Some days, it’s easy to get lost in thought. Thinking about the things you have to do tomorrow, what you ate for lunch, the inner mechanisms of the world, or that one embarrassing thing you did years ago that your brain will NEVER let you forget. Whatever those thoughts may be, it’s especially easy to get lost in them on rainy days, like in At Mission Dolores’ “Before the Rain”.
Beginning with a soft drizzle of acoustic guitar, it’s not long before it begins to pour down with some psychedelic rock as the singer thinks out loud:
yesterday before the rain
I was feeling really strange
the sky was grey
the colors in my brain
caused the clouds
It’s funny to me how sometimes we can feel like we’re the main cause behind something as big as a rainstorm. It reminds of the superstitions we all have, like how you wonder if your favorite sports team lost because you forgot to wear their jersey on game day.
As the rain begins, they can’t help but think how funny it is to watch the rain fall before it evaporates, only to go back up in the clouds where it comes straight back down.
“But enough of that!” the rain demands as a drop hits the singer’s face, bringing them out of their philosophical mood for a moment as they jam out for a heavier pouring of guitars and percussion.
It’s not long before they’re thinking again, this time coming to the conclusion that all these skies are the same, just with different coats of color. If you really look closely, you’ll see these skies for the clouds they are.
As they continue to sit and watch these patterns of rain, clouds, and skies that are the same, they begin to realize something:
“and now I’m
the cycle starts to break
accepting of the change”
Oddly enough, sometimes noticing the repetition is the key to stopping. It can be the first step to breaking out of a habit.
… But that doesn’t mean you can stop repeating it immediately, as evidenced by the repetition of this line a few moments later. It could possibly mean that you’re perfectly fine with the habit as well. Sometimes it’s just good fun to notice your idiosyncrasies like how you have to put a sandwich together in a certain order or tap a can of soda before you open it. While they’re oddities that close friends can pick on us for, they’re ultimately what make us who we are.
There’s one more final downpour, soaking you in one last psychedelic introspective mess before leaving you in a state of content.
What was the inspiration for your song “Before the Rain”?
Before the Rain was inspired by taking walks around where I was living close to the river on days where it was lightly sprinkling. I found it curious that I would often overhear people equate rainy weather with gloom and sadness, whereas I often found it refreshing and stimulating, bringing forth thoughts of growth and renewal. It depends how you look at it.
For “Before the Rain” which came first, the lyrics or the music?
The music came first with maybe a lyric or two, which were fleshed out as I recorded a demo version.
What would you consider to be more important: the music, the words, or neither?
I would say neither or both. I think they ended up in a place where the band’s performance suits the words really well.
Given this song involves rain, what’s your favorite thing to do on rainy days?
Cook a warm meal and go for a walk or open the window and read a book or write.
I noticed on your Facebook page that the band is a collective group of retro futurists. What’s your favorite thing about retrofuturism?
It’s fascinating to peer into the past and see their interpretation of the future. The juxtaposition between the shiny, sexy version they portrayed is often in stark contrast to the darker realities of what has actually occurred.
On the band’s Spotify page, I noticed that the band likes to “normalize the absurdities and oddities surrounding them.” What are some of the strangest absurdities and oddities the band’s noticed or had happen to them?
That’s definitely in the same vein as the retrofuturism thought. There are a lot of everyday occurrences in our day-to-day lives which are quite odd, if you’re able to look at them objectively. How we communicate with one another via text messages is an obvious example of that thought.
How did you pick the band name “At Mission Dolores”?
I was visiting San Francisco and spent an afternoon at Mission Dolores Park. It was an absolutely beautiful place, almost to the point of being surreal. Contrasted against all that natural beauty is some very stark wealth inequality. That idea of polar opposites seemed to fit what the band does.
I saw on your Facebook page that the band recently released their debut album “Last Night Outside Her Apartment”. Congratulations! What was the most fun part of creating the album? What were some of the most challenging parts?
We lived at the studio for 5 days while we were recording it, which was extremely fun. It really helped our headspace to be entirely focused on music for that time. The hardest part was all the time required for press and publicity. As musicians we often want to just focus on playing music, but that work is obviously very vital.
Are there any hobbies or passions that members of the band have that influence the sound of the music? If so, what are they?
I think reading is a big one for me. I try to view songwriting as an extension of storytelling. I like the idea of every part of the song, including the instruments, being a way to craft a picture.