AJR (band)

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AJR
From left to right: Ryan, Jack and Adam Met
From left to right: Ryan, Jack and Adam Met
Background information
OriginManhattan, New York, U.S.
Genres
Years active2005–present
Labels
Websiteajrbrothers.com
Members
  • Adam Met
  • Jack Met
  • Ryan Met

AJR is an American indie pop trio composed of multi-instrumentalist brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met. Their most successful songs include "I'm Ready", "Sober Up", "Burn the House Down", "Way Less Sad", "100 Bad Days", "Weak", and "Bang!".[1] In 2019, their third album Neotheater debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200,[2] and hit number one on the Top Rock Albums chart.[3] "Bang!" is their highest-charting song and only song to reach the top 10, peaking at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 22, 2021.[4]

The name "AJR" comes from the first initials of the three brothers, Adam, Jack, and Ryan. The band writes, produces, and mixes their music in the living room of their apartment in New York City.[5] Their musical style has been described as "eclectic," combining elements of pop, doo-wop, electronic, and dubstep.[6]

History[edit]

2005–2013: Formation and debut album[edit]

The Met brothers (born Metzger) initially began writing, producing, and mixing their own material in the living room of their Chelsea apartment in Manhattan, New York, focusing on DIY indie pop music. They began performing around 2006, busking in Central Park and Washington Square Park. Initially, Jack played the harmonica, Ryan played the piano, and Adam played the bass. They later began playing various instruments. They began by performing covers,[7] and also put out a now removed 2010 EP.

In November 2012, AJR's Ryan Met tweeted a link to a video of their song "I'm Ready" to about 80 celebrities, including Australian singer Sia Furler.[7] Furler told her manager about the song, and he contacted Steve Greenberg, former president of Columbia Records and current CEO and Founder of S-Curve Records.[8] He acts as their co-manager.[7] AJR's debut single, "I'm Ready", which features a sample of SpongeBob SquarePants repeatedly singing his catchphrase "I'm ready" from the eponymous animated series' premiere episode, was commercially released on August 22, 2013.[9] The song was placed in regular rotation on Sirius XM Radio's Top 20 on 20 and Hits 1 stations,[8] and they performed the song on Good Day New York and VH1's Big Morning Buzz.[10] The official music video for "I'm Ready" premiered on VEVO on October 15, 2013.[7][11]

AJR released their debut EP, 6foot1 (later renamed I'm Ready after the band signed to Warner Music Group), on December 20, 2013. They were named Clear Channel's "Artist on the Rise" for the month of October 2013. By 2014, the band was already named IHeartRadio's Artist of the Month for Top 40 in January,[12] and a Myspace "One to Watch" in February,[13] while "I'm Ready" officially impacted pop radio in April. There are now over 36 million YouTube views for "I'm Ready" as of July 2021. Many thousands of singles sold each week, features in Billboard and the New York Post, while climbing the Top 40 chart. "I'm Ready" hit number one on Next Big Sound's chart in May 2014. The band performed the song on Today on July 29, 2014. "I'm Ready" has been certified Platinum, in Canada and Platinum in Australia.

2014–2015: Infinity and Living Room[edit]

The band's second EP, Infinity, was released on September 23, 2014. It contains 5 tracks, including the lead single "Infinity".[14] They released a lyric video for the single. A majority of the work for the video was done by AJR, including directing and producing.[15] The EP was released instead of their debut album, Living Room, which was pushed back to a release date of March 3, 2015. The band expressed the delay in their debut album was because they wanted to add some of their newer music to the project.[citation needed] Around this time, the brothers began to take on distinctive appearances. Adam grew a full beard (later he would grow his hair long), Jack also grew a beard and would wear a bomber hat (which he admits is his mother's),[16] and Ryan wore glasses, was clean shaven, and had a cowlick hairstyle. On October 23, 2015 they released a bonus track from the album called "Let The Games Begin."

2016–2018: The Click[edit]

The brothers released their third EP, titled What Everyone's Thinking, on September 16, 2016, which features the lead single "Weak". The lead single was written by the band in a day, within a few hours, without any idea of the future success the single would have.[17] "Weak" had been certified Platinum in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Netherlands and Belgium, and Gold in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Australia. It has over 500 million streams on Spotify.

