it's like he wasn't even talking. He was like 'By the way, i'm just doing my f***ing thing.' You do your thing."
- Tyson Ritter (All-American Rejects) - VH1/You Oughta Know


Best known for their spot as one of 24 finalists on VH1’s “Make A Band Famous” competition in 2014, Rainbow Kitten Surprise will return to play at Legends on Thursday night.

The alternative pop band produced their latest album, “Run,” in April through the local production company Split Rail. Vocalist Sam Melo said the band hopes to produce a new album without a production company.

“We funded our last album on Kickstarter,” Melo said. “Right now we’re doing a bit of soul searching and will probably go back to our roots, which is recording and producing ourselves. We’re not sure where we’re going but we definitely want to keep it in house.”

Despite their current contract with Split Rail, the company has little to do with post-production, lead guitarist Ethan Goodpaster said.

“Split Rail operates by picking a new local band every semester to work with,” Melo said. “They switch off because they are constantly hoping to bring up new talent.”

The five-piece band often performs covers on stage, and is influenced by old-school Kings of Leon and Modest Mouse, Melo said. The group members originally bonded over folk music.

“We had been approached by Split Rail several times [in the beginning],” Goodpaster said. “And we were kind of unsure because we didn’t have all of our stuff together to record an album. Once they approached us, we started trying our best to get ready.”

Melo said the influences on a band change once a production company is involved. Often, there are deadlines and multiple people offering input.

“Know who you are and know what kind of music you want to make before you sign yourself away to control of someone else,” Melo said.

He encourages a strong foundation and experience playing live shows before recording in a studio.

“If you have material you can play live and you are consistently good at playing it, then you know you are ready,” he said “If you can’t put it on for someone else, don’t step into a studio and try to put it into a microphone.”

Sophomore theater major Noel Harrold is happy for the band’s recent success.

“I feel like [RKS] were originally more popular outside of Boone,” Harrold said. “It was actually my friend in a different state who tipped me off to them. She called me and begged me to go see them on her behalf.”

Tickets for the show are $6 and the doors open tonight at 9 p.m. Thursday night. - The Appalachian Online


This past Saturday night was an exciting time for local Boone music. With so many different shows happening around town, for many people it was hard to decide which one to attend. But for some this choice was simple, and those who came to Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s album release party at The Uptown were certainly not disappointed.

April 25th was the official release for Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s second album, RKS. Fans piled into The Uptown, located on Howard Street, known for its distinct character and focus on providing unique musical and artistic community events. Autographing and a meet and greet with the band started at 7 pm.

Split Rail Records, the student-run independent record label at Appalachian State University of whom Rainbow Kitten Surprise is signed, recorded RKS and hosted the event. Being the first album in two years from Rainbow Kitten Surprise, their dedicated fan base was eager to hear new material and to celebrate the long awaited release of the new album.

Unsurprisingly, the venue space filled up rather quickly, as is custom for RKS shows. The band began by playing their first album Seven + Mary in its entirety, and hit the crowd’s familiar sweet spot as fans happily sang along with every song. The passion between the band and their fans made for an explosion of energy and joy. This feverish energy was flowing with such a force that after the first hour, the band was told that the crowd would have to move back into the corner of the venue’s space due to shaking of the floor. In fact, the band eventually had to move everyone outside onto the loading dock space of the venue to finish the rest of their set.

Regardless of slight difficulties with venue capacity, the high energy of the crowd and emotional drive kept the momentum going, and the second half of the performance was dedicated to showcasing the music off of their new self-entitled album.

The 11-track album represents a step into the seemingly bright future of the band. The new songs shared the group’s familiar entrancing indie sound that seems to be the solidifying trademark of the band.

Crowd favorites included “Run,” a tune that exposes the thrilling and electrifying rock and roll side of the group, “Lady Lie,” one that reminds us of the indie-rock genius of their previous Seven, and “All’s Well That Ends,” a slower groove with heart wrenching guitar parts. All songs featured Sam Melo’s raspy and intoxicating vocals accompanied by the wild artistic stylings of Charlie Holt on bass guitar, Darrick “Bozzy” Keller and Ethan Goodpaster with melodic guitar riffs, and Jess Haney with the drum work.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s new album, RKS, is now available for download on iTunes and Google play, and the album is now streaming on Spotify. - Resound Magazine

"Outlaw Roadshow continues in New York, expands to Tel Aviv"

In 2012, Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz and Boston music blogger Ryan Spaulding of Ryan's Smashing Life created the Outlaw Roadshow. The free showcase at Austin's SXSW festival highlighted up-and-coming bands, like so many other showcases.

