Amplif[ie]d | Rye Brothers
By: Jamie Durante
High-energy honkey-tonk infused with a modern rock ‘n’ roll edge—let us introduce you to SoCal’s hottest new country-rock band, Rye Brothers. Give their 12-track demo a listen, and you'll hear and feel each band member's experience and passion for good American country channeling through every nostalgic song. These seasoned professionals are kicking off their tour with a weekend full of authentic, feel-good performances that will have the dance floor poppin’ off in no time.
We had a chance to learn more about the band from one of Rye Brothers’ co-founders, Paul Justin.
Q. I read that you guys just formed in the summer of 2015. Does that mean Rye Brothers is a brand-new band?
Paul Justin: We’ve played together in other formats, under different names, with different guys a little bit. But this is Rye Brothers.
Q. Do many of the band members listen to mostly country and rock 'n' roll music in their free time?
Paul Justin: You know, that’s a hard one, because we are musicians, and we like a bunch of music. For the purpose of the question, yeah that’s mainly what we’re listening to. I personally like a lot of the real old country—Hank Sr. and a lot of the Outlaw stuff. It goes across the board, but generally we’re listening to country and rock.
Q. I see you have already recorded a 12-song demo; that’s pretty impressive.
Paul Justin: Justin [Foutz] and I have been writing partners for some time, since 2010. So we’ve had our hands in a bunch of songs together, and we started also with Jacob Delott and Jeff Sorenson, and Delott, our bass player, has a wonderful gift for melody, so he certainly helped pull in some of the songs. The hooking of [our song] “Sixteen” for instance, the chorus melody was his idea.
Q. Tell me about your song writing process.
Paul Justin: It depends on the situation. Sometimes we’re on the road, so all four of us will get together in a hotel room and write a song. Other times it’s Justin and me at his house. "Enjoy the Rain" for instance was written by Justin and me at his house.
Q. Where are you guys from?
Paul Justin: I live in Norco. Justin lives in Corona. The drummer [Jeff] is from Burbank, and Jacob is from Hollywood. But actually none of us are native to California. The bass player and Justin are from Indiana. The drummer is from Wisconsin, and I’m from Nevada.
Q. If someone hasn’t heard your music before, what songs would you encourage them to listen to in order to get a good idea of the Rye Brothers sound?
Paul Justin: I think “Sixteen” is definitely kind of defining of us. It’s about being 16 in a small town, and we all grew up in small towns. That’s kind of how this whole thing started. From there it gets kind of weird to pick another one, but I would have to go with two additional songs—“California” and "Guitar with a Missing String." I think those three are the ones that would properly introduce the band. Because with “Sixteen” Justin and I trade off—he sings verses; I sing chorus. "California" is Justin, and “Guitar with a Missing String” is me.
Q. What can fans expect from a live Rye Brothers performance?
Paul Justin: We’re high-energy. We like to have a good time and get involved with the crowd. If we don’t do that, obviously people would just kind of stand there looking at us. We’ve all be at this for a while. You know we all started at young ages, so it’s just natural for us to be able to get engaged with the crowd and have a good time. If you’re having a good time on stage, you’re going to engage people. If we’re having a good time, everyone else will follow.
Q. You guys are coming to play at The Brandin’ Iron Saloon this weekend in San Bernardino. Have you played there before?
Paul Justin: Yes. Actually, in another band I was in, I played there once a month.
Q. Do you frequent any other IE venues?
Paul Justin: There really aren’t any other venues I would say we frequent. We’ve played at other places like Saddle Sore Saloon, The Water Wheel and Maverick’s in Norco. When Toby Keith’s was open, we played there as well. So yeah, we’ve been around a little bit.
Rye Brothers will be playing at The Brandin’ Iron in San Bernardino for three nights in a row, from Thursday, October 22, through Saturday, October 24, 2015. at 9p.m. Go to www.brandinironsaloon.com for more show information.