AJR in concert at The Barbary, Philadelphia Pa. Photo copyright 2014 Maggie Mitchell.
In the City of Brotherly Love
By Maggie Mitchell
From their own living room in New York to playing gigs across the country, AJR is overcoming it all. When brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met decided they wanted to make music together, they wanted to do it on their own terms. Their group is better known as a DIY (Do It Yourself), because every sound and lyric is produced by the three brothers alone. They are proud to be a group that has made a career without the help of anyone else.
The talented trio started making music together when they were just kids. Adam, now twenty three years old, plays the bass guitar for the group and sings. His younger brother Jack, just seventeen, also sings and plays an extraordinary amount of instruments – including the ukulele and a sample machine. The sample machine is used to add in different sound or words that then can be added in while performing and producing their songs. It adds an electric vibe to AJR’s music, which has been called a combination of indie, pop, electronic and dubstep.
Last but not least is middle brother Ryan, who is twenty years old and plays the ukulele, keyboard and also does vocals. Ryan has also produced two songs for Andy Grammer. Musical talent is definitely something that runs in this family!
Since the release of their hit single “I’m Ready,” the boys have been climbing the charts. Using the power of social media, the song became popular as it was shared over and over again by fans. The numbers grew rapidly for “I’m Ready,” which now has over nine million views on YouTube. The reputation of the boys continues to grow with coverage from big news outlets including Billboard, The New York Post and MTV.
AJR knows what it is like to perform at small, intimate concerts venues as well as larger festivals in front of 10,000 people. With the recent release of their new EP “Infinity” they guys are back on the road to promote it. With every ticket sold to their high-energy gigs, fans receive a free meet and greet, which is awesome for teens who have paid several hundred dollars for M&G sessions for other musical artists.
At their recent stop in Philadelphia, we sat down to talk with Adam, Jack and Ryan. They told us who their favorite artists are, what it’s like touring together and what their favorite thing about performing is. Here is what they had to say:
This is our first time sitting down with you. Can you tell us a little bit about what you guys do?
Ryan Met: We are from New York City. We actually write, record, produce, and mix all of our music in our living room in New York City.
Jack Met: We started out street performing about nine year ago. That’s how we got our start in this whole business. We went from performing covers on the street to writing originals, and then to sending our originals out to various people in the street. Then we got here!
Is this your first time in Philadelphia?
Adam Met: No, we’ve been here a bunch of times before. We headlined back in March, and we are back now. We’re really excited to be back.
What are you looking forward to about being back?
Adam Met: The fans. They’re awesome. They’ve been so supportive. We get to talk to them on Twitter a lot. To actually see them in person is so rewarding.
What is your favorite part about performing for those fans?
Ryan Met: Recently our fans have started knowing the lyrics to our songs, which is really cool. Not just “I’m Ready.” (laughs) It’s just instances where we quickly write a song and go out and perform, and they know the words.
How has being on your own headlining tour been so far?
Adam Met: It’s been great. Like Ryan said, playing songs that the fans know. Also, we play some new songs that they’ve never heard before. It’s great to see their reaction on the new songs as well.
Have you found anything that you don’t like about tour?
Ryan Met: We don’t really have a crew, so we have to basically pack up the van, and move stuff onto the stage. We do everything ourselves. That gets a little tiring. But it’s worth it, because our idea is just keep coming back to cities and make one fan at a time. It’s just all about that.
Jack Met: Besides that, it’s our favorite thing to do to play music.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
Ryan Met: We started off street performing. We had a lot of embarrassing moments then.
Adam Met: Some people actually threw rocks in our hats instead of money.
Did you always imagine yourself playing music?
Jack Met: Yeah, definitely. Our parents introduced us to songs of the 50’s and 60’s like Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys and The Beatles from a really young age. We just really grew up on it, and we’ve loved it so much. It’s really what we wanted to do.
If you were not performing, where would you see yourself?
Ryan Met: I would probably be doing something in film. I am really interested in doing something in comedy, film or television.
What is one thing no one would know about you?
Jack Met: I am double jointed in both thumbs. (laughs)
Your fans bombarded us with fan questions. Here are a few. What is something you can eat and not get sick of?
Adam Met: Chinese food. I could have it breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Jack Met: Chipotle.
Ryan Met: An apple. Just a fresh apple. (laughs)
What is the first thing you notice about a girl?
Jack Met: Her smile.
Ryan Met: Her sense of humor.
Who are your favorite artists?
Ryan Met: Hozier is really good.
Adam Met: The Milky Chance.
Ryan Met: Lorde is really good. So is Kanye West.
If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
Jack Met: Like I said before, I think Lorde would be really cool to work with. She seems to have a very forward thinking. I think she would be fun to work with in the studio.
Where do you want to see yourself in ten years?
Ryan Met: Hopefully still making music. Hopefully just have really developed our sound. With each new album out just surprising people.
Jack Met: Hopefully touring more and playing as much as we can.
Copyright ©2014 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: November 14, 2014.
Photos copyright ©2014 Maggie Mitchell and Caroline Serling.