Young Rising Sons’ lead singer Andy Tongren wants to make listeners of his band feel good. As he says, “Music is here to make people feel something, so why not try and make people feel good?”
That’s the basis of the band’s first single, “High,” a song that led to a record deal with Interscope and subsequently a tour with England’s The 1975.
The New Jersey-based quartet, which recently wrapped up a tour with hometown heroes Kongos, is working on its debut full-length album. To keep fans interested, Young Rising Sons—who have been compared to fun. and The Neighbourhood—released a self-titled debut EP.
Tongren took the time to talk to College Times his love of hockey and the United Kingdom.
College Times: What was the experience like recording your EP?
Tongren: It was awesome. We signed to Interscope right before we put it out. All we had was “High” at the time. We had the songs written. We wanted to put out more music so we had the whole EP to stand behind, instead of a single. We wanted to show people that we were more than just one song.
When did you know you were going to pursue music?
We were all pretty young. I wanted to be an athlete when I was a kid, actually. I played all sort of different sports—football, baseball, hockey. I just kept getting hurt. Finally, I took it as a sign that I wasn’t supposed to be playing sports and stuck with music. In the seventh grade, I bought my first guitar and have been playing ever since.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year and 2015?
We’ll be out on the road a lot. We’re going to be in the studio finishing up the full length, which should be out early next year.
You recently played in the United Kingdom. How was that?
It’s such a cool place. I did a semester abroad in the U.K., in London, when I was in college. It’s such an awesome place. I love it over there.
What did you study in college?
Vocal jazz. It was fun. It’s funny. Doing what we do, a college degree isn’t completely necessary, but I’m glad I got it.
What can we expect from your live show?
Some people maybe have trouble defining us as a rock band until they see us live and see the energy we put into it and see how everything translates live. At heart, we’re a rock band and that really comes across live. We like to have fun. We enjoy what we do. We’re all best friends. I think that dynamic comes across when we play.
The 1975 w/Cruisr and Young Rising Sons, Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 800.745.3000, comericatheatre.com, Saturday, November 22, 8 p.m., $33