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Ross Lynch and Rocky Lynch Q&A

While everyone is listening to “Despacito,” everyone at Paradise Rock Club on June 30th was partying with R5. R5, in case you don’t know them, is a pop band but they are more than pop, they are funky, groovy, energetic and that type of band that just goes with the flow. A few songs that you may know are “Smile,” “Pass Me By,” “All Night,” and their current summer hit song “If.” Their music is that type of music you listen to during the summer when you’re with your friends driving to the beach with all the windows down. The band members are Ross Lynch (lead vocals), Rydel Lynch (keyboard), Riker Lynch (bass), Rocky Lynch (lead guitar), and Ellington Ratliff (drums). The band is currently touring North America and then will tour Europe this fall. They are a must-see band because they are one of the few bands that their music stands out, sounds different. They are sort of like DNCE in the sense that they are just crazy in a good way, they are a “F.E.E.L.G.O.O.D.” band that will make you “Smile.” Suffolk Voice had the opportunity to interview band members Ross Lynch and Rocky Lynch before their Boston show.

Q: How has your music changed since your first album “Louder?”

A: Ross: “Louder was our first record ever, I mean we had written songs prior to that and sort of released them but that was prior to us being signed. When we signed to our label they had us go in and that Louder was the product of that. As we’ve been signed for four years and since we’ve been a band for eight years, we are becoming more the band we want to be. We’ve never really wanted to be the band that just sings and performs, we want to be the creators and writers and producers, which is exactly what you see on New Addictions. That’s kind of why our music has had such a dramatic shift while staying similar, but it’s still pop.

Q: You guys were in the studio working on a new song in Boston and it sounded different, where is your music heading?

A: Ross: “We don’t really put much cautious thought into what it should be, we more just make what sounds good to us.” Rocky: “I feel that R5 doesn’t really have a specific genre that fits the band because every song we make is different from the last. The song I was just working on today, which is the song we were recording last night, it has a drop in it. It’s kind of like EDM mixed with Indie Rock.” Ross: “It’s like a fusion song.” Rocky: “It doesn’t sound like anything that’s on New Addictions but it still feels like R5.”

Q: If is currently a summer jam for a lot of people, how did that come to be?

A: Ross: “We were in the studio every day and when I say studio the guest house of our house. We were in there every day and the label was kind of cracking down on us saying that they need more songs and we didn’t think we had anything that was a good bridge into “Sometime Last Night,” into “Louder.” Rocky: “The song actually use to be a lot slower, the original start of production it was like 105BPM. It was really slow but it was the same kind of groove, and that was before we had melodies done. By the time I showed it to Ellington and Ross, I had sped it up to 110BPM, and we changed the chords, then, after we got a couple vocals we sped it up even more to 116BPM. The song kind of kept getting faster and faster and you kind of started to feel it have life once it became finished.” Ross: “It was one of the fastest songs we’ve ever written, it happened in two days.”

Q: What do you guys do to prepare each night before you go on stage?”

A: Ross: “I feel like we are so road worn to where are pre-show rituals have gone right out the window. It’s gotten to a point where we know what we are doing and we know our shows so well and we know our strengths and we go out there we just do what we do.” Rocky: “I think we are at point where we take a chiller approach to pre-show rituals, Riker will be rolling out his legs and stuff. Just the last show we were eating dinner at a restaurant and we haven’t even gotten our food yet and our manager told us we go in eight minutes. So we just continued eating and headed back to the venue but we basically walked on stage right away.” Ross: “We are the kind of people that like to be thrown into those situations where you have to react where as opposed to Ellington and Riker who prefer more prep.”

Q: Ross, what was your reaction when you got the part of Jeffrey Dahmer?

A: Ross: “When I first had the meeting with the director, and this was prior to me ever reading the script because I didn’t even know who Jeffrey Dahmer was, and the director basically just said if you decide to do this movie that’s a ballsy decision. After he said that I was sitting there and I was like, I like that, I want to be one of these people that does unpredicted moves or makes high risks. After we had that meeting I did a self-take because we were still on tour and he really liked it and we met up and worked together for three hours and did a dress session and then I got a call while we were still on tour and they said we want you to do this film. I think at first I was a little hesitant just because I wanted a few people’s opinions on what they think and everyone was very supportive and they all wanted me to do it.”

Q: Four members of the band are family, how do you not let family relations interfere with your music? Or do you use those experiences to your advantages?

A: Rocky: “I think it definitely helps our advantage. I feel like you hear a lot of stories from bands like once they get on the road, shit kind of starts to go down and when you spend every day with someone and you’re living in the same bus with them and you haven’t done that before you can kind of get easily annoyed by everyone. We have grown up kind of doing that already so hopping on the bus and sleeping in a bunk next to someone, it phases nobody.” Ross: “Also, nobody puts up with anybody else’s shit really. Like I even heard of a band that my buddies are on this tour with but they say the lead singer is horrible and people cater to him because he is the lead singer and people come to see him kind of thing and there’s nothing like that in R5. Especially with our openers, at the end of every single tour we’ve been on we have a really strong bond with our openers. I think that being a family and having this great dynamic already and the introducing new people makes it a comfortable environment.”

Q: In honor of “New Addictions,” what’s one good addiction you guys have?

A: Ross: “I think that we can go through times of being workaholics, which I think in this day and age, especially in America, is a good thing, I think in other countries you can kind of get away with not working as much, which is also a great thing. We tend to get addicted to TV shows, specifically in the genre of romantic tragedies.” Rocky: “Him and I specifically if we get hooked in to a really good TV show we have to finish it within a couple days or else we just go crazy.” Ross: “New Addictions, we really do mean the positive side of the word addiction, because the actual definition of addiction is a recurring habit that’s detrimental to your health. Hopefully the music isn’t detrimental to your health.”

Q: Why did you guys name the album “New Addictions?”

A: Ross: “It is kind of fun to say these songs will be your addiction. Also, I think that’s one of the most exciting things in life I think is having a new addiction like something that you can look forward to everyday, even if it’s your newly 21 and going to the bars and stuff, anything that’s new I think is good for your health.”

If you have nothing planned for when R5 tours in your city you should definitely purchase tickets. The next few tour dates are Philadelphia Pennsylvania on July 2nd, Baltimore Maryland on July 4th, they will also be performing on Good Morning America the morning on the 4th of July, Charlotte North Carolina on July 5th and Atlanta Georgia on July 7th. R5 will become your “New Addiction” after you see them perform.

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