In the short but eventful life of country band Gloriana, there has been little in the way of scandal. So when something big happens, like that time one of its singers walked offstage after a show and never came back, people tend to make a big deal of it.
It’s been almost three years since Cheyenne Kimball left, and remaining members Tom and Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinert are still dealing with the public fallout. “We have not heard from her since she posted on our Twitter account that she was no longer a part of the band,” Reinert says in a recent phone interview. “There wasn’t even a conversation. She just up and left.”
Now a trio, Gloriana just finished making their third full-length album, the first it has recorded from beginning to end without Kimball, who left before the group’s last disc, “A Thousand Miles Left Behind,” was released. The Gossins and Reinert re-recorded that entire album after her departure, erasing every possible trace of her existence, which seems drastic. Reinert says the group never considered leaving Kimball on the disc. “No. Absolutely not. It was just kind of one of those things where we were getting ready to release the album when she left kind of abruptly. We had no idea it was happening. From that day forward, we were like, ‘You know what? We’re a trio. We’re going to be a trio, and that’s the end of that.’”
At first, life without Kimball was terrifying. “We didn’t know what was gonna happen,” Reinert remembers. “We thought maybe we were gonna lose our record deal and our fans weren’t going to be interested anymore. We thought, We’re gonna persevere. It’s a part of our history and it’s part of what made us who we are. We’re big believers in things happening for a reason…We wound up having the biggest single of our career (“(Kissed You) Good Night”) right after that happened. We just kind of never looked back.”
Gloriana began life as a trio: Reinert, who landed a publishing deal when she was still in her teens, was a struggling solo artist living in Nashville when she connected with the Gossin brothers, bar circuit veterans from Utica, NY. Kimball, a singer and former MTV reality show star (“Cheyenne,” 2006), joined soon after.
The quartet signed to producer Matt Serletic’s Emblem Music Group; its self-titled 2009 debut, a shiny, filigreed country-pop album that earned comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, was a Top 5 hit.
“We have been kind of known for having heavy production,” Reinert admits. “I think when it was all of us, those voices might have been too overwhelming for people. So when that was taken away, we went back to our roots and people could hear the individual voices, it wasn’t this crazy wall of sound.”
Reinert promises “a more evolved Gloriana” on the next disc, which doesn’t yet have an official title or release date (it will likely come out before the end of the year). The trio is currently touring with Rascal Flatts; promotion for the new album, and another cycle of non-stop touring, will begin after they get home. “People think it’s a glamorous lifestyle. It’s not. When you’re on the road and touring a lot of the time, it does feel like camping. It’s a lot of traveling and crazy hours and not wanting to let people down in general, having to feel ‘on’ all the time,” Reinert says.
The band’s last album, released in 2012, did well, but country stardom is a shifting target and many of their ostensible rivals — Little Big Town, The Band Perry — have become more successful in the interim. It can be easy to lose perspective, Reinert says. “I definitely have to take a step back at times, especially if I get a little bit of anxiety about things. I think about sixteen year-old me, living in Nashville, just wishing I could be at the CMAs. I always have to remember how great I have it. … I’m 25 years old and last year I bought my first house by myself. Everything we’ve done has allowed me to be able to do that.”
With Kimball gone, Reinert is no longer the Other Girl in Gloriana, the wholesome brunette relegated to the back row of photo ops while Kimball, platinum blonde and fond of tank tops, perched up front. She’s also the only female in a band of men, something she contemplates “when fart jokes are running rampant through the bus. But I grew up with boys. I have three brothers. I knew what I was getting myself into.” [Source]