But unlike other events, the Roadshow had legs. Instead of flashing for a year or two, the project expanded to New York's College Music Journal festival and, last month, to Nashville. Now it looks to expand internationally with a trip to Israel in November.

On Nov. 11, the Outlaw Roadshow will be part of Israel's Tune-In Tel Aviv Music Festival. The Outlaw showcase at Azur (The Zone Club) and will feature a crop of emerging acts including: Dani Dorchin, Sawyer, Sun Tailor, Maya Johanna, Lola Marsh, Lost Highways. Spaulding will also speak at the fest.

“Tune In Tel Aviv is the perfect platform to showcase high-end emerging artists, our goals are totally in line with the ethos of supporting independent musicians, which Ryan and Adam have been doing for the past many years,” said Jeremy Hulsh, founder of Oleh! Records and Israel's Music Export Office.

Of course, Outlaw will continue in NYC this fall too. For three nights: Oct. 15, 16 and 17, The Roadshow NY will offer free showcases with 36 live acts at the Bowery Electric. Fans can RSVP to attend the event via the Outlaw Roadshow app, available for IOS/Apple and Android.

Artists included in this year’s New York lineup include Buffalo Rodeo, These Wild Plains, K Phillips, Jill Andrews, Diana DeMuth, Ninet Tayeb, The Quaildogs, Mobley, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Cheyenne Medders, The Longwalls, Ryan Hamilton, Golden Bloom, Skunkmello, Matt Sucich, Seth Adam, Alan Semerdjian, INFJ, Lauren Marsh, Daniel Thomas Phipps, Town Meeting, Daniel Blue (of Motopony), Avid Jacob, Butch Parnell, Sean Barna, Tyler Stenson, Julie Rhodes, and Allysen Callery.

Also on the bill will be Boston acts OldJack, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Nate Leavitt, The Rationales and Aloud.

And Duritz will likely be in the front row — literally — for all of it.

“He watches almost every band while standing right up front," Boston guitarist Nate Leavitt said after playing the Nashville party. “He's a huge supporter of all the Outlaws."

For Duritz, the project is all pleasure, no work.

“Seeing the music up-close is kind of the point, so why wouldn't I be up there next to the bands?" he asked. “I love seeing music. I love these Roadshow bands. They're the best time." - Boston Herald


Mary EP - Released 05/05/13
Fail! - Single - Release 11/05/15
Seven EP - Released 11/19/15
Seven + Mary - Released 01/30/14
RKS - Released 04/25/15



Rainbow Kitten Surprise and all five of its members hail from the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. With catchy, meaningful lyrics, beautifully designed bass lines, and melodic guitar riffs, their unique sound will keep you humming their tunes all day long. The Alternative/Indie-Pop band takes influence from great artists like Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, and Kings of Leon.


RKS was formed in early 2013 when the first two members, Sam Melo and Darrick "Bozzy" Keller, decided to begin writing and composing music together. What started out as just two college students with acoustic guitars would soon turn into a full band with a unique sound and style.


After recording RKS's first EP "Mary" in an old dorm room on the campus of Appalachian State University, the duo decided to take it up a notch by adding more members and instruments to the band. Over the next year the group widely expanded in size and sound by adding three more members: Ethan Goodpaster (Electric Guitar), Jess Haney (Drums), and Charlie Holt (Bass). In that year, RKS independently released their first album "Seven", which was later re-released in combination with the band's first EP as a joint album titled "Seven + Mary". The title song, "Seven" has been featured in many places on the web including the very popular podcast by IGN, Podcast Beyond! The song "Devil Like Me" and its music video earned the band a spot in VH1's "Make A Band Famous" contest, where they made it to the final 24 out of thousands of artists from across the US.


The group's main interest is producing a quality, unique, and fresh sound for all music lovers to listen to and enjoy.

RKS is currently based out of Boone, North Carolina and has just recorded a new full length album set to be released on April, 25th 2015.

Band Members