Interview with Young Rising Sons in Portland, OR
Interview by: Aili Hauptmann
Veracious Magazine: So, it’s the end of your tour. How has the tour gone?
Andy: It’s been awesome, it’s just been good to get out and play our songs again and see our fans and play some new songs and kind of give them a test to see how they’re going over and what people like and what maybe they don’t like so much. The feedback has been awesome, it’s just, like I said, good to get out and see everybody again since it’s been a while.
VM: Ya, and so Dylan recently left the band, how was it coping with that loss and how has it changed the dynamic of the group?
Steve: It’s a different dynamic but not in a negative way. We all love Dylan, we’re obviously bummed to see him go but he wanted to do his own thing and we’re stoked that he’s doing that because we’ve always said in the past we’re friends first bandmates second. We’re always supportive of everyone and all their endeavors. With that said, there’s obviously big shoes to fill cause he brought his own vibe to the band, but we kind of just hit the ground running. I mean, we didn’t really look back, we just keep doing things the way we always wanted to do things. I think we kind of turned a corner song writing wise and kind of found what worked for us and everything has been really fantastic.
Andy: Ya, and this was one of those things where we were kind of just like ok, we’re a three piece now, let’s have fun and do it!
VM: Has it changed how you guys perform on stage in any way?
Andy: Um, I think just by the nature of having one less actual band member on stage it does just by default, but we still go out and play our show and I think if anything it’s given us an opportunity to kind of step up and raise the bar a little bit because like Steve said, there’s a whole nother set of shoes to fill. So, he’s got a new crazy drum pad back there that he’s doing all sorts of crazy things on. I’m playing keyboard now too.
Steve: I’m singing a lot, because Dylan would do a lot of harmonies and Julian obviously does, but Julian can only do so much cause he’s only one person. So I’m doing more harmonies and just playing more keys so that we’re adding a whole different dynamic because when a member leaves we don’t want to hit the stage and have it be like wow that’s a big subtraction, we want it to be like wow this was even better than it was. We at least feel like we’ve succeeded in that.
Andy: We’ve looked at it like an opportunity to show off more. (laughs)
VM: What has been your favorite show to play on this tour so far and why?
Andy: Denver is always a blast. That’s kind of where things started for us, that was the first city where we were played on the radio, so it’s always a really strong spot and it’s always close to our hearts at this point i think.
Steve: Provo, Utah was crazy.
Andy: Provo was awesome.
Steve: We had never played in Provo before, we’d played in Salt Lake City and we didn’t really know what to expect and we should up to Provo and the place was packed and they were crazy, so excited for our music everyone was rocking out and singing and dancing. So that was a really great show. They’ve all been great really.
Andy: Ya, I will say, and I’m not just saying this because it’s where we are right now but, we’ve had Portland circled for a while now because we haven’t played here in over two years now. We were supposed to be here last summer but due to some unfortunate family circumstances we had to drop out, but we’ve been hoping to get back here since we last played here.
Steve: So it could be this show, we don’t know yet. We’d like to specify this interview is before we went on stage.
VM: Has there been any strange encounters with fans on this tour?
Steve: Not really fans but we had a really weird encounter yesterday in Seattle. This guy came up to us, he was a complete stranger, and he started talking about how the antichrist was here.
Andy: Wait that was in Spokane.
Steve: Oh ya Spokane, sorry. He started talking to us about how the antichrist was here and
Andy: And that he was about to be seated, and I was like you mean Donald Trump? And then he just kept going.
Steve: He was just spouting nonsense and we were all just like we’re going to walk into this store over here, and we just walked off. Otherwise our fans are cool, they’re really family oriented. Everyone is really respectful and generally we don’t get anything too crazy which is awesome.
Andy: Ya, it’s been nice. Like Steve was saying it’s more of a family concert rather than we’re the band and you guys are our fans and there’s this big line drawn between us. We try to make it more inclusive for everybody. To be honest, it felt more like homecoming than anything else, just to see familiar faces again.
VM: And you recently released a new debut ep, was there a message you were trying to send fans through the new ep?
Andy: Really it was just kind of for the fans. We hadn’t put out new music in a while aside from undefeatable the single and we just wanted to give people something. Simple life we have been playing for years now and hadn’t released a studio version of it and melt with you is something we added to the setlist years ago too and we never fully intended to do a recording of it or anything, but I think it was the last tour we played it and we we’re like ok guys we promise this will be the last time we play this live
Steve: And everyone was like aw man.
Andy: Ya, (laughs) everyone seemed so bummed so we were like okay, we’ll keep it rolling.
Steve: Back by popular demand.
