Mat and Joe met in early 2014 while they were both attending the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. As Joe tells it, he walked up to Mat and introduced himself because “Mat looked cool.” Before long, Joe and Mat were spending most nights playing music together at Mat’s apartment with whoever happened to be there, with Joe taking videos of their jam sessions and posting them on Facebook. The videos eventually earned them an invitation to play at a showcase in Los Angeles––which made them take the idea of starting a proper band much more seriously.
The only thing they were missing was a singer. Not knowing where to look besides the internet, they put out an ad on Craigslist and messaged everyone they could think of who might know of a singer looking for a band. After a few weeks with no results, they turned to Instagram, spending hours combing through videos of singers from all over the world. Finally, they came across a video of a guy from England named Mark––who also looked very cool––singing a cover of “Eyes Shut” by Years and Years. Thinking it was a long shot since he lived an ocean away, Mat messaged him and explained the situation. Mark immediately responded that he was very interested––and within a week he was on a plane from the U.K. to Los Angeles. Less than a week after that, Raynes was officially a band.