The Indie Pop Trio AJR Discuss Their Latest Tour With Ingrid Michaelson, Their Breakout Singles, Finishing Up At Columbia And More!
Earlier this fall, the NY-based indie-pop trio AJR just released their new EP “What Everyone’s Thinking.”
AJR made a big entrance onto the scene with their U.S. Platinum (certified triple platinum in Australia) hit single, “I’m Ready”which has racked up over 17 Million views on YouTube and has 41.7 Million streams on Spotify.
Their latest single “I’m Not Famous”is climbing the Pop Radio charts with frequent rotation on Sirius XM Hits, and has surpassed 1.3 M streams on Spotify.
Follow AJR Here:
Facebook (111,782 likes): https://www.facebook.com/AJRBrothers/
Twitter (61.6K followers): https://twitter.com/ajrbrothers
Instagram (29K followers): https://www.instagram.com/ajrbrothers/
YouTube (178,933 subscribers): https://www.youtube.com/ajr
Learn more about AJR in the following All Access interview:
Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you all and your music? What are you most excited about for 2017? Do you have plans to graduate from Columbia?
Enlightening, Rewarding and Nostalgic. We have done 2 national tours, released a new EP and have written and produced for a bunch of artists crossing many genres. In 2017, we are heading out on or first big headlining tour and we will be releasing a bunch of new videos and an album. Adam already graduated from Columbia and is completing his Masters while on the road and both Ryan and Jack plan to go back to Columbia, time permitting.
Growing up, did you always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
We started out street performing in the parks in New York City. From about 12 years ago we had passions for music. Our earliest memory is our dad playing us a Beach Boys vinyl of Pet Sounds on his record player.
What do you think has been the best and most challenging part about being in a band with your brother?
We get to be completely honest with each other. We all have very similar visions for the music so it has been a pretty easy process working together.
How do you keep with all your social media outlets? Do you find that it’s difficult or more fun then anything?
The three of us share the social media responsibilities. Each of us has a favorite way of sharing things with fans so we each gravitate toward a different method.
You recently released your newest EP, “What Everyone’s Thinking.” How is this collection different or similar to anything else that you have put out?
The goal of this EP was to address what everyone is thinking, but no one is saying. The songs on the EP are incredibly honest and all come from true stories that have happened to us as a band. We also wrote about topics that have never been addressed in music before. From the benefits of not being famous, to the positives of giving into temptation.
Can you talk about recording all of your music from the living room of your Chelsea apartment? Why is that the best place for you two to record your music? How have you fixed it up to suit your needs?
The living room is the perfect place to record and produce. We are not inhibited by studio costs and other writers and producers encouraging us to write like other artists. Our music is the way it is because we think about if a concept has ever been addressed before, write a song about it, and then decide whether or not it is a good song. The freedom of having an idea at 3am and being able to record allows the writing and production to be exactly what we want it to be without compromise.
What was the inspiration for the songs on “What Everyone’s Thinking”? In particular, how did your current lead single “I’m Not Famous” come to be? How do you two go about writing songs?
All three of us write together but the songs on this EP all come from personal experience. During a meet and greet last year, a fan came up to us and asked us what it is like to be famous, we responded that our songs might be known, but we are not famous. Our new single Weak came from balancing the need to give into temptation with the importance of staying strong.
How has your tour with Ingrid Michaelson been going? Where are you excited to play at next? You’ve tour with so many artists, how does this tour compare to them?
The tour is incredible. Ingrid is such a seasoned performer and she is so comfortable on stage. We can definitely learn a lot from her. We wrote a song together that we play on stage every night and that has been a very special experience.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you both?
The most surprising thing about the music industry is the newly found ability for independent artists to get their work out there. It is no longer about the amount of money you put towards a project. The music industry is now about the music.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Imagine Dragons, Kanye West, Lorde.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
There is never a time when we are not working. Every life experience we have informs the writing and producing process. Inspiration comes form the most unlikely places.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
We hope that the lyrics and melodies of our music are relatable. The goal is to write something that resonates with people in a way that they keep thinking after they listen to the music.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Thank you for all the support form our fans. We would not be here without them.
You can view All Access writer Leah Adams’s AJR concert review here- https://music.allaccess.com/ingrid-michaelsons-hell-no-tour-comes-to-downtown-las-ace-theatre/