Q&A — The Driver Era Talks Origins and Summer Tour

The Driver Era, consisting of brothers Ross Lynch and Rocky Lynch, are a pop duo that have been writing and performing since 2018, and even longer with their prior group R5. The Lynch brothers are gearing up for their Summer Tour as they continue to write their next album in the process. Before their stop in Denver on August 22, the brothers sat down to talk with 303 Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Samuel Fisher

303: Start us off by telling how The Driver Era started, just for a little bit of background.

Ross Lynch: Well, we’ve been doing this a really long time. We first moved out to L.A. in 2009 from Colorado and pretty much immediately started a band. Actually, that was like one of the very first things that we did. We originally moved out to be in entertainment, we weren’t really sure what that meant yet because a lot of our family has background in dancing and acting — just entertainment in general. So pretty soon after moving, we started a band and we pretty much have been doing that ever since. I think we’re now on, I don’t know what number this tour is, but it’s definitely like 11 or 12. This is our fifth world tour. 

But The Driver Era now started in 2018. We were R5 before that and we sort of made a transition into The Driver Era because Rocky and I started to write and produce all the music and we wanted to have a fresh start, a clean slate for this new chapter in our lives, and now we’re putting out our third album.

Rocky Lynch: Oh, wow (laughter).

303: Did you expect to be at this level of fame, with a fifth world tour coming up, or is that something that has taken you by surprise a bit?

Ross: It was a bit expected because when we were R5, we had such a passionate fan base. We called them the R5 family and we’ve always felt a real devotion from our fans and for our fans and we did think that was going to continue and it has.

303: What are you expecting from this tour that might differ from the others? Is there something you expect to get out of each tour?

Ross: Well, we’re expected to have a really good time for sure, we really love what we get to do so it’s really quite an extraordinary experience getting to travel and play music for people that adore it. There’s really a love exchange that happens on tour when you’re playing in front of people that love you and I think we’re so grateful for that.

Rocky: I feel like we’ve learned a lot, so I think we’ll take this in and we won’t miss many moments. We don’t know when we’ll tour next so I feel like for me personally, I’m not going to waste any days. You’re in a new city, who knows what next year looks like so I think we’ll be really present and try to take it in.

Ross: On top of that too, I think we’re better than we’ve ever been. We’re better at appreciating what we get to do and soaking it in like Rocky’s saying. Also, we’re the best musicians we’ve ever been so I think on this tour especially, we’re really taking our musicianship to the next level and it’s really exciting.

The Driver Era

Photo courtesy of The Driver Era on Facebook

303: Being from Colorado, are you guys especially excited to come back and play Mission Ballroom?

Ross: Denver is always a sweet homecoming, we always have the largest guest list in Denver — all of our family pulls up, all of our friends pull up from when we lived there. We really have some great relationships from our time spent in Colorado.

Rocky: Maybe some Avs players will pull up for this one (laughter). We grew up playing hockey so we’ve loved the Avalanche since we were young.

303: You guys have played music with your siblings for years; do you think that adds another element, being siblings?

Ross: Yeah definitely. I feel like people always say that after our shows, they can feel the connection there which adds another element to the show — you can feel it on stage, this bond that we have.

Rocky: I feel like everyone always says if you play together for a long ass time, you just get tighter and tighter so even if you took out that we’re related and we grew up together, the amount of time we’ve played together alone, the musicianship just keeps getting closer and closer. The only way to get that is through experience and time, so it’s kind of nice that we have that in our back pocket. 

303: How did the name “The Driver Era” come about?

Ross: There is a significance to it. We talked about kind of keeping it private to some extent because we like the mystique but at the same time, it was inspired by predominantly the lost generation which is Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, these notorious writers when they went to live in Paris like expatriates. I don’t know where they coined that term, but they were called the lost generation and that was a big inspiration for The Driver Era because we felt like it was a cool sign or trademark for the time that we’re living in and then I feel like, in 20 or 30 years when you think back to this band, it’ll have even more significance.

The Driver Era

Photo courtesy of The Driver Era on Facebook

303: Going back to your upcoming summer tour, what preparations did you put into this round of touring?

Rocky: We’re finishing up this mixtape as we start this first rehearsal but our preparation is kind of just, keep making music. To me, I feel like I’m my most prepared by doing music and I’m fresh in that. 

Ross: Gearing up to this tour, there was an extent to preparation in terms of stage design [and] setlist design when it comes to the songs we’re playing. All of the songs that we’ve released over these 11 years we’ve been doing this — we’ve released like over 100 songs so — there’s a lot of consideration when it comes to which songs we’re going to play, if there’s covers we’re going to be playing and where that fits in the setlist. And obviously, we’re putting out a new mixtape so which of those songs are we going to play? So there really is a tremendous amount of preparation. I think we did about two weeks of rehearsals getting all that setlist together. 

303: What energy or vibe are you going for with the set design on this tour?

Ross: We’re in the summer months, so we were focused on creating a summer vibe and a party atmosphere for people to come and enjoy themselves. So we were really considering all of that when we were picking the songs and picking the vibes to have people come and experience. And a lot of our new songs as well are considering that because we’re in a place in our lives where we just want to have as much fun as possible. So we want the songs to reflect that, we want the shows to reflect that. We want people to feel that when they come, we just want to give people the best night of their lives. 

The Driver Era plays Mission Ballroom on August 22. Before coming out to the show stream their new single “Malibuand stay tuned for the band to deliver more summer fun even as the summer concert season winds down.