Q&A: Now That They’re Back, Young Rising Sons Is Confronting Their Demons

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The alt-rock band known as Young Rising Sons is back with an electrifying new single, “Whiskey.” With it’s powerful lyrics and pulsating anthemic guitar, you truly feel the push and pull in fighting the urge of dependence. The song describes that moment when you no come to terms with the fact that you’ve lost control of an addiction.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the band, and took the opportunity to learn a little more about what drives them as artists and the meaning behind the song.

OTW: So I know the band took a brief hiatus – how has it been taking that time to reflect, and what are the plans for the band moving forward?

Young Rising Sons: To be honest, the time off was quite dismal & bleak.  During that period there were many factors beyond our control; as much as we wanted to play shows and release music, we were unable to. It felt a bit like purgatory, however I always try to find the silver lining, and still think the time off was somewhat necessary to our development.  We wrote a lot of songs that we wouldn’t have written otherwise.

Moving forward we’re excited about putting a lot of music out as well as getting on the road & reuniting with our fans.  They’ve been our lifeblood through our whole existence as a band, we owe it to them!

OTW: Young Rising Sons have performed with a lot of great artists, such as The 1975 and Halsey. What was your experience performing with artists of that caliber?

Young Rising Sons: They are pros, and you can tell from the moment you arrive at a venue.  From the crew up to the flow of a live set, there’s a lot to learn from being on the road and watching other artists. One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is to remember to enjoy it.  We’ve seen bands treat touring like a job, and while it can be grueling at times, we always try to remember that we get to do what we love.

OTW: We all have demons and addictions we face in our lives, which makes the single “Whiskey” so relatable. What are some of the personal struggles you’ve had to deal with and what was it like channeling those when writing your lyrics?

Young Rising Sons: In our time as a band we’ve somehow managed to avoid those songs dealing with harsh, toxic relationships, but that’s essentially what “Whiskey” is about.  Like any kind of addiction, unhealthy relationships come with this push/pull, “I hate you/I love you/I need you” dynamic.  This feeling of needing more of something that you know deep down isn’t good for you; and I think that’s something almost all of us have been through.

“Whiskey” was an emotionally draining song to write because it hashed up a lot of dark memories. After we finished it, I kind of felt like I needed to crawl into a hole and stay there a few days. But I think the song needed to come out, because being able to acknowledge issues from your past head on is always the first steps to healing.

OTW: When forming Young Rising Sons, there was an instant bond between the three of you. How have you managed to maintain that connection that has translated into such a strong cohesive sound?

Young Rising Sons: We’ve tried to maintain the friends first, bandmates second mantra for as long as we’ve been playing together.  It doesn’t always work and I think there are certainly times where we get frustrated with one another, but at the end of the day it’s always our friendship that brings us back together.  We take the time to value every opinion and idea, and I think having that mutual respect lends itself to an open dialogue.  That translates into an aligned artistic and sonic vision for what we want to be as a band.  The time off really helped the three of us define that.

OTW: In the single’s lyrics, you use a woman to symbolize whiskey. What was the reason for choosing whiskey as the liquor and to portray that as your metaphor?

Young Rising Sons: If anyone saw us play live in the last several years they might recall me walking on stage with a bottle of Jack Daniels in hand. It became a sort of coping mechanism while we were on tour, and eventually I forgot how to play a show without having a drink first. It went from something I did because I enjoyed it to something I used as a crutch and that I thought was needed to play a show.

Although it’s something I’ve learned to control (don’t get me wrong, I still love JD), calling a song about addiction “Whiskey” felt like a no-brainer.

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