Akin to a finished puzzle, family members and bandmates each fit together to complete a larger picture.
As brothers and as a band, AJR—Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met—complement one another in perfect harmony on and off-stage. This harmony courses through their inimitable, irresistible, and imaginative alternative pop uplifted by expansive vision, epic instrumentation, and the kind of hooks you can’t shake. It’s why the group has generated billions of streams across triple-platinum smashes “Bang!” and “Weak” as well as the double-platinum “Burn The House Down” and platinum singles “100 Bad Days,” “Sober Up,” and “I’m Ready.”It’s why they’ve landed back-to-back Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 with Neotheater  and OK Orchestra . It’s why they consistently sell out arenas with their Broadway-worthy live show. It’s why (like something out of a movie) they made the jump from their living room to late-night television. It’s why they’ve quietly stretched the boundaries and definition of what popular music can be in 2022 and continue to do so on their forthcoming full-length debut for AJR Productions/Mercury Records/Republic Records.
However, it all stems from this creative and blood brotherhood.
“AJR is about the chemistry between the three of us,” observes Ryan. “Jack has an incredible melodic sensibility, and I’m more emotionally in tune with the lyrics. So, he’ll trust me if I’m fighting for a certain lyric. Adam is better when it comes to business and bigger conceptual ideas. Any success doesn’t come from a battle of egos, but from working together in service of making the best music possible.”
As the story goes, the brothers cooked up an inimitable sound by jamming, writing, and recording out of their shared apartment. They’vecontinued to hone this style over the years, while sticking to the same process. 2022 saw the band embark on the biggest tour of their career as they headlined amphitheaters and sheds coast-to-coast on the OK Orchestra Tour where they performed to over 350,000 people. In between, they crafted music for their next chapter from Ryan’s apartment.
“Even though, we now have our own apartments, we’re still going to make music in my apartment,” Ryan goes on. “We’re definitely not going to a real studio. We’ve developed this really great workflow of being comfortable in our own space and not having to think about what we put on in the morning. It wouldn’t translate well to a professional studio”
“It was bittersweet moving away, but we realized it would be even sadder if we were forty and still living together,” Adam laughs.
AJR kickstart the next era with the single “I Won’t.” A bright piano melody glimmers beneath a head-nodding organic beat as the track ignites a punk-y refrain, “Put your hands up, ‘cause I won’t. Raise a glass up, ‘cause I won’t. Get your ass up, ‘cause I won’t. I must’ve missed the hype, but baby that’s the way I feel.”
“We’re trying to dial in on exactly how we felt about the world,” Ryan notes. “We were fed up with authority, so we wrote our own version of a punk ‘F-you’ song. We found an interesting way to frame it. You’re at a party, and this DJ is telling you how to live, but you’ve had enough. In our political climate and within the landscape of social media, everything is marketing and branding yourself to fit into a political or TikTok trend. It gets exhausting. You lose yourself in fitting into a subsection of culture. In our show and our music, we’re about figuring out what makes you unique. The message is, ‘Be yourself.’ However, we know it’s much easier said than done. We wanted to make a song that inspired others, but also ourselves to be who we are.”
In terms of who they are, they’re quite the interesting bunch, to say the least. Ryan has synesthesia, and it has shaped the vision of AJR. When he hears a song, he’ll see a color. As such, songwriting doubles as “almost painting an auditory picture.”
“We use it when we’re on tour, because the visuals of these songs become such an important part of our band’s existence and career,” he elaborates. “We’re bringing our imagination to life on stage. Now, it’s like a mix between a movie, Broadway, and magic show.”
At the same time, Adam notably completed his PHD in International Human Rights Law and Sustainable Development at University of Birmingham in the UK. The UN has already enlisted him as a sustainability advocate to translate complex ideas and build an accessible, actionable movement around climate change. In addition to his policy work with Congress and The White House, he launched and runs his own non-profit Planet Reimagined, which conducts research and develops creative advocacy for sustainability. He has also written for Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Mashable and more.
“All of the work in DC, at the UN and beyond is based on the idea of growing a movement for change” Adam says. “This movement building strategy of engaging a variety of people and partners is similar to how we grew AJR into the band it is today: where we can tour and play for all types of people, all over the world.”
In the end, AJR also inspire and incite movement forward in all realms.
“When you listen to us, I’d love for you to question your beliefs and identity more,” Adam leaves off. “It’s healthy to deconstruct yourself and wonder why you hold and believe in the values you do. I hope our music makes you say, ‘I’m not going to be what people tell me to be’. We’re exploring this idea more as we wonder who we are. We’re maybe getting a little closer to figuring it out.”
Thursday, July 13
9:15 PM-10:30 PM