The band released its second studio album, The Click, on June 9, 2017, featuring the singles "Weak", "Drama" and "Sober Up", which features frontman Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, who co-wrote the track. This song reached number one on the Mediabase Alternative Singles chart in 2018. The band's 2018 tour in support of the album, The Click Tour, featured Hundred Handed, Grizfolk, Ocean Park Standoff, and MAX as openers.[18]

In 2017, AJR released "It's On Us", a single written in collaboration with the It's On Us campaign, which was launched by Barack Obama in 2014 to combat sexual assault on college campuses across the United States.[19]

An extended version of The Click was released on September 21, 2018. The Click (Deluxe Edition) included new tracks such as "Role Models", "Normal" and "Burn the House Down", the latter which the band released in March 2018 as a single and reached number two on the Mediabase Alternative Singles chart. Also included was "Pretender – Acoustic", an acoustic version of "Pretender", which was a collaboration between AJR, EDM artist Steve Aoki and American rapper Lil Yachty.

2019: Neotheater[edit]

On January 30, 2019, AJR released "100 Bad Days", the first single for their then-unannounced album: Neotheater.[20] A music video was released on March 8. The song was included on Taylor Swift's Apple Music playlist, "Playlist by ME!" in May 2019. The lyrics, "maybe a hundred bad days made a hundred good stories, a hundred good stories make me interesting at parties," are used in Taylor's description of this playlist of songs she loves and appreciates. On March 5, the band teased the second single, "Birthday Party."[21] On March 11, the band announced their third studio album, Neotheater, which was to be released on April 26.[22] "100 Bad Days", was performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 11.[23] On March 11, the promotional single, "Birthday Party" was released.[24] The second single, "Dear Winter," was teased on April 1,[25] and released on April 5, with a music video being released later that same day.[26] The album debuted on April 26 at number one on Billboard's Top Alternative Albums, number one on Billboard's Top Rock Albums, and number eight on Billboard's Top 200 Albums. On October 25, the group released "Dear Winter 2.0", re-imagining the song by "changing the production and upping the emotion".[27]

2020–2021: OK Orchestra[edit]

On February 12, 2020, the single "Bang!" was released, with a music video following the next day.[28] The single at its release was intended to be part of the deluxe version of their album Neotheater, but was scrapped and made the lead single for OK Orchestra.[29] A follow-up single was released on August 31, 2020, titled "Bummerland". On December 22, 2020, AJR released "My Play". AJR then took to their Twitter account and other social media accounts to announce OK Orchestra, on December 20, 2020. On February 17, 2021, the band released "Way Less Sad" with a music video on the same day. OK Orchestra was then released on March 26, 2021. The album has 13 tracks, including a track with the Blue Man Group.[30] On March 21, 2021, AJR released OKO World, an interactive game on AJR's website. The new merchandise for the album was released on March 23. Their success with the song "Bang!" lead them to win a Billboard Music Award for "Top Rock Song" In 2021. On August 30, they released a remix of "Record Player" with Daisy The Great in which they added their own verses and production.[31]

Tours and concerts[edit]

  • I'm Ready Tour (2014)
  • The Infinity Tour (2014)[32]
  • Living Room Tour (2015)
  • What Everyone's Thinking Tour (2017)
  • What Everyone's Thinking Tour Part 2 (2017)[33]
  • The Click Tour (2018)[34]
  • The Click Tour Part 2 (2018)[35]
  • Neotheater World Tour (2019)[36]
  • Neotheater World Tour Part II (2020)[37] (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Everything Everywhere Tour (2020)[38] (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • A Night in Your Car with AJR (2020)[39]
  • One Spectacular Night (2020)[40]
  • OK Orchestra Tour (ongoing, 2021-2022)

AJR has opened for Fifth Harmony, Lindsey Stirling, Hoodie Allen,[41] Train, Fitz and the Tantrums, Andy Grammer, We the Kings, Demi Lovato, Ingrid Michaelson,[42] Sammy Adams, American Authors, and Melanie Martinez.

Their Neotheater World Tour took the band to Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Poland in November 2019.[36] On November 13, 2019, the group announced the Neotheater World Tour Part 2. Dates were released on November 15.

COVID-19 alternate concerts[edit]

On May 14, 2020, the band announced the cancellation of their upcoming tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating via Twitter that "it’s more important to us that [our fans] are safe".[43]

On July 21, 2020, AJR announced their drive-in show "A night in your car with AJR" which took place on August 19, 2020 in Philadelphia.[39] Two days later after the first show had sold out entirely, they announced a second show for Philadelphia which took place on August 20, 2020. This is also where they first sang their song Bummerland.[44]

On November 19, 2020, AJR announced their first virtual concert, AJR's One Spectacular Night, which took place on December 26, 2020. It was interactive, with features such as allowing you to clap after songs, change the camera you're viewing through, along with other interactive features to both simulate a typical live concert and experiment with the benefits of livestreaming.[40]

Band members[edit]

Core members[edit]

