Raised up in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, the sons of an Assembly of God pastor, brothers Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart developed an early enthusiasm for music, learning piano from their mom, then moving on to guitar in their teens. As they grew older, the brothers walked different paths – Bear pursued college football, earning several all-time Furman University records and winning the 2002 Banks McFadden trophy, while Bo studied architecture at Clemson (though he too excelled on the gridiron, appearing in a supporting role in the 2003 football drama, Radio).
Despite their respective successes, the Rineharts still dreamt of making music. After graduation, Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart returned home to Seneca, South Carolina and, with drummer Joe Stillwell and bassist Seth Bolt completing the quartet, devoted their considerable energies to NEEDTOBREATHE. The band’s expressive songwriting and aggressive regional touring drew an ardent fan following – known as “the Breathers” – rise up around the band in ever-increasing numbers.
Upon signing to Atlantic, NEEDTOBREATHE headed to the UK to record their debut album, Daylight, with British producer Andy Green (Keane, KT Tunstall). The band toured nearly non-stop following the album’s 2006 release, criss-crossing America as headliners as well as supporting such artists as Train, Jars of Clay, Edwin McCain, and Collective Soul.
“I feel like we haven’t been home since we first got signed,” Rinehart laughed, but the constant touring proved productive in many ways, helping NEEDTOBREATHE define its sound while also inspiring a ream of new songs. In the fall of 2006, the band began work on the Heart, initiating pre-production at Old Plantation, the studio that Seth Bolt – who has a degree in record engineering – opened when he was just 16.
While Daylight was marked by its cerebral, often opaque lyrics, The Outsiders saw NEEDTOBREATHE investing its music with a truer sense of honesty and real circumstance. Having stripped off the intellectual veneer, songs such as “Streets of Gold” reveal further aspects of the band’s unique humanity, including a richer, more overt depiction of their faith.
“Our music is supposed to reflect who we are,” Rinehart says. “From what we’ve seen, people respond to you caring about something, singing passionately about whatever it is you’re passionate about. If your subject matter is something that’s important to you, whatever it is, that comes across to the audience.”
"Artists that were known as live artists," Bear continues. "Every band that's worth their salt live is trying to capture something in the studio that represents the magic that happens when they play together on stage. John helped us do that."
And it is truly magic when the four members of NEEDTOBREATHE take the stage. The band has honed their live show the old-fashioned way - putting in the time, spending years on the road. Aside from their skillful musicianship, there's a spontaneous energy that intangibly connects them with their audience, and their powerful performances have helped build a dedicated fan base
“We’re interested in building a career in music,” Rinehart says, “and playing live lets you develop the fan base that allows you to do that. I tell people all the time, ‘Oh, to be Wilco.’ That to me is a great career model. Bands that have a close, ongoing relationship with their fans are able to do more because it allows them to change and grow and make better and better music.”
Listen To NEEDTOBREATHE Here
|The Heat||2007||Atlantic Records|
|The Outsiders||2009||Atlantic Records|
|Live Horses EP||2010||Atlantic Records|
|The Reckoning||2011||Atlantic Records|
|Cercas Blancas EP||2013||Atalantic Records|
|La Diferencia EP||2013||Atlantic Records|