If you’ve watched Paper Towns, then you’ve heard this song and it’s probably been stuck in your head ever since.
Young Rising Sons, the four-piece from Red Bank, New Jersey, has only recently blown up, thanks to the aforementioned poppy single “High” (that you might have also heard in the now-canceled TV shows Red Band Society and Selfie), but they’ve been at it for quite some time. Young Rising Sons singer and guitarist Andy Tongren talks all about that, their catchy-as-hell single, their love for their fans and so much more:
SheKnows: For those who are hearing of Young Rising Sons for the first time, describe your music in three words.
Andy Tongren: Optimistic, energetic, soulful.
SK: “High” has been everywhere, and it’s a crazy catchy song. What inspired the song and lyrics?
AT: It really sums up our journey as a band. Before we signed with Interscope, we had been playing small venues and dive bars for years. “High” captures the moments that may not be so wonderful and illustrious, but with a positive sentiment in that you can’t know what happiness feels like until you’ve experienced them.
SK: What are a few songs you currently can’t stop listening to?
AT: There is so much great music that has just come out recently. Our friend Olivver just put out a new EP that is fantastic; my favorite song is “Blue.” The new Third Eye Blind record is really awesome. Also BØRNS just put out a new album that is really pretty amazing.
SK: Halloween is coming up (obviously). Do you believe in ghosts and spirits? Have you had any encounters with the afterlife? If so, tell us what happened.
AT: Yes and yes. I suppose I was asking for it, however. At one point, I lived across the street from a graveyard in a house that had been built in 1850. Lots of weird things occurred: TV and lights turning on and off on their own, things going missing and doors slamming without any kind of a draft. Pretty terrifying. Definitely broke my lease to move out early.
SK: What’s been the biggest challenge to getting where you are now, and how did you overcome it?
AT: There wasn’t necessarily one specific obstacle we faced aside from time. So many people we played music [with] growing up with had given it up, but we were still going and for the longest time had nothing to show for it. There were times when we wanted to quit; however, we knew that this is what we would do all along.
SK: What advice do you have for kids with dreams of becoming successful musicians?
AT: Don’t give up. Keep going, because if you want it badly enough you can make it happen. It gets hard, but keeping a positive mental attitude goes a long way.
SK: Have you had any really memorable fan experiences? If so, tell us.
AT: Occasionally we do sporadic, impromptu meet-and-greets if we are in a city and don’t have a show. It’s always so incredible when you post a location and a time with an hour’s notice, and so many people take the time to come and say hi. We love those one-on-one experiences with our fans.
SK: Technology has changed the way we listen to and experience music. It has even changed the way we create and maintain relationships. But live music has always been such an important, personal experience for many people. How important are live shows to you? How important is it to create a lasting, memorable experience for your audience?
AT: The live show is perhaps the most important part for us. Songs will resonate with fans through a sound recording, sure; but to be in front of an audience in the flesh and to be able to connect with them is so powerful. I think if you’re able to bridge that gap and make it feel as though the audience and what’s happening onstage is just one giant entity rather than band vs. audience, it’s an experience that’s hard to forget.
SK: What’s one live show that completely changed you and left a lasting impact on you?
AT: Needtobreathe was one of the most moving and inspiring performances I’ve ever seen. It was one of those moments where all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you remember why you want to be a performer.
SK: If you could put together a dream music festival lineup, who would be on it?
AT: The Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon, Beach Boys, The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Duran Duran & Young Rising Sons — because I would die to play with all those artists.
SK: What’s up next for you guys?
AT: After this tour, we are back in the studio to continue writing. Top of next year will entail more touring and eventually a full-length [album].
SK: Y’all have an amazing cover of Tove Lo’s “Habits.” Would you ever cover Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”
AT: Honestly, I love that song, so maybe.
SK: Is there anything else you want to add?
AT: Make sure you grab our new EP The Kids Will Be Fine.
Catch Young Rising Sons on tour! Here are the dates:
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