  • Adam Met – vocals, bass guitar, programming, samples, percussion
  • Jack Met – lead vocals, guitar, melodica, ukulele, drums, percussion, keyboards, synthesizers, samples, programming, cowbell
  • Ryan Met – vocals, programming, keyboards, ukulele, producing, samples

Auxiliary members[edit]

The following instrumentalists have toured[36] and recorded[45] with AJR:

Current[edit]

  • Chris Berry – drums, percussion
  • Arnetta Johnson – trumpet, keyboards[46]

Former[edit]

  • JJ Kirkpatrick – trumpet, keyboards, percussion

Personal lives[edit]

The brothers have described themselves as "culturally Jewish". Their parents, Gary Metzger and Laurie Marvald are architects. They grew up in Bayside, Queens until moving to Chelsea, Manhattan in 2002.[47] They attended the Professional Children's School in Manhattan.[48][49] Jack was a child actor, appearing in The Pink Panther 2 as well as an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.[50] Adam is a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, while Ryan and Jack study at Columbia University.[51]

Ryan has synesthesia and has said it helps him with his music production process, stating in a YouTube video:

"I see visuals when I'm hearing the music, and that very much helps when I'm building … and choosing the right drums."[52]

Ryan and Jack live in the same apartment and have a Bouvier dog named Shay.[51]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Billboard Music Awards

Year Nominee Award Result
2021 AJR Top Duo/Group Nominated
Top Rock Artist
"Bang!" Top Rock Song Won

iHeartRadio Music Awards

Year Nominee Award Result
2019 AJR Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist Nominated
2021 Alternative Rock Artist of the Year
"Bang!" Alternative Rock Song of the Year

Teen Choice Awards

Year Nominee Award Result
2019 AJR Choice Rock Artist Nominated
"100 Bad Days" Choice Rock Song

See also[edit]

References[edit]

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ajr-mn0003243113/biography[53]

  1. ^ Hyman, Dan (September 24, 2013). "NYC Brother Trio AJR 'Ready' for Stardom". Billboard. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  2. ^ AJR Scores First Top Rock Albums No. 1 With 'Neotheater' Retrieved 13 June 2019
  3. ^ "AJR Scores First Top Rock Albums No. 1 With 'Neotheater'". Billboard.
  4. ^ "AJR". Billboard. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  5. ^ "5 things to know about indie-pop band AJR". ABC News. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Miller, Gregory E. (October 15, 2013). "Could AJR be the next Jonas Brothers?". New York Post. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Miller, Gregory E. (October 15, 2013). "Could AJR be the next Jonas Brothers?". New York Post.
  8. ^ a b Hyman, Dan (September 24, 2013). "NYC Brother Trio AJR 'Ready' for Stardom". Billboard.
  9. ^ ""I'm Ready" on iTunes". Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "AJR brothers perform 'I'm Ready'". MYFOXNY.COM. October 17, 2013. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013.
  11. ^ AJR (2013). I'm Ready (Music video). VEVO.
  12. ^ "About iHeartRadio On The Verge Artist – Get Articles, Bio & Show Info – iHeartRadio". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "AJR Video by ONETWOWATCH on Myspace". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Frometa, RJ. "AJR move release of debut album "Living Room" to Feb. 2105, "Infinity" EP due 9/23". Vents. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  15. ^ Wass, Mike (September 11, 2014). "AJR Return With Nostalgic New Single "Infinity": Watch The DIY Lyric Video (Idolator Premiere)". Idolator. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  16. ^ "Jack from ajr talks about his hat". YouTube. Madison Mcdanel. March 12, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  17. ^ "5 things to know about indie-pop band AJR". ABC News. April 14, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  18. ^ "AJR - The Click Tour, with Ocean Park Standoff, Hundred Handed," Archived 2018-02-07 at the Wayback Machine etix.com. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  19. ^ Kaplan, Rebecca. "Civic Nation BrandVoice: It's On Us And AJR Partner On Charity Single To Change the Conversation Around Sexual Assault". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  20. ^ AJR [@AJRBrothers] (January 30, 2019). "Our new single 100 Bad Days is now available for you. Definitely don't tag your friends in the comments. We don't want them to know about it. t.co/C0duza7YOl t.co/1TQq1td5DL" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ AJR [@AJRBrothers] (March 4, 2019). "🕓🕒🕑🕐 t.co/wb00BCdNEX" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ AJR [@AJRBrothers] (March 10, 2019). "NEOTHEATER - 4/26 (ALBUM TRAILER) t.co/Ntx3cjzGmY" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "AJR - 100 Bad Days" YouTube. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  24. ^ @AJRBrothers (March 11, 2019). "NEW SONG 'BIRTHDAY PARTY' AND NEOTHEATER ALBUM PREORