The up-and-coming family band TRHibe shares a beautifully constructed video to accompany its new historical Western fantasy ballad.
The C&I team is pleased to share the new video and single by the Idaho band TRHibe, made up of young siblings Isabella, Abby, Gabby, and Riley. They've constructed a ballad imagining the real pains and struggles of a well-known and complicated historical figure. Watch the video and keep reading for their thoughts on it, along with more on their music career so far.
C&I: Tell us about the genesis of the group and your musical mission.
TRHibe: Our start in music was unique — which seemed to fit us being triplets plus an older sister. Early on we all opted to try a band format versus individual music lessons, and it stuck. We were only like 6 and 8 when we made that leap to be The Runaway Hamsters. It wasn’t long and we used our music to raise money to support a friend dealing with cancer. It attracted some local, regional, and national news with kids helping out and that also stuck with us. We use the #wehelpfriends hashtag and continue to focus on being a positive influence through our music. We now go by TRHibe (aka The Runaway Hamsters) and have continued helping others, like being ambassadors at CHLA in Los Angeles and making regular stops at the Seacrest Studios in Nashville, using our music to lift those facing challenges. We hope this song and our album will continue giving our listeners that same uplifting vibe.
C&I: What inspired the song “Constantine,” and how did you come to be guided by history and “legends” in general when writing it?
TRHibe: We love all kinds of music but we have made good friends who are legendary artists like The Oak Ridge Boys, Doug Kershaw (who sent us a fiddle after we met while performing in Nashville), and we have been mentored and produced by Kent Wells who is Dolly Parton's producer and musical director. Those connections deepened our respect for the long journey country music has traveled. As we were thinking about our next album, we thought it really needed to have a theme, and legends became our focus. Some of the ideas we were developing into songs involved legendary figures — Johnny Cash, Jesse James, etc., so it was a good fit. You could say we felt like it would be good to give a nod to the past and in doing so show our respect. Some of the songs we wrote have a really modern feel, others more classic, but all involve some kind of legend. We are working hard to finish the full project.
“Constantine” is interesting because we had been thinking of old Western icons at the time, some good, some not so good, and when we came to Texas legends (and we have fond memories of our times in Texas), it seemed like the positive characters from the Alamo had been covered. So we got to thinking of the villainous types, reading about them and considering how parts of their story may not have been told in the main legend. Santa Anna was one — usually the bad guy, we found he had several illegitimate relationships, but some articles talked of him having a special place in his feelings for a girl he had fathered. His marriages were really just arrangements for money that furthered his military effort, but we wondered if he could have had a caring side many didn’t see. As with many legends, they grow a little as they are told, and we added our imagination to what it might have been like if you were this special child that he cared for and had been one of the few good constants in this tough military man’s life. In the song, we added some suspense with competition for her love, and not telling until the end she is Santa Anna's daughter.
There is a bit of truth and a bit of imagination in this song, but we felt it was really about finding the good that can exist in everyone.
C&I: Tell us about the making of the video: What were the challenges in pulling off the concept?
TRHibe: There is a building that was built in the late 1800s (1883) and is now a Catholic church called Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. Over the years it has been a general store, a post office, and a few other things depending on which local you talk with, but it ended up as a beautiful church. We loved the name and beautiful historic look and thought it was perfect for “Constantine.” We felt like we had walked back in time when we first scouted the location and couldn’t wait to shoot the video.
Oreana is a very small unincorporated town in central Idaho (at one point it had a hand-written sign for population saying “Oreana: Population 8 maybe 9.” It is in a part of Idaho that is still full of natural beauty where you can see for miles. It has farms and ranches but also a lot of high desert, and we felt at least a little bit like we were back in Texas.
C&I: Any funny stories from the set?
TRHibe: The outhouses were, let's just say ... primitive, so we enjoyed the benefit of having our own more modern accommodations, not to mention air conditioning for our crew and cast. The out buildings were very old and we had to be careful we didn’t alarm the swallows who nested there. They are so sweet, but if we made them all fly up at once it might have looked like we were filming The Birds.
For such a small town, quite a few people passed by during shooting . “Hey, is someone getting married?” “Is there going to be a concert tonight?” One very nice man thought we looked “fancy.” It was sweet.
We also found out the county road crews park their big equipment on the vacant lot for the church overnight and before we were done we had graders and semis all trying to work around our set and the RVs we had for our crew. During one shot we had a flatbed back slowly right into the distant background during a really good take … “CUT!” Groans and colorful expletives followed!
Christian Lybrook was our director for Constantine and we think he and Bruneau Pictures are destined for great things. Our cast and crew were outstanding, and we feel they told this story amazingly well with only the length of the song to work with.
C&I: What is next on the agenda after the video comes out? Touring? Album promotion?
TRHibe: Rolling forward with the completion of the album will be the next push along with growing our presence touring and performing (depending of course on how open society is in general). We worked with Nashville players to record our music over the last year and we did much of that remotely, playing and recording together thousands of miles apart. It has been very cool to see how all of our artistic friends have used their creativity to keep on developing new material and using their music to touch others.