I emailed the tour manager of indie/alt band Young Rising Sons with the hopes of getting a phone interview with them, and I would have been more than happy with just that. By some crazy miracle, however, this three-piece band along with their tour manager and a couple of others drove their big touring van to our lovely St. Bonaventure University.
They were traveling from their show in Toronto the night before to a show in Cleveland the next day, and they were totally down to take a bit of a detour to Olean, New York along the way. Vocalist, guitarist, and pianist Andy Tongren, bassist Julian Dimagiba, and drummer Steve Patrick made their way up the Reilly Center stairs with me and Steve to our campus radio station, and I was still processing the fact that they were actually willing to drive through the hills and the weird farm towns to get here. Being able to do a live interview with them was a truly incredible experience. They are all great guys, and it was an interview that I will never forget.
Young Rising Sons broke out into the music scene when their song “High” blew up in 2014. It was everywhere– ABC, NBC, many other big networks, and it was even in a popular Pepsi commercial. Since then, they have been able to tour with huge names such as The 1975 and Halsey. I was even able to see them around that time when they toured with The Kooks in 2015. In our interview, I was surprised to find out that Andy actually knew Halsey before she became really famous. “She was actually a fan of one of my old bands, years and years ago, and she was at one of our shows and came up afterwards and was like, ‘Hey, I really like you guys, I wanna be an artist, do you have any tips?’ And years later we wound up writing songs together and obviously going on tour and it was amazing. That was really special, we shared a bus with her. Ashley [Halsey’s real name] is just a cool person.”
After those tours and putting another EP out, they had to take a bit of a forced hiatus, but they are back and better than ever. Earlier this year, they released a single called, “Whiskey” and then soon after “Noise,” followed by the release of two new songs just a couple of weeks ago, entitled “Sad (Clap Your Hands)” and “Scatterbrain.” They even already have a music video out for “Sad.” I asked them how much they had to do within the making of the video, and once again I was surprised by their answer. “We did everything ourselves,” Andy said. “We actually filmed it on my iPhone! We got a specific iPhone gimbal, which, basically steadies the phone, and we shot it like that and we edited it in iMovie–” Steve interrupted Andy by joking that “We’re just like a walking Apple campaign right now!” Andy said that they spent maybe a total of ten dollars on the entirety of the video, and that was just to buy the masks that they wear in it.
Their new songs like “Sad,” “Scatterbrain” and “Whiskey” have a very different sound than their songs like “High,” “King of the World” and “Turnin'” back in 2014. Their earlier songs are happy and upbeat ones, as you might even be able to tell by their titles, and their newer songs are more raw, emotional, and meaningful, as you also might even be able to tell by their titles. When I asked the band about this, Andy commented, “While we will forever appreciate ‘High’ and love that song and what it did for us, I think there’s sort of like this, I don’t want to say it’s like naively optimistic, but I feel like those songs kind of lacked really covering the entire spectrum of human emotion. And there were a lot of important issues to us that we felt we weren’t acknowledging, like addiction, like depression, those things, and we’ve all experienced that, and we know a lot of other people who have as well. And it’s sometimes hard to find a voice for that, so we wanted to kind of acknowledge it and let people know that if they’re going through something like that, that they’re not alone. We wanted to actually tackle some serious stuff.”
Young Rising Sons is one of those bands that truly treasure their time on the road, hopping from city to city, performing for people that truly love and cherish their music. We asked them if it ever gets to be too much sometimes, and they said no way, Jose. “We love it *laughs*. It’s exhausting and it is nice to be home when we get home for maybe a day or two, but after that day or two we’re ready to bounce, peace out, and hit the road again. I feel like this is sort of our bread and butter and we started playing music because we like to play music. We just kind of feel at home when we’re doing this.”
The band recently just finished up a relatively short tour and are done touring probably for the rest of the year. They are heading right back to the studio to work on new music, and they have high hopes that they will be back on the road come 2019.
I could probably write a lot more about our interview with them, but I’ll let you listen to the whole interview for yourself. I will end it with this– Young Rising Sons are an extremely underrated indie pop/rock band that has an extremely satisfying vibe blending so many different sounds: folk, blues, rock, and electronic.
I sincerely hope that 2019 is their year, and at this rate, I think they have a great chance. Please give them some love and listen to their music! Click on the link at the top of this article to listen to our full interview with Young Rising Sons.