Band interview: The Rainman Suite

Posted in Along Came A Spider...
December 4th, 2009 by Spider

The Rainman SuiteWelcome to paradise – for pop punk fans! We’re interrogating the Billie Joe Armstrong of the Rainman Suite Josh Robinson fresh from tour. The trio’s singer guitarist is answering questions about penicillin upon his arrival back to his home turf of sunny Los Angeles. Their latest CD “Teenage Zombies” is out now and can also be heard in Devi Snively’s “Trippin’”.

How did you get involved in the film?

Josh: “Middagh in Stockton. He said Devi was looking for music”.

Had the Rainman Suite had any involvement in film before?

“ Other than studying it in college, no. We always watch other bands in town cashing big checks for having songs in films/TV. They suck, we don’t… who knows.”

What are the origins and influences of the Rainman Suite?

“ Grew up a teenager in the mid nineties… Punk revival led to learning about the beginnings of Punk and just rock music in general. Soul Asylum was on e of my early fav bands.”

Is it just me or did the early Green Day have a big impact?

“Early who?   Yeah, Green Day was the reason I picked up a guitar. Being a California kid with family in the Bay Area and coming from a working class background I really identified with them from an early age. Changed my life.”

What are your great big plans for the future?

“Just toured England for the first time… hope to return.  Keep writing music.”

Yeah I just about managed to miss you guys. Do you think the UK audience is different from the one you get in States?

Absolutely. The UK audience was a much crustier bunch. Mohawks, chains, the whole 77 thing…and they loved us. Over here if you look like that you are probably not gonna be into The Rainman Suite. I figure those geezers actually saw the pistols and the clash…they can see the influence in our band. Except for the London gig – that was a club nite or something and felt like we were back in Hollywood. Arms crossed, ‘bring out the DJ!’”

What have been the biggest highs and lows of the Rainman Suite career?

“A high would be playing CBGB’s with The Star Spangles, and playing shows in a different country. A low would be anytime I wonder why I’m doing this.”

CBGB’s that’s historic. Have you played much outside US and UK yet?

“The recent UK tour was our first time outside the US. We walked into Canada once, but that doesn’t count. Hopefully next time over we can get out to Germany or something.”

What drug would you be?


One of your songs in “Trippin’” is called Heavy Medication. I’m guessing it’s not about penicillin?

“Ha… no. It’s pretty ‘on the sleeve’.  Not wanting to deal with the pain of something and turning to substances to ‘self medicate’. That was a really shitty time.“

When Devi makes it BIG what classic book or comic she should go and adopt for the silver screen?

“Young Goodman Brown, short story.”

The story reflects the clash of the good and the evil in the human nature? Seems like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story about a young travelling protagonist set in during the Salem witch trials in the late 17th century would go and suggest that the evil being the stronger force. What’s your view on the conflict?

“I did not think anyone would know what I was talking about. Nice going! In some people Evil is the stronger force…many people in fact. But there is also a lot of good in people. Just the fact that everyone has both Good and Evil in them is something I find fascinating. And the idea of Evil bringing about a physical change in someone is the stuff of horror movies. I think it could make a really cool flick. Maybe modernize it a bit.“

What film character would you want to have join your act?

David from the Lost Boys.

Would the Rainman Suite accept him as the leader of the band or would there be internal struggle for dominance?

I’m a selfish attention whore, there would be problems. But then he would vamp out and I would shut the fuck up and sing back up.”

We’ve had Freddy vs Jason and Alien vs Predator, what should be next?

“Freddy vs. Jason vs. John Connor. Ed Furlong, not that imposter guy.”

I’d imagine this would then have to involve time travelling. Where would it be set?

“This was always an inside joke in the band. We hated Terminator 3 so much that we decided Ed Furlong’s John Connor was the most powerful force in the universe. It can be set anywhere, as long as the director can get Furlong to do it. Note – He has to still take money out of his mom’s account and play after burner at the Reseda Galleria.”

Who would win in a street fight the Sex Pistols or the Ramones?

“C’mon, Johnny Ramone could take The Pistols by himself.”

Yeah, you would not have wanted to be on the opposing of him. Although the “Baby, I Love You” Spector cover was dreadful, so maybe there is a weak point…

“Apparently Johnny flew back to New York and wouldn’t have anything to do with the recording of it. He’s a notorious tough guy. Sometimes guys like that are just paper tigers…maybe Lydon would kick him in the nuts or something?”

Ask yourself the question that you think should be asked in interviews, but never is.

“Josh, what the fuck?”

How would you answer to that?

“I know man… I know.”

End the sentence: “Kids, do not take drugs…”

“…at the show. Take them just before you arrive.”

When can we expect a next show from you guys? I can see a line of penicillin fuelled kids around the corner…

“Ha! Not sure. We spent a good part of the year on the road. The UK tour came at the end of 5 weeks of touring in the states. We were pretty shredded when we got back home. Right now we are just trying to put the pieces of the home life back together. It’s possible we don’t play again till April or May when we are looking to return to the UK. But I’m sure we will get bored and set up some poorly attended soul sucking Los Angeles shit fest in a few weeks and play that.”

While waiting for these fests to take place (or the band to write a concept album?)  you can join the bands street team on or check out the music video for “Teenage Zombies” along with other wicked tunes surf over to

Interview Jyrki “Spider” Hamalainen

One Response to “Band interview: The Rainman Suite”

  1. Ahhh.. thank you Spider!!! I love The Suite and Josh’s social commentaries are ALWAYS welcome! Be careful…. they’re working on world domination. ;)

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