R5 Interview

with 1 Comment

R5 is an up and coming band consisting of Riker (the leader), Rydel (keyboardist & only girl), Rocky (the musical genius), Ross (the heartthrob), Ratliff (the funny one), and their youngest member, Ryland who has taken the role as manager. They are all of the same family except for Ratliff (real name is Ellington) who has been dubbed a new name to fit into the “R5” persona. With ages ranging from 14 to 19, this fun bunch of teens makes for radio friendly pop rock music who also writes original songs as well.

Riker, as the oldest of the group, is it hard to meld so many different creative minds together when creating music? Or is it easier because you have so many different perspectives that you can utilize for your songs?
“For the most part we all really agree on everything musically. I think the different perspectives are good like if I write a verse or a chorus and I play it for Rocky, I know he’s going to tell me exactly what he thinks about it and vise versa.”

Also, it’s widely known that you are on tour as a Warbler for the Glee Live tour. When you’re flying across the country doing shows, do you miss your R5 family? What is it like to put it on hold while you tour with Glee?
“I miss these guys like crazy. (laughs) But I’ve gotten really close with the cast especially the Warblers so it’s all fun. It’s a bummer I can’t be playing shows and stuff with R5 but they’re all very happy for me and I loved being on the road with Glee.”

Rydel, as the only girl in the group, is it difficult to get your idea across when creating music seeing as there is a big gender difference?
“Nahhh its not difficult, we all put in our opinions and listen to each other.”

When you create songs about love, do you take into consideration a girl’s perspective in addition to guys?
“I haven’t really been in love or had many boyfriends, so when I write songs its all just from a daydream.”

Rocky, the man behind the music, how did you start writing songs as such a young age? Where did your inspirations come from?
“I started playing guitar after I got a “real” guitar for my birthday when I was 14.  I taught myself to play by watching a lot of Fall Out Boy videos, so I guess that was my first inspiration to play and write.”

Recently, Ross has acquired a new show on Disney Channel called “Austin and Ally.” Your repertoire in acting as growing at a remarkable rate. If things with your new show do well, how will that affect your place in the band? Or will there always be time for R5?
“Austin and Ally is going to keep me really busy for sure…. But R5 is really what I love to do the most, so we’ll always make time for the band.  We start filming the show in about 3 weeks, so I guess we’ll see how that goes and how busy I am.”

Ratliff is the comic relief and drummer of the band. Was it strange to adopt a new name to keep the R5 name intact?
“Yes and no. Ratliff is my last name so it wasn’t too much of a change, although it did take some getting used to responding to it.”

Does your second name allow you to create a façade for “Ratliff” that you otherwise wouldn’t be in real life? Or is “Ratliff” just an extension of your personality?
“Ratliff is really just a nickname rather than a facade. How i act around the band is just me. :)”

Ryland is the youngest of the group but wouldn’t be considered the baby. Instead he’s taken on a manager type role. What is it like to be the youngest but also manage and handle the band?
“As long as they do exactly what I tell them to do, there are no problems.  They know who’s the boss.”

You’re all doing so many projects and all have great burgeoning careers. Is it a good thing to have space to branch out into your own calling? Does it make for a good musical atmosphere once you do gather to focus on your music?
“It is fun to branch out and do different things but there is nothing we love more than playing music with each other. It’s a great musical atmosphere when we get together and focus on music. Especially shows!”

“I think having space keeps us from getting jaded when it comes to creating music together. For instance after time apart, we get more excited to come together with our own individual ideas which creates a positive atmosphere.”

As we reach the end of the interview, all we want to know now is what can we expect from you guys in the future?

Watch their cover of Justin Bieber’s “Love Me”:


Photo Credit: R5rocks.com

Follow Nancy Hoang:

Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

Latest posts from