Photo by Elias Tahan
Brothers Ross & Rocky Lynch cannot escape the music.
At just 22 and 23 yrs old, respectively, these brothers have toured across five continents, released five EP’s, and a movie, for their first band, R5. R5 began posting their music to Youtube in 2009 after the Lynch family’s move from Littleton, Colorado to Los Angeles, California. In the heart of the entertainment industry, the four Lynch siblings (plus best friend, Ellington Ratliff & minus younger brother, Ryland Lynch) started R5. My mother liked to compare them to the Partridge Family (since she stans 70’s sitcoms), but it also meant shows were filled with kids and parents alike. R5 was like the sitcom of Rock N’ Roll and it ended as the siblings grew independent, each finding new ventures to work through.
While they’ve been singing, dancing, and acting since they were barely kids, The Driver Era is nothing like the Lynch men have ever done. Their first single, “Preacher Man”, fuses fiery music with the icy, sharp tone in Ross’s voice. When they collide, something magical happens. Instead of combating one another, the elements spark the regression of a man’s faith. It’s the moment in a man/woman’s life when they begin to look for something higher and start to think introspectively. Sonically, this is a synth-driven pop rock track, but fundamentally, it’s emotionally exhausting (in the best way possible).
Hey, Mr. Preacher Man
I’ve been playing with a heart like a violin
I’ve been stumbling through the door after 6 A.M.
Fix my soul so I don’t lose a love again
The Driver Era is a new slate for creativity to bloom.
In an interview with Billboard, Ross claimed that, “Our goal, as any artist should be, is to try and push the boundaries of not only ourselves, but of the music, and also excite people.” Preacher man is insanely spot on with this goal.
In recent years, Ross and Rocky moved in together, in LA. What do you get when you put two free rockstars in a house together? Presumably, a new band and a few unmentionable encounters. In the midst of his acting career, Ross can now return home to his brother and his music, utilizing that same family dynamic that was under R5. I have never heard of a family story with the same overarching work ethic as the Lynch’s. In the same in-depth and – simultaneously – surface scratching interview with Billboard, Ross reveals that, “we knew we needed to change something,” (about R5), and they certainly took the sharpest turn possible to produce The Driver Era.
During Ross’s time in R5, it was hard to miss his Romeo and Juliet references and the band’s affinity for love stories (i.e. “Here Comes Forever” or “Pass me By”). This theme, though, of tragic love, was never met with as much power as it is in “Preacher Man”. The storyline that’s about sleeping with strangers, making serious mistakes, and wishing you could change something about the past, can feel like death. These kinds of experiences can only come with age and I think that the Lynch brothers are finally opening up dark, tragic portals into their own lives, through their music.
I’m down on my knees
Yeah, I’m paranoid
Don’t wanna repeat
What I did before
I wanna believe
That there’s something more
I wanna believe
This feels like the reaction to what could be first heartbreak or trauma. Even in the more sensual scenes of the video, Ross looks disturbed. On the other hand, the song is exciting, and Ross’s voice is uplifting in nature.
As a fan at heart, I can only hope to hear Rocky’s voice in the next release. You can only really hear it in R5’s “Lay your Head Down”, for now.
Currently, The Driver Era is a glimpse at the future, pushing limits and expectations with the gritty video they released for “Preacher Man”.
by Bri Born