Music has always been a family matter for Rocky and Ross Lynch, the creative minds behind the genre-bending The Driver Era.
Starting off as a five-piece comprising nearly all the Lynch siblings, the two began playing Black Sabbath covers together in their childhood home, filling the house with crashing cymbals and rough guitar chords.
“It was like 2009 in our parents’ living room, which was right next to the kitchen,” Ross says. “So while our mom is in there trying to make breakfast, there’s just the worst sounding ‘Iron Man’ coming from the living room.”
“Then we got the music bug, and we never stopped,” Rocky adds. “It was great.”
Changing their path from the original family band, R5, the duo were looking for a shift in their creative process, which the Driver Era provided. Following the release of “Preacher Man,” “Afterglow” and “Low,” the brothers’ latest single, “Feel You Now,” is a perfect example of this, radically changing their sound mid-song, “just for the hell of it.”
“So far, every song we’ve released seems to fit into a different genre than the one we released before it,” Rocky says. “I like that about the new single. It branches into that electronic-pop, and then two minutes in, it washes into this Beatles-esque thing.”
Influenced by a wide range of artists, noting musicians spanning all the way from Queen to Pharell Williams and Dr. Dre, the Lynch brothers obsess over creating a new sound with each single. While the latest track could be alt-pop, the next might be punk-rap.
“We like to create for the moment, whatever feels right at the time,” Ross shares. “Sometimes restrictions can be good for creativity, but we’re trying not to have any preconceived notions as to what we should create.”
“It just keeps everything fresh. You don’t know what you’re going to get when you’re on our Spotify page, and we really like that,” Rocky says.
Despite the early success, the project didn’t take the path the two expected. Shortly after forming the band, Ross was offered the role of Harvey Kinkle in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, flying out only two days later and shaking up their creative process even more.
“Sabrina was a huge curveball for the Driver Era,” Ross says. “Sometimes, though, those unexpected things can be great. I think in this specific scenario, it wasn’t exactly how we anticipated, but it’s better than ever.”
“That was a slight hiccup in the beginning when we were establishing the Driver Era,” Rocky explains. “But it benefited us because we were able to basically separate for a while and write individually. It was nice to experience what it’s like being alone in the studio and what can come out of it.”
The brothers agree that despite the circumstances, the separation was crucial to their growth as musicians and as a band.
“It definitely helped us be more self-sufficient with our writing processes,” Rocky says. “When we got back together, I felt like we were better writers.”
Ross used his time off set to escape from civilization and put time aside for writing in the Canadian wilderness.
“I did a trip where I went to an island off the coast of Vancouver called Victoria,” he says. “I drove three hours into the island just to write music. To get out of the city, turn off my phone and just write music, it’s just great. I’m pretty much always writing music: It can get tough sometimes when you’re on the road because there’s not a lot of time, but we’re always trying to keep those creative juices flowing.”
Finally getting back on the road has been crucial for the duo, who say they’re looking to put out as much music as possible and continue touring before Sabrina resumes filming.
“This is our favorite tour we’ve been on,” Ross says. “We really love the music we’re making together, and it seems like the fans are loving it too. We have a lot of songs that are cocked and loaded. Now it’s just time to get them out.”
Check out their latest “Feel You Now” here and below.
The Driver Era kicked off their tour earlier this week, with many more dates to come. Dates and tickets are available here.