The sound of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, or RKS, as their fans call them, is hard to define. That's just how they like it.
"I mean, I think we just move fast," said Sam Melo, one of the band's founders.
Success has come fast, too. The band came together at Appalachian State College in Boone, North Carolina, after Melo and Darrick "Bozzy" Keller released an EP in 2013.
"It was just the people in the dorm listening to it, but that alone is nine floors of like 18 year old kids who are just abuzz. You know it just like – it got lit really quickly," Melo said.
They filled out their group with three schoolmates from their dorm, Ethan Goodpaster, Jess Haney and Charlie Hoyt.
"We developed a lot through the live show, like we were playing these songs in bars with nothing except our guitars and our voices and we were selling it," Hoyt said.
But before one open mic night, they realized they needed a name. They turned to a close friend who'd just been through a tough illness.
"We were just like 'Okay, we gotta sign up, Noah, what's our name?' And Noah's like, 'Rainbow Kitten Surprise.' 'Are you positive about that?,'" Melo recalled.
Hoyt said it gets their fans defending them from the get go.
"They're lyrics and emotions that like, I've thought sometimes, some periods in my life on a daily basis and now I get to sing them out. It's almost like therapy for me," Hoyt said of what it's like to be on tour.
The song "Hide" also has great meaning. Melo wrote it when he realized he was gay.
"I wrote it, like the first chorus to that, and never sang it for anybody… And I was just like, 'I don't know that I'm ready to put this out anywhere. I don't know that I'm ready to even to talk to the guys about this,' because it was just like a personal realization that I've been burying… and now I'm sitting with Charlie and he's got fishnets on and I'm like, 'man, that was wrong,'" Melo said.
"Are you surprised where this journey has taken you? And how fast?" Mason asked.
"No. And I'll say that because… the only thing that 18, 19-year-olds can think is 'Wow, I am the best thing to ever hit the stage. You're famous.' We were famous for the first show that we ever played. It took us a lot of shows to teach us we were not. And when we learned we were not, we finally started getting there," Melo said.