Ross and Rocky Lynch, aka The Driver Era, have just emerged from a spa treatment at an upmarket hotel in central London. You can’t blame them for grabbing a little R&R – at the time of writing the brothers are part way through a 60+ date world tour. They played London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire the night before, and are ready to do it all over again tonight.
“It's nice to get decongested for shows,” says a mellow Ross, the younger of the two by barely a year. “We definitely try to make the most of the experience of being able to travel the world and play music, because we know how special it is.”
The duo (who are also joined on tour by their older guitarist brother Riker, who incidentally is the one that inspired them to form the band in the first place) aren’t new to the industry by any means. Since their debut single Preacher Man in 2018, they have amassed over 300 million streams and boast over 30 million combined followers across social media.
From their beginnings as members of the band R5, the duo are only in their late 20s, but are already veterans when it comes to touring. Known for creating a live show that doubles as a party, The Driver Era has sold out shows across the globe, performing everywhere from Asia to the US to Europe and South America.
“We do have to say that the majority of our shows are quite loud and energetic,” acknowledges Ross. “We're pretty spoiled by our fans to be honest.”
Rocky lets Ross take the lead during the interview, the former helping finish his younger brother’s thoughts when he trails off, and he swears more – likely down to Ross’ media training due to his other life as an actor. More on that later. They’re here today to talk about The Girlfriend tour and their third studio album, Summer Mixtape, which they wrote and produced entirely themselves, as well as using their own mixes.
“All of our albums have actually been written and produced by us, which is fucking crazy,” says Rocky, the fact suddenly dawning on him. “Holy shit!”
“That is honestly kind of crazy,” interjects Ross. “We used to do it in a garage studio, but we just recently moved it into a bedroom and it's much better because it used to have kind of a dungeon vibe. Now there's more lights in the room and more inspiration.”
“We don't mess around,” nods Rocky. “There’s this really magical pocket of rawness, expression and intimacy that should be captured in the studio. When you send it off to someone else, and they make it bigger, it doesn’t have that same essence.
"There’s this notion that people want perfection but in reality, they want emotion. That’s at the root of our music.”