Rocky Lynch, (seen here on the left), lead guitarist with R5, chats with Kevin Cooper about his dislike for warm beer, the cost of their VIP meet and greet, their latest EP New Addictions and their forthcoming tour of the UK.

Rocky Lynch is the lead guitarist with R5, an American pop rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2009. Other members of the band include Rocky’s brothers Ross and Riker and sister Rydel, along with close family friend, Ellington Ratiff.

In 2010 they self released a five track EP called Ready Set Rock and the release of their debut promotional single, Say You’ll Stay came the following year. In 2013 there was another four song EP, Loud which was followed by their debut album, Louder which peaked at number twenty four on the Billboard 200.

Their sophomore album, Sometime Last Night was released in 2015 and charted in the top 20 in five countries. In all they have released a total of five EP’s, eleven singles and a live DVD which has seen them tour across five continents.

Whilst having a short break in Paris before the start of their European tour, Rocky took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Hi Rocky how are you today?

Hi Kevin I’m good man, how are you?

I’m very well thank you and let me just thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

Not a problem, it’s my pleasure.

How is life treating you?

I have to say that life is good at this moment in time. R5 are taking a short vacation over here in France before our European tour starts. We will be releasing a new single in a weeks’ time which we are all really excited about. The sun is out here and it is nice and warm so all is good (laughter).

All that I can say to you is make the most of the good weather while you can because it is rain, rain and more rain over here at the moment.

(Laughter) I know what you mean. We were recently in Los Angeles and they are current having a heatwave over there. In some parts the temperature was over one hundred and ten degrees and here in France it is pretty good, it is averaging around seventy (laughter). I am enjoying it for sure.

You released you latest EP New Addictions back in May and I have to say I love it.

Thank you very much and thanks for taking the time to listen to what we are doing.

Are you as a group all happy with it?

Yes we are and actually that is probably the happiest that myself and the rest of the band have been with any of our major releases up to this date because that is actually the most involved in the creative side of things that we have been. With every release before that there has always been someone else heavily involved in the creative process, both writing and producing, but with this one specifically the band wrote every song with the exception of the INXS cover. We also produced all of the tracks, and I think that it is like the start of what it has become.

You have mentioned the INXS cover, I am a massive INXS fan. Who is the fan within the band?

To be honest we are all INXS fans but I would probably have to say that perhaps it is a little more myself, Riker and Ross because it was the three of us that grew up listening to INXS the most. We all love INXS and we finally manged to see them live with the newest lead singer J.D. Fortune. That was a great experience but I would have loved to have seen them in their prime whilst Michael (Hutchence) was still alive.

You are making me feel old now because I probably saw INXS before you were born (laughter).

(Laughter) are you serious man. Are you telling me that you saw INXS with Michael?

Yes I did many times both here and in Australia.

That is so sweet, I bet it was a blast. I have seen footage on YouTube of them performing at Wembley Stadium in London and that looks totally awesome man.

That was on Saturday 13th July 1991 and let me tell you it was an amazing day.

You were there, no way (laughter).

Yes I was and the other acts on the bill were pretty amazing too, Deborah Harry, Hothouse Flowers, Jellyfish, Jesus Jones and Roachford.

Wow man that must have been insane.

It was, it really was but we are here to talk about you not INXS (laughter).

Okay go for it (laughter).

You must be happy with the fans reaction to New Addictions?

Oh yes we most definitely are. The fans seem to love the record. We have actually never received this level of response from our fans in relation to anything that we have previously released. In fact when we were recently filming the music video for the next release which is called Hurts Good, whilst we were on set different people throughout the day would be coming up to us saying “man, this song is tight” and let me tell you, that is always a good thing to hear (laughter). So what I will say is that if the fans like New Addictions then I am sure that they will like this new song too.

How far ahead do you look, are you already working on songs for a new release?

(Laughter) it’s funny you asking that because let me tell you, ever since we have released New Addictions back in May we have been writing and producing other songs already. We are basically preparing for what is going to happen next year.

Was it always going to be a career in music for you?

You know what, even back in the early years of the band I was kind of doing it because I didn’t have anything else to do. We had just moved to Los Angeles and everyone seemed to be trying to get into acting. I was doing auditions, and it was at that point that I started playing the guitar. To be honest I started playing the guitar simply because it gave me something to do. When the band started getting going and we were playing a few shows I suddenly thought ‘I kind of like doing this’ but it wasn’t until I actually honed my skills of producing and writing that I actually felt that this was something that I wanted to do. It was at that point that I decided to dedicate a lot of my time into doing this and getting better at it. So right now yes I kind of see myself doing this for a long time. However, that could change in the future, especially if I get into other sides of the business but we will see.

