Meet Raine Mara Hopper ! Front woman of the band Mean Girls, and owner and operator of the new food truck-Sundaze, and trans advocate.
Introduce yourself! Who are you and what you do.
My name is Raine Mara Hopper, I am the guitarist and singer for MeanGirls (Atx).
How long have you been a musician? What does music mean to you?
I’ve been in bands, writing, performing and recording since I was 13 or 14. I’m 29 now and I’ve never stopped. I actually did stop once, but the onset of depression was swift. Art is my best chance at connecting with people. I crave that connection so badly. It truly centers me and gives me a way to exists and know that there is more to life than pain. I love people, but I’m so bad at connecting, but when someone understands my art it feels like true love, haha. I feel less alone.
You are currently the lead in the band Mean Girls. Can you describe your sound and influences?
I met Morgan twice, the second time we met we decided to start a band together like immediately. We have very similar tastes in music, and lots of common ground in snarky pop punk and emo and some background in hardcore. My previous band was really trying to stretch the boundaries of what we could technically do, but with meangirls I wanted to focus on just straight forward songwriting.
What are you hoping to accomplish with your band? Do y’all have a personal mission?
I don’t think there is a mission per say. My goal has always been to reach as many people as possible. We are a band of trans persons, women and people of color and we won’t apologize for our bodies and we won’t allow you to disrespect them. We are a small part of a larger movement to create space for people who aren’t men, or white or straight or cis-gender. If we have a message that’s it, I guess.
Some identitfy your music with transpunk. Could you tell us what that means to you and your band?
Trans punk I’m not sure is an actual genre. If so, that is very silly. But I think as an identifier it is important for visibility. I know the impact a band like against me has had on me. But they are a huge act, to many kids in the scene she may seem inaccessible but on the level we operate, my fronting a band as a trans woman could feel more accessible and I’ve been lucky to have people reach out to me to share what that means to them, and I’d say thats very worth the silly genre title.
We saw you recently went on tour. How was that experience for you? What is your favorite, and least favorite part of touring?
Tour is my favorite thing in the world! I love it. If I could do it forever I just might. It gets tough being crammed five deep in a Kia Sportage for two straight weeks, however. I hate how much Taco Bell and trash food I end up eating. But the amount of gracious and selfless people you meet is overwhelming.
Who are your top 5 musical influences?
Hmm my top 5..
5) Elvis Costello
4) the Coathangers
3) against me
2) hot snakes
1) the Lawrence arms
Who are two people you admire?
Two people I admire:
1) fka twigs – as an artist and performer she is absolutely mesmerizing. Such an incredible talent!
2) John Oliver is such a brilliant person. He’s clever beyond comprehension and successfully educates while being very funny.
Switching gears a little bit…You have a food truck taking off! Very exciting. Tell us about that.
Yeah! It’s called Sundaze and we serve chicken and vegan sandwiches with fries and coleslaw. I used to be a big fan of that other chicken sandwich place, but I decided I could do better. I’ve been in food service for 10 years and I absolutely loathe working for people. I simply put my knowledge of the restaurant business with my desire to be self employed. Also I love sauces. Like our food, as great as it is is actually just a vehicle for sauce. It’s really exciting and new and scary so..
Where can we find your food truck? And your music?
I’m currently on s. Lamar and bluebonnet next to lone star Bbq. Meangirls is on Spotify and Apple Music but we have a vinyl release of Squirm coming in October available for preorder at close quarters coalition.
And we always ask… Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope in five years I still have the opportunity to continue playing music, to be surrounded by friends and loved ones. Hopefully my business takes off! Or maybe I’ll meet the girl of my dreams and move somewhere exotic. Five years used to be hard to predict, I have a good feeling not much will change from now. But it is a good feeling.