Young Rising Sons had their major break back in 2014 following the release of their single “High” from their self-titled debut EP which was released via Dirty Canvas/Interscope Records. To say that the track blew up is a bit of an understatement. It was featured on Fox, NBC, ABC, MLB, BBC, and even landed on Billboard’s Top 40 charts. However, this was only just the start for the band. Over the last three years, Young Rising Sons released two additional EPs (with another on the way), accumulated over 40 million streams on Spotify, and have toured the country with acts including The 1975, Halsey, and Cruisr among others.
With each release from Young Rising Sons – comprised of Andy Tongren, Julian Dimagiba, and Steve Patrick – songs have become a bit more personal. This is something we see in the band’s 2017 single “Carry On” which touches on facing our inner struggle where Tongren sings, “These days I feel like I’ve become my own mistakes // All of my demons keep me wide awake…I believe that life is worth it even if it’s scarred or frayed // You don’t need to be whole or perfect, no one is, no one is.” It’s simple yet powerful, sharing how sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
Then earlier this year, the band dropped their latest hit, “Whiskey,” a song that is even more vulnerable while diving into the issues of addiction which we can immediately feel in the lyrics. “Like a shot to the slaughter, but there’s blood in the water // The current is dragging, pulling me further // The more that I fight it, the more it gets stronger // Fighting me, dragging me, pulling me down below.” Although the track insinuates an addiction to alcohol, lyrically it’s one that many people can relate to while it discusses the addictions in life that we face. “It’s dealing with addiction, any kind of addiction, whether it’s a substance or I think you can kind of be addicted to a person as well,” shares lead singer Andy Tongren. “There was a relationship in particular of mine a few years back where I was very deeply rooted into this person and against my better judgment I kept coming back because it was what I knew and I couldn’t not.”
He continues, “As our time as a band we never had that song that dove into sort of the darker side of relationships which is certainly a thing that exists and shouldn’t be ignored. I think it’s something that people are scared to talk about because it does get very personal and it brings a lot of difficult issues up for different people. But I think it’s something that we can all somewhat relate to. We’ve all been in a scenario where we’ve not necessarily felt taken advantage of.”
The whiskey aspect of the song may not be a surprise to fans who have caught the band live over the years. “There was a time where if anybody saw us live they saw me walk on stage with a bottle of Jack Daniels. It went from something that I did because I enjoyed it to something I used as a sort of crutch to play live and in a way I kind of forgot how to play without a drink first,” Tongren explains. “It got me a little relaxed and settled down, so before we play I kind of live in my own head and overthink a lot of things and drinking became something that was like a crutch.” Putting things into perspective was helpful for Tongren because it not only allowed him to realize that there was a problem, but also gave him the ability to regain control of the situation and have whiskey be something that can be enjoyable again rather than only be something to fall back on.
Fans may also have noticed that sonically this is a new chapter for the band, almost a new era. While they’ve cryptically released music over the last few months, it’s for good reason. The members of Young Rising Sons have matured and grown as artists over the years which can be heard through each release. With that, the band has also had the chance to see their fans grow as well. “I like to think that we know [our fans] fairly well and while we’re certainly writing what we want to write, we’re kind of keeping them in mind…everybody has been very patient and we can’t thank them enough for that because sometimes there’s things that are a little bit out of our control that stop us from being able to do what we would like to do,” Tongren tells us. “I think the fans that have stuck around, it’ll be worth the patience and hanging out for a minute.”
If there’s one thing that sets the band a part from others, it’s their passion for interacting with fans. Chances are if you’ve been in a room with Young Rising Sons, they’ve authentically tried to build a connection with you because having that human connection is something they truly enjoy. “We try our very best to have those moments with fans because at the end of the day, we’re fucking people. That’s all it comes down to…if someone wants to have a conversation with us, we’re all about it.”
So what type of sound can fans expect to hear next? “We’re kind of trying to straggle this line of this new kind of sound that sort of resembles “Whiskey” mixed with what our fans expect to hear from us, so there’s a bit of everything I think for a Young Rising Sons fan,” Tongren explains. “The thing is with this new music, we kind of sat down and thought about what we really want to express and what we wanted to say and I think that our songs are brutally honest songs where it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to not try and be cool. I think honesty is cool, but the most special songs always have brutal honesty and with the new music that’s what we try to focus on.” He continues, “Even back with “High” and those songs, it was kind of there and there was an optimism that was a little naive I think and we’re trying now to not avoid the darker moments because they exist and they’re there. They deserve to be talked about just as much as the great things.”
While the band has gone on to release two singles this year already, three if you count the stripped down acoustic version of “Whiskey,” there are plans on the horizon for a full body of music. As the band has had the time lately to write and create music the way they want to, they are also being mindful of how quickly music is being consumed today. “We’ve got a lot of songs that we want to give our fans and they will be coming very shortly…we’re just trying to figure out the best way for us to put out music so it’s not necessarily consumed and then thrown out. We’d like to think we’re working towards something and there certainly will be a body of music, it’s just going to be kind of released in a different way. But we’re really excited about it and I think it’ll be kind of able to show growth and continually give our fans something from us.” Tongrent shares. In the meantime, he adds, “I think we’ll certainly explore releasing different versions of songs whether it’s a remix or an acoustic version of what have you…It is nice that people are loving music right now”
Over the last few months, the band has been on the road with alt rockers Magic Giant and are currently wrapping up a few dates. However, we’ve got a feeling that the New Jersey boys in Young Rising Sons will be back on the road in no time. Tongren explains, “Tour has been so important to us throughout our career as Young Rising Sons. It’s our bread and butter, our lifeblood. Our fans are kind of what keep the ship afloat and we owe it to them to come and see them, so we’re doing our very best to make sure we hit all those markets.” He adds, “It’s fun, that’s why you become a musician, you start playing music because you want to play music, so being able to go on stage and play an instrument and sing a song that you’ve written and have that moment where you connect with somebody in the audience to feel that same thing you feel it’s just a really special thing to have. We really want to keep making those connections and stay on the road as much as we can.”
Do yourself a favor and pick up tickets to one of Young Rising Son’s upcoming shows, dates listed below! For more info, head on over to http://www.youngrisingsons.com.
7/5 – Austin, TX @ 3TEN ACL Live
7/6 – Dallas, TX @ Dada Dallas
7/8 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues – Bronze Peacock Room
7/10 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5