Video Credit: YoungRisingSonsVEVO Official YouTube Channel
Leaving their Glory Days behind them, the Young Rising Sons are coming out of a period of darkness.
The “sons” behind the sound, are finally hitting their stride after a few of their previous attempts at breaking into the music biz missed the mark. Young Rising Sons, is the revamped, revitalized, and reimagined rock outfit from New Jersey, featuring Steve Patrick (drums), Andy Tongren (lead vocals, guitar), Julian Dimagiba (bass, vocals), and Dylan Scott (vocals, guitar).
Their previous group, Glory Days, was a pop/rock group with an upbeat, fluffy sound. Their pop-y sound caught the attention of a younger demographic, and their audience became a devoted fan base spanning the globe. Despite their successes under the Glory Days guise, the gents’ songwriting, sound and vibe matured and no longer fit the GD vibe, causing them to reevaluate their music and to reform under a new name: Young Rising Sons.
“It got to the point where we were like, ‘this isn’t Glory Days anymore. These aren’t Glory Days songs.’ And we were like ‘lets just do it’ because I don’t think that any of us were really sold on Glory Days anymore. A lot of it had been just writing and playing what other people had told us to do. We didn’t really want to do that anymore. We wanted to write real music about how we felt, and who we were as people. I think that’s why we made the change. Glory Days had kind of run its course,” said Andy.
But the guys are confident that the Young Rising Sons are here to stay. Now, they say, they are writing and performing music that they believe in. Their seven-song-long debut EP “Highway Town” (released February 2013) is definitely a departure from what old fans might be expecting. Lyrically, the guys have definitely matured. Their opening track “Brokenhearted Travelin’ Man” tells a story of a distraught man looking for answers. The chorus, catchy hook, and bluesy guitar solo introduce listeners to the capabilities of the “sons.” Musically, each track on the EP develops the Sons’ new sound in a different way. For example, the contrast between “Barcelona” and “Don’t Pass Me By” shows the range of technique and ability in Andy’s voice, while the rest of the group experiment instrumentally in unique ways throughout the tracks. A few of the songs on the album have pop undertones, but the new focus of the music is certainly on the stripped down, grittiness of rock-and-roll.
Keeping their music true to themselves is the plan for the foreseeable future, as far as the guys are concerned. “We just want to write and play, just basically get ourselves out there and play as much as we can right now. We’ve spent a lot of time working on stuff, so we can’t wait to show it to people,” says Julian.
Which is probably a good plan, considering that they haven’t played a show as the Young Rising Sons yet. Between recording, working, and Hurricane Sandy sending Andy home to Ohio for a while, the guys haven’t been able to get together long enough to put a string of shows together. But it’s okay.
Between old fans being faithful to the guys, the nature of the genre, and the Son’s philosophy, they are hopeful about the future of the band. Julian says, “Certain people definitely followed us over. Just because, they really liked everything that we did. Which is awesome.” To which Andy adds “Those people I don’t even consider like, fans, anymore. I consider them more friends at this point. Just because, they’ve believed in us the whole time.” And with a change in concept and genre, having fans already waiting for their new release was huge for Young Rising Sons. Playing more bluesy rock, the guys are developing their fan base through more of a grassroots approach. Relying heavily on word of mouth for their branding and marketing, the guys have made a bold choice as it relates to their recent release: they are giving it away. For free. Their reasoning: “Its easy to spread the word when something is free,” says Andy. Julian adds, “Its an easy way to get your stuff in everyone’s hands. They can listen to it in their cars and with their friends, and then they tell their friends about it.” So by giving their music away, they are aiding that grassroots process for promoting their project. Steve says that it’s a practice that the Son’s plan to continue, “I feel like people love that stuff.”
Giving the people what they want is the credo of the industry. It’s also a moving force for Young Rising Sons. Their live show plans to reflect their releases, but may have some audible differences. “Its different because we don’t use any tracks when we play live, because it kind of takes the real element out of a live performance. So there are factors on our album that are not in our live set,” Andy says. Julian adds, “Our main priority is to have that very raw, not polished, feel. We want every show to be a little bit different, every time we play the same songs.”
Diversifying their sets, and doing things on their own are just a few tricks of the trade that the guys have learned throughout their musical careers. “With this kind of music, and in this day and age, I think there is so much you can do on your own,” says Andy. Steve elaborates that many artists today are able to do it on their own, but more importantly, they are able to make it on their own. “Macklemore. He and Ryan Lewis are still unsigned. And they are one of the biggest acts out right now. So if anyone has the argument like ‘oh, we need to get signed’ – no you don’t,” says Steve.
Through their growing fan base, and social media, they really don’t need a team of managers, labels, and publicists behind them. All they need are fans that really believe in their ideas and sound. Experimenting with social media tactics and rallying support from their old fans, the Sons have already generated a pretty heft following (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Which is largely probably because they are broadening their target demographic to, well, everyone. “Our demographic is the planet,” says Julian.
They certainly have work ahead of them if they intend to conquer the planet. But the guys obviously do not mind putting in the work to achieve their dreams. “We are just going to write as many rock and roll songs as we can, and get out to as many people as we can, and sort of see where it takes us,” says Julian. Andy adds, “We are sort of in an interesting stage right now because we don’t really have a fool proof plan that is going to get us to where we want to be, other than hard work.” Steve chimes in, “now-a-days that’s all it takes. You just have to be in the right place, right time, and keep working.”
**A Version of this story was published by Naked Magazine in July of 2013 which can be found here