Unless you are a tween or the parent of one, there is a solid chance R5 hasn’t yet landed on your radar. With a new album and summer tour underway, this may be just thing to bring the five-piece band the exposure it deserves.R5 kicks off a U.S. tour, featuring special guests Jacob Whitesides and Ryland, July 7 at the Thrasher-Horne Center For The Arts, with stops in Boston, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Houston, San Jose, Phoenix and a special Aug 23 performance at LA’s famed Greek Theatre.
Dropping July 10 worldwide, R5’s new album Sometime Last Night is the driving force behind R5’s summer tour. “I’m so excited we are so proud of this. I think the album speaks for itself,” says bassist Riker Lynch. “If you come to our show, you’re going to have an awesome time. The energy we create on stage we get back from the audience, and it creates something so unique and special.”
Sometime Last Night is the followup to their hit debut album LOUDER, which hit No. 1 on iTunes in 10 countries upon its 2013 release. The band has recently appeared on ”Good Morning America,” ”Ellen,” “LIVE! with Kelly & Michael” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.
Lead singer Ross Lynch says the band stripped it down for this project, writing the bulk of the material at home in their garage rather than compiling a professional team the way they did for their first album. “The majority of this album we wrote ourselves, kind of a high-risk, high-reward type of thing because if it sucked, it was on us,” says Lynch. “There would be nobody else to blame it on. It was all us, but it turned out pretty great, so I’m super stoked about that. We’re all very, very proud of it.”
R5 recently premiered the video for the first single from their upcoming album, ‘Let’s Not Be Alone Tonight.’ The video was shot in Los Angeles with award-winning video director Robert Hales, who has also directed hit music videos for such artists as Justin Timberlake, Death Cab For Cutie, Imagine Dragons and Alicia Keys.
“That song has a massive, massive chorus that sort of elevates the song to another level. It kind of took us a minute to get it right,” Lynch says. “It started out with a little bit of a different vibe, mainly on the verses, and it just wasn’t quite feeling right so we went a whole other direction with a hip hop-esque kind of drum beat of the guitar intro we originally planned. Even though we want to be a guitar-driven band, that song in particular is a cool concept we hadn’t done before.”
Led by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ross Lynch, who stars as Austin Moon on Disney Channel’s hit comedy series “Austin and Ally,” R5 came together in 2009 with siblings Riker on bass and vocals, Rocky on lead guitar and vocals, Rydel on keyboard and vocals and family friend Ellington “Ratliff” on drums and vocals.
Riker appeared as Jeff, a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers on “Glee” and earned second place with partner Allison Holker on Season 20 of ABC’s smash hit ”Dancing With The Stars.” Holker has a cameo appearance in R5’s new video ‘All Night’ which will also premiere early this month. Ross is in his fourth and final season of “Austin and Ally” and also stars as modern-day surfer Brady in the Disney Channel Original Movie Teen Beach 2, the sequel to 2013’s tween hit Teen Beach Movie.
“It’s always good to have a variety of interests outside the band. I think we all know that R5 collectively is our number one love and number one priority. It’s fun to get out and do something different like “Dancing with the Stars,” especially when you’ve been doing just R5 stuff for a long time. It’s cool to meet new fans and do something I wouldn’t get to do otherwise. But at the end of the day, we get together and we write or we rehearse or we play shows and it’s as good a time as ever.”
The band self-released their first EP, Ready Set Rock in 2010 and signed with Hollywood Records in April of 2012 and released their second EP, Loud, on February 19, 2013. In April, the band released the documentary R5: All Day, All Night for a one-night only screening at nationwide theatres. The documentary offered a never-before-seen look at the band’s career from inception to the present and includes exclusive interviews, concert footage and footage from the band’s early years.
R5 recently held a tour kick-off party at home in Los Angeles, and Lynch says even some of their friends were surprised when they heard the band’s new music. “They were like, ‘Wait, is this you guys?’ People were freaking out. The feedback has been absolutely amazing,” Lynch says. “I think no matter where you found R5, whether it was from “Glee” or one of Ross’ TV shows, I think people will really respond to this album. I think this is going to be a really big stepping stone for us.”