Interview: AJR

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AJR is a band of three brothers (Adam Met, Jack Met and Ryan Met) who’ve already received a tremendous amount of success in the music industry. They have written for a number of well-known artists and are currently working on getting their original music out to the masses. The band of brothers is currently on tour with Ingrid Michaelson. They quirky persona, humor and determination are sure to win over hearts and turn heads in the music world. We got a chance to chat with AJR where we learned more about their writing process, what life on tour is like and more.

TYF: I heard that Sia took a part in discovering you guys. Can you tell us a little about that?

AJR: Four years ago we wrote our song “I’m Ready” and made a low budget Youtube video for it. Ryan and Adam were in class together at Columbia and Ryan tweeted the video to a whole bunch of celebrities. Sia ended up responding and invited us to her hotel for brunch. She was and is a fan of the music and has been so helpful in introducing us to people in the industry.

TYF: You guys have produced a number of different tracks for artists such as Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten and more. How does your producing process differ from the process of putting together your original music?

AJR: The best thing we could have done for our own music is write for other artists for the last few years. Putting ourselves in the position of Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, Timeflies etc, has helped us to figure out what AJR can say as band that no one else can. Writing and producing for others is a completely different process. For AJR we come up with a concept and then figure out a way to talk about it with a perspective that hasn’t been used before.

TYF: Are you guys currently producing any new tracks and if so, for whom?

AJR: Yes! We are working on songs for some other artists. We can’t release names at the moment, but if you look at what’s on the top of the radio charts now, you will see some people we are writing for.

TYF: If you can produce a track for any artist in the industry, who would it be for and why?

AJR: Lorde would be an interesting project to work on. Her last album pushed the pop world to change its notions of cool lyrics and production. Since then, many artists have tried to copy her. It would be interesting to try and set the next precedent for pop music.

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TYF: You guys just released your new EP, What Everyone’s Thinking. Can you tell us a little more about it and what your writing process is like?

AJR: Our new EP tackles many different subjects, none of which have been written about before in pop music. There is a song about tolerance under the guise of marijuana legalization, we talk about giving into temptation on WEAK, while most radio songs today are about staying strong, and we talk about the benefits of not being famous while many artists talk about how amazing fame is.

TYF: What was the first and last song you guys wrote for the record and can you tell us the story behind those tracks?

AJR: The first song we wrote was “I’m Not Famous”. Again, based on our true experiences, we had fans come up to us during meet and greets and ask us what it is like to be famous. We would simply reply that we are not famous, even though they might know a few of our songs.

The last song we wrote was “Weak”, which is our new single. So many songs on the radio today are about the importance of strength. Weakness is a human characteristic that is just as important so we wanted to feature it in a song that we believe is pretty relatable.

TYF: You guys are currently on tour with Ingrid Michaelson, what’s been your favorite moment of tour, so far?

AJR: We wrote a song with Ingrid before we left for tour. Every night we perform it together during her set. Being on stage and singing with an artist that is so accomplished both as a performer and songwriter continues to impress us every night.

TYF: Since you guys are currently on the road, what are five essentials that you can’t live without?

AJR: Sleep, vegetable juice, WiFi, Tempurpedic pillows and more sleep.

TYF: Do you guys have any pre-rituals before going on stage?

AJR: We generally like to take a nap before a set.

TYF: Lastly, what can fans expect from your set?

AJR: Our show is pretty wild. We remix songs live on stage, play crazy drum breakdowns, perform old and new songs, and just want the audience to enjoy themselves as much as we do on stage.

Camille lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. You will most likely find her wandering around local bookstores, going to a concert or enjoying the sights of the city by the bay. This Captain America fangirl enjoys attending book events, re-watching her favorite Disney movies and obsessing over the latest entertainment news. You can find her on Twitter @itscamille_ann.