Andy: Ya, we wanted to give people something, and something tangible to walk away with from the show.
VM: And are you currently writing any new music?
Andy: Ya, so we’ve been in the studio pretty much all year and we’ve just been continuously writing. I don’t know, the thing about being in a band, and I think we kind of learned the balance between being in the studio versus being on the road, is that it’s a very fine balance. It’s really important to keep the creative juices flowing while on the road as hard as it may be. So, this is a two and a half week tour.
Steve: ya, this is a short tour.
Andy: So we kind of just continually write down ideas, so when we get home we can dive right back into the studio and create more.
VM: Is there any specific process that you go through when writing new music?
Andy: It’s pretty organic, or at least we try to make it organic. It’s kind of hard because in this day and age music is not as much as it should be, it’s not really an organic thing, it’s very processed. A lot of electronic stuff, ya know we adjust with the trends that are happening, but generally it’s very democratic process. If someone comes in with an idea we kind of bounce it off each other and whenever we feel like we can stand behind something, it’s kind of what sticks.
Steve: Yea, we’ve done that a lot. We have so many songs written that haven’t been released yet. We spent the whole year just writing in the studio. A lot of it stems from Andy starting a song, starting an idea a melody or anything like that and bring it to us, and a lot of it is just ya that’s awesome or no that’s the worse thing ever. We kind of go back and forth like that and once we reach that point where it’s like ya this is something we can work on, we’ll take it into the studio and start to flush out a track and start building and brainstorming the lyrics and the types of melodies and sounds and stuff like that. That’s kind of the whole process because in the past we were trying to record stuff between tours and we’d be home for a week in the studio and then back on tour. This time we just sat down and we would spend a whole day just trying to get a guitar track to sound right. It’s stuff that like that, that is important, it’s how you make things yours.
VM: And do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
Andy: Yes, have you seen the movie almost famous?
VM: Ya, I have.
Andy: There’s not one seen in particular where the chant is fully in there, but do you remember the song/chant in the movie?
VM: Ya, I think so.
Andy: We do that chant.
Steve: We just tried to hear everything they said and we made our own chant based off of that. We do that for every show, we’ll get in a circle and huddle up and stomp and clap. We have to do that before every show. There are some shows where we’re rushed on stage and we will do it onstage while the first track is starting. That’s a definite pre-show ritual. That and whiskey. (laughs)
VM: What do you guys normally do on off days?
Andy: It’s been really cool, I think because we haven’t been on the road in a while, we are out and excited to see the world again. So it’s kind of nice to go out and explore and find new places.
VM: Has there been any place that you guys have discovered that you’ve loved?
Steve: We stopped on our way to Seattle at I think the Columbia river?
Andy: I can’t remember.
Steve: We stopped somewhere in-between Spokane and Seattle and there was a scenic overlook, and it was amazing. It was one of things in the past we would just drive by and be like oh whatever, but this time we got there and decided that we were going to see all the cool stuff.
Andy: We stopped and pet a lot of puppies.
Steve: Ya we did, in LA there was a place where you can just go and play with puppies. We were stressed out before.
Andy: Ya there was nothing in particular, but it’s just nice to stop and take a moment to relax.
VM: Do any of you have any other artistic outlets that you enjoy expressing yourselves through besides music?
Andy: Is coffee an art form?
Steve: Coffee is an art form. I think we all like to do things here and there, but nothing amazing. Julian actually writes thing from time to time. Julian was a journalism major so I’m sure he write things here and there. I like to doodle and draw. I’m a terrible artist but I like to try my best, but it’s cool because it’s just for me and it’s fun to do it and see myself get a little bit better every time i do it. Music is definitely where I’m better at.
Andy: I love writing songs not for us, because I think it helps me get out of the bubble a little bit. Leave the young rising sons bubble. It’s important to gain a perspective, but that’s still music.
Steve: I mean it’s true though, Andy will come over and be like hey I wrote this country song, and I’m like awesome it’s great, but I don’t really know what to do with is, and he’s like I don’t either I just wrote it.
VM: You can start releasing country singles.
Steve: (laughs) Ya, just start going crazy with it.
VM: That’s it, is there anything else you guys would like to say?
Andy: I don’t think so.
Steve: Undefeatable just got added to two new spotify playlists; be sure to go check out those playlists because they’re fire and everyone on them is awesome.
Andy: Are we aloud to say yet?
Steve: Ya, maybe? Why not.
Andy: We’re in the process of working on a video for undefeatable. It’s a really cool story, it’s very meaningful to us and everybody. So we’re very excited to release it.
Steve: So be on the lookout for that.
Andy: Other than that, I think that’s about it. Thanks!