What about your acting, would you like to take that further?

(Laughter) in a word no (laughter). I wouldn’t say that I won’t ever do some sort of acting job but at the moment I am not really too interested; acting doesn’t interest me that much. However, at some point down the road, who knows, I will never say never to an opportunity.

As a family unit, how do you cope spending all of your working life together?

It is actually far easier than most people think. Whenever people speak to us about spending so much time together they say things like “wow, I don’t know how you do that because my siblings and I don’t get along”. Everyone is usually shocked but I think the fact that we all grew up together, we all spent a lot of time together in the same house, sharing the same rooms, sharing apartment buildings, I think that it is in our blood now.

Who usually wins the family arguments?

(Laughter) that’s the thing, we all get along really well, and I think that is probably the easiest part of being in the band. We honestly never seem to argue but if we did it would all depend upon the argument. However, if it was some sort of music thing then I would probably end up getting my own way and winning that argument (laughter). We are all super understanding of each other so we tend to try and find an even ground where everyone is pleased with the outcome.

You will be playing six dates here in the UK. Are you looking forward to being out on the road in the UK?

Yes I am, I love coming over to the UK. It seems like it has been a while since we have been there too. So I’m excited to come back, play some shows and see how the new songs are reacting live there because so far the new stuff has been receiving a great reaction from the fans. I’m really pumped and can’t wait to get started.

Plus you will have the perfect opportunity to drink some warm beer (laughter).

(Laughter) you know I have never been the biggest fan of the warm beer over there in the UK. I have tried it a couple of times and every time that I am in the UK I think ‘okay I will give it a try’ so the last time I was there I tried a pint of London Pride. I have tried that a couple of times and I have to say that I still don’t know if I am the biggest warm beer fan (laughter). I will give it another shot this time around, I promise.

If you have time you must try a pint of warm beer in The Trip To Jerusalem here in Nottingham. It is reported to be the oldest pub in England and is built into the rocks that the Nottingham Castle stands on.

Wow, that sounds amazing. Is it near Rock City?

It is a brisk five minute walk from the venue.

Oh hell yes (laughter). I will definitely be going down to check that out.

You are playing Rock City on Sunday 17th September are you looking forward to that?

Yes we are, we really are. And after what everyone has been telling us about just who has played there we really can’t wait to put on a great show for the crowd up there in Nottingham. Let me tell you, the place will be rocking.

I have to tell you that you have already caused a stir here in Nottingham.

(Laughter) have we really, why’s that?

It is all down to the price of your VIP meet and greet at the Rock City gig. Can you honestly justify £362 which incidentally doesn’t include the cost of a concert ticket?

Really, are you joking with me? Well I have to tell you that is a matter that is decided solely between the record label and our management. The band have no say in this matter whatsoever and we are constantly changing the meet and greet companies that we use in an attempt to stop this sort of thing happening. To me it is a whole bunch of nonsense.

Well in that case I will have a quick handshake with you as you walk out onto the stage and keep my wallet well and truly hidden.

(Laughter) just make sure that you do that.

You formed the band back in 2009, are you happy with where you are at this moment in time?

I am definitely very pleased with where the band has got to in as many years as we have been playing but I am always striving to be further than we are. So if I stand back and look at everything that we have accomplished and what we have done as a band it is tremendous. I really am super grateful but I definitely have a personality where I am constantly trying to find the next move that the band should make and the next music that we should write. I am personally trying to be at the forefront of the newest sound. So whilst I think that we as a band have made amazing progress I also think that we can do so much more.

Who has musically inspired you?

If you asked me that question every year there would be a different artist that would come to mind but my four favourite artists are Prince, Queen, Michael Jackson and INXS. If you asked me who were my favourite artists of all time then it would be those four.

What was the first record that you bought?

That would have been Drunk Enough To Dance by Bowling For Soup back in 2002.

Who did you first see performing live in concert?

It was a band called O.A.R. which is short for Of A Revolution and they are an American reggae, jam band and I saw them play at Red Rocks, Colorado where I am originally from. It was being at that concert that made me think ‘hang on’ I’m kind of into the rock music thing’ (laughter).

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

I don’t know if there is a song or piece of music that has made me cry because I am more into funk music and am more groove based than the rest of the band. I am normally not listening to something that is a tearjerker (laughter). So being totally honest I really don’t think that music has ever made me cry.

On that note Rocky let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me today, it’s been interesting. You take care and I will see you in Nottingham.

No, thank you Kevin. Make sure that when you get to the show in Nottingham you remind me of this interview and we can chat some more. Bye for now.