An Interview With The Talented Guys of Young Rising Sons! Lead Singer, Andy Tongren Dishes on Their Recent Signing with Interscope Records, Their Upcoming Tour With Little Daylight and Much More!
Posted On 01 Aug 2014
Tag: Almost Famous, Andy Tongren, Bad Suns, Better, Bleachers, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Flawless, HAIM, High, Interscope Records, John Mayer, Julian Dimagiba, King Of The World, Little Daylight, Milky Chance, NeedToBreathe, New Jersey, New Music Homepage, Queen, Red & Gold, Red Banks, Runaways, Steve Patrick, Stillwater, The Four Tops, The Killers, The Neighbourhood, The Wire, Tom Petty, Young Rising Sons, YouTube
Their name says it all. Young Rising Sons are the latest group of young rising stars from New Jersey. This foursome is proving to be an emerging sound in the Internet music sphere. They recently released their first music video on YouTube and it was #1 on the New Music homepage! I instantly fell in love with their single, “High” and I am sure you will too!
Young Rising Sons members include, In addition to Andy Tongren, Dylan Scott, Julian Dimagiba, and Steve Patrick. Hailing from Red Bank, New Jersey, they been making their way into the big cities to show everyone what they’ve got to say. And people are listening!
Before their busy summer tour with Little Daylight begins, the lead singer of Young Rising Sons, Andy Tongren took some time to answer some questions for me. Enjoy!
Steve, Dylan and Julian grew up playing in rival bands in New Jersey and have all known each other for almost a decade. I was thrown into the mix about 5 years ago when they saw me playing acoustic at a bar in New York City. They were looking for a singer at the time and approached me after the show asking me to come practice with them. The first time we played together it was instant chemistry.
The four of us have grown to be best friends and stand by the motto, “Friends first, band mates second”.
How did the band’s name come about?
Young Rising Sons actually stemmed from a song we wrote called “Red & Gold”. It’s a song about getting back up after you’ve been knocked down and we felt it summed up our journey as a band, because a lot of what we tried didn’t work. But, we knew if we continued to push forward and pursue this dream of ours, we would eventually make it work.
Congrats on landing your recent record deal with Interscope Records! That’s very exciting! How are you guys all feeling about that? What was it like signing those contracts last month? How has this relationship been so far?
Thank you! It’s been an amazing ride thus far and we are honored to call Interscope our home. The goal since we started playing music as kids was to sign a record deal, and now that it’s happened, it’s all pretty surreal. But, this really is just the beginning of the journey. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we couldn’t be more excited.
You guys are about to release your debut EP next week. Tell me what that feels like. How excited are you guys right now?
I can’t wait. The reaction from “High” has been so amazing that we have been really itching to release more music, and I think our EP is a great introduction to Young Rising Sons.
What’s everyone’s favorite song to perform and why?
My favorite song to perform is “High”. I always seem to get a little glimpse of perspective when we play it, and I take a minute to look around at the guys that I get to share the stage with and say to myself, ‘we are really doing this.’ Dylan & Steve love playing “King Of The World” because of the energy. Julian is a punk rock guy at heart, so that push beat in “Red & Gold”, seals the deal for him.
Listening to music makes us all feel something; that’s why we started playing in the first place. Now that we have the opportunity to release music that we create, we figure why not write songs that make people feel good. We tell a real story; our honest account of life’s ups and downs, but with a glimpse of hope. I think a lot of bands are sucked into a Top 40 world based on singles and forget who they are; they get stuck sugarcoating their music and trap themselves in a box. While this is an industry based on singles, many of which are quite sugarcoated, we aren’t willing to compromise our voice to fit in and I think that’s something that sets us apart.
How has your home, New Jersey, influenced you guys as musicians and the music that you make?
Despite being born & raised in Ohio, after being here so long I’ve been dubbed an honorary New Jersey guy. The coolest thing I’ve seen since I’ve lived here is the culture around Bruce Springsteen. Everyone has a Bruce story, and it seems like everyone here is born with a little Springsteen in their soul. Ohio didn’t really have an icon like that, so it’s been interesting to not only learn about, but embrace the culture of music in New Jersey, from Springsteen, to The Gaslight Anthem.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’ve made and/or making? Who are some new musicians that you are enjoying now?
We listen to just about everything and try not to limit ourselves when it comes to our musical influence. However, a few artists that we grew up with who continue to be staples for us influentially are Tom Petty, Queen, and The Four Tops. In the van we’ve been listening to artists like NeedToBreathe, Bad Suns, Milky Chance, and John Mayer.
Like I mentioned before, the goal of signing a record deal was a sight we all had our minds set on from a young age. We all wanted to make music that people could connect to. Now, we have the opportunity to do that on a very real level. However, this is just the beginning and we know there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us.
We all joke and say that we want to be the biggest band in the world, which of course would be great, but I think we will all be happy as long as we can continue to write and play music that people can connect with.
You have just started a busy summer tour. (I hope to see you when you come to LA next month!) How is it going so far? How do you keep up the energy and momentum night after night?
Everything is going great! We love being on the road and meeting new fans. It does get exhausting, but there’s a certain energy between the four of us when we walk on stage and get into the first song. These are very real songs that we live day in and day out, so I think performing them has become a part of what we do. It’s who we are.
How do all your families, wives, girlfriends and more handle you guys being gone from home so often lately? Are you good at staying in touch with everyone back home?
We do our best staying in touch with everyone. Our families are incredibly important to us and there is no way we would be where we are without their constant support. They haven’t always understood what we do or why we do it, but they always stood by us.
Thus far, what’s your favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
It’s the moment in “High” every night when I take a second to look at the guys and think about the journey we’re on. It’s crazy to think that a year ago we were practicing in Steve’s basement and playing shows to 20 people.
Your song “High” is incredibly catchy! I’ve heard it a few times and I can’t stop whistling and humming it. What are some songs that you guys can’t get out of your heads?
Thank you, I’m glad to hear you like it! Personally, I don’t get through the day without having “Runaways” by The Killers stuck in my head. Julian has been listening to “Flawless” by The Neighbourhood non stop, Steve won’t stop playing “The Wire” by HAIM in the van, and Dylan is on a Bleachers, “Better” kick.
How are you guys staying on top of your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages? How has social media been important to your career so far?
It’s actually kind of funny, it seems like we have more time on our hands while we are on tour than we do when we are at home. So, keeping up with social media while we are on the road is a nice change of pace for us and we love keeping a dialogue with our fans. Social media has put such a revolutionary spin on the music business and if it’s something that brings us closer to our fans, it’s something we want to be a part of and utilize as much as we can.
Any pre-performance rituals?
We pretend we are Stillwater from Almost Famous.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
We put a piece of ourselves into our music and hope that listeners can in some way connect or relate with it. We want to create a shared experience between us and our audience through what we do, because sometimes music can tell stories that words cannot. We can’t tell people how to respond to our music, but I hope that it gives them a glimmer of optimism.