by Dan Harr
The Rye Brothers are a “power-pop” country act, mixing contemporary country music and rock n’ roll guitar-driven songs. The group is led by Paul Justin & Justin Foutz, who trade off on the lead vocals and guitar licks. Paul and Justin formed Rye Brothers in the Summer of 2015 and quickly added a solid rhythm section consisting of Jacob Delott (bass, backing vocals) and Jeff Sorenson (drums, backing vocals) to round out this Southern California-based “power-pop” quartet.
The Rye Brothers’ love for rock ‘n’ roll led them to keep it simple and pure: two guitars, bass and drums. They have been raising cane in the honky tonks, bars, casinos and concert halls of California, Arizona, and Nevada and have earned a reputation as a high-energy, kick-ass “power-pop” original country band. Their forty-plus live dates tour itinerary that runs through May of 2016, shows they’re definitely becoming a band to be reckoned with.
We recently interviewed the Rye Brothers, with replies here from Paul Justin (PJ), Justin Foutz (JF), Jeff Sorenson (JS), and Jacob Delott (JD). Here’s how it went.
When and how did the Rye Brothers band form?
PJ: Justin and myself formed Rye Brothers in the summer of 2015 at a barbeque at Justin’s house after years of talking about doing a project together. We quickly added a solid rhythm section consisting of Jacob Delott (bass, backing vocals) and Jeff Sorenson (drums, backing vocals) to round out our “power-pop” quartet.
What’s the story behind the group’s name?
PJ: The guys in the band have a taste for good whiskey and after an incident with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle rye whiskey and lots of traveling together, the name was the perfect fit (laughs).
As tough as we know it is, why did the guys in the band chose a career in music?
JF: I’ve always had a natural talent and never thought about a career in any other field. Music was the only thing that I knew that didn’t put up a fight with me and it always said what I wanted to hear.
PJ: I started playing at twelve and tinkered with music throughout high school. I was in several bands until I started Rye Brothers. My father toured the country in the 1970’s-80’s and has resumed touring this last year. Music is in my blood. Sometimes you don’t choose it, it chooses you. I just knew it’s what I was supposed to do.
JS: I feel that music is the message from the soul and the peace that brings us all together. Music is the true universal language, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. I’ve never seen myself doing anything different.
JD: I’ve been playing music since I was a little kid and have never really thought of it as a career. It’s just what I do with my life and all I’ve ever done. I think of it as a marriage to music. There are ups and downs but you just have to go with the flow.
Rye Brothers describe their sound as “Power Pop Country”. How would you define that?
PJ: Our lyrics and subject matter are country but our music blends pop melodies and anthem choruses with 80’s-90’s rock guitar. Like with (Rye Brothers’ song) “Baby I”, when you listen to the solo, I’m sure you can imagine an arena rock power ballad and lighters waving in the air!
What’s the Rye Brother’s 5-year (or less) plan for world domination in the music industry?
JF: Hard work will always be part of the plan because domination is a daunting task for anyone. We play hard, have fun, continue writing great songs, and continue pushing ourselves to be better. We want to find a label and get our stuff out to radio.
Looking at the band’s itinerary, you’ve got a tour schedule many bands would be envious of. How have the Rye Brothers been able to secure all these shows?
JF: We’ve invested every bit of time, money, energy that we can into our promotion, and building our client list. We relentlessly pursue new bookings with our clients and continue to seek out new clients. Hard work and determination is how you get it done.
What music (bands/solo artists, etc.) do you guys listen to?
PJ: We’re musicians after all and we like so many artists. We’ll slim it down to what we think are the most influential. Being writers ourselves, we appreciate those that write their own songs. Not that we don’t appreciate great singers/artists, I think we just relate more to great writers.
These are a few of our favorites: Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Dwight Yoakum, Rivers Rutherford, Zac Brown Band, Randy Rogers Band, and Wade Bowen.
Name the top three concert venues where you’d like to perform at some point in time?
PJ & JF: Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, Hyde Park.
Share something with our readers you’ve never told anyone before.
PJ: We laugh a lot on stage, but every time we laugh it isn’t because we’re having fun. Sometimes we make fun of each other for making mistakes. You can’t take yourself too seriously after all.
Band links, website, etc. for people that want to find out more about Rye Brothers?
PJ: Check out…
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