The Driver Era combines unpredictable sounds across multiple genres with each release. Listeners never know what to expect from brothers Ross and Rocky Lynch because each track is so unique and nuanced. Their latest single "Feel You Now" was released on March 29. If you didn't get a deep enough glimpse into Ross and Rocky's minds in their lyric video, they opened up to Odyssey about what the track means to them from emotional and technical standpoints.
Odyssey: I love the energy that you guys bring to "Feel You Now." How would you say that it's different from the other three songs that The Driver Era has released so far?
Ross Lynch: Oh, it's super different. The first song we released, "Preacher Man," had a more rebellious view. And then following with songs like "Afterglow" and "Low," which have a bit of a sweeter touch – especially in the chord structure. I'd say "Feel You Now" is our most "pop" song that we've released.
Rocky Lynch: Yeah, like, electronic pop.
Ross L: It's definitely got some rock elements too.
O: Oh yeah. It really appeals to everyone in your fanbase. It's definitely pop and upbeat, but also the lyrics are pretty meaningful. So how are you hoping that "Feel You Now" resonates with your listeners, lyrically and musically? What main message do you want people to take away from it?
Ross L: Well, I always like it when the listener interprets songs however it can be the most personal to them. So, however people resonate with the song is it's really up to them because that's how it's going to mean the most to you. But what it means to me is it's about the struggle between your head and your heart – which everyone deals with so often, especially in me. I sometimes get into a spell of overthinking. At the end of the day, the song is about love. That's the message – love over fear.
O: Totally feel you with the whole overthinking thing.
Ross L: It's hard, isn't it?
O: Did you base the lyrics off of your general experiences with the battle between the head and the heart, or was it more from one specific instance?
Ross L: It's a collection of experiences – this song isn't particularly one life occurrence. Typically how we've been writing recently is we've been trying to turn off conscious thought. Without sounding too cheesy, I try to connect to my higher self and just try to let that come through. So with this particular song, it just came out.
O: I feel like that definitely like shows your true, authentic selves. I really appreciate that you're able to get into that realm. Not a lot of artists can do that.
Ross L: Yeah! That's, that's my whole objective. A lot of the greatest songwriters ever said that the meaning of the song would come to them after they wrote the whole song. For instance, John Lennon would say the song writes itself. I am the device that it flows through. That's where "Feel You Now" came from.
O: How do you two balance the songwriting and producing? Is Ross mainly songwriting and Rocky mainly producing?
Rocky L: We go back and forth. Our most common way of making a song is that I'll tend to be a little more production oriented and Ross will tend to do a little more lyric and melody. But if you split us up, we do a little bit of everything. For instance, "Low," our last single, I produced entirely on my own because Ross was in Vancouver filming a Netflix show, like a baller. And then you get to "Feel You Now," and that's a track where we wrote and produced with the drummer Ellington, but the single after that is just Ross and me, and we did the whole thing ourselves. So, it kind of goes back and forth.
O: I like the teamwork element.
Rocky L: Yeah! It just kind of flows like that. It'd be a fun experiment to say, "You know, let's just swap."
Ross L: I would love to do that.
Rocky L: It'd be like, "Ross, sit down at the computer. I'm going to head over to the guitar." We'll float, we do everything. We flip back and forth continuously while writing, and it would be really fun to just be like, "hey, you're only going to touch production and I'm only gonna touch lyric and melody." But that could be a fun thing.
Ross L: I'm surprised we haven't done that.
O: You should totally do it.
Rocky L: We're going to do that now because of you!
O: I'm glad I could inspire you! But yeah, I love the balance. You can really tell listening to your music how well you two work together. How would you say your balance of talents worked together specifically on "Feel You Now?"
Ross L: I think Rocky is a really, really talented musician and engineer. The amount of precision that is in "Feel You Now" a lot of people won't get because they're not musicians. It's really, really precise. He does such a good job about letting the song flow and building it, EQing it just right. And compression and all those little details to such a precise state that the song sounds really crisp. For this particular song, it's what it needed. We had Ellington do a drum pass on the bridge, that's where all that crazy, hectic drumming comes from. All the intense synths and intricacies of the production is just really unique.
Rocky L: I got to start paying him. He's my hype man.
Ross L: I mean, I've said it to Rocky, he said it to me. I don't want to work with anybody else.
O: So you've just started touring…how has it been?
Rocky L: We started on the East Coast and then we spent some time in Colorado, which is where we're originally from.
O: That's awesome! I actually spoke to a couple of the fans that were at your Denver show, but several of your other shows on this tour as well. They said that a Driver Era show really feels like a safe space to them and that each show is very memorable. So how do you go about making sure your live shows are meaningful for fans?
Ross L: Denver is our hometown and after the show, our uncle came backstage – he might be our biggest fan. One of the main things that you said was, "You guys left it all out on the stage." Like all, all of our blood, sweat, tears, energy, everything. We show up and we leave it there. We give it all. I think that's what people really resonate with. Some of our fans have been to 50 of our shows before and they'll follow us on tour, so much so that we know their names and their faces.
O: That's so important. Even just fan interactions, it's so easy to tell how much you guys care about what you do.
Rocky L: That's honestly dope to hear. Because sometimes, you do put in a lot of time, effort, and love to try to dedicate most of your life to something. And it's nice to hear that people see that and feel that as well about a project we've been working on.
To hear "Feel You Now" and other songs live, see when The Driver Era is coming to a city near you. Find tickets here.