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Interview:
Second time was the charm for new R5 album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

R5 was so excited about its sophomore album "Sometime Last Night" that the pop quintet made it twice.

Frontman Ross Lynch -- a co-star of the Disney Channel's "Austin & Ally" and one of four siblings in R5 -- says the group had "finished and mastered" a follow-up to 2013's "Louder" at the beginning of the year. But R5 wasn't happy with what it had and "scrapped it all" in order to start over.

"We just went into the label (Hollywood Records), and we were like, 'Listen guys, we aren't really feeling it. It's not really genuine to us, so we're just gonna rewrite everything, basically,'" Lynch, 19, recalls by phone during the Canadian leg of R5's current tour. "It really wasn't going in a direction. It resembled ('Louder') too much, and we weren't really growing.

"We're still trying to find our sound and figure out what we are as a band, and we figured that (album) didn't do it justice. It wasn't very genuine."

Going back to the proverbial drawing board led to something much more to R5's liking. With brother Rocky Lynch and the group's Ellington Ratliff taking charge in the studio, "Sometime Last Night" found its way with touches of funk and bits of crunchy rock but mostly with a decidedly big pop feel heavy on hooks and harmonies.

"We definitely wanted to make it pop for sure because we felt like that's where our fans are," Ross Lynch acknowledges. "We wanted to please the people who are actually supporting us, but we wanted it to be interesting, too, and a lot of these songs we actually didn't really have much of a thought process about. They just kind of came out of us, which I feel is probably the best way to write. If you let the song write itself, I think it's better."

With "Sometime Last Night" out, Lynch and R5 are planning some of the group's most extensive touring yet; he's even putting his acting career on a bit of a back burner, though he's still actively looking for film roles. And he hopes the arrival of a second album will send a message that R5 is indeed committed ot its music and is not another TV stars' vanity project.

"A lot of our fans come from the TV world, so they're very specific to the jobs we had on TV," Lynch says. "I was on the Disney Channel, so we have a few teenage girls who come ot the show, and that makes a big impression on people when they hear your music.

"But actually a lot of our idols and a lot of the people we look up to in the music world are indie and alternative and a little more interesting sounding, so we naturally go to that area when we write songs. I definitely feel like that's probably closer to what we really are, but people don't really see us that way -- yet."

R5, Jacob Whitesides and Ryland

7 p.m. Wednesday, July 22.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway at Schoennherr Road, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $29.50-$45 pavilion only, with a $70 four-pack.

Call 586-268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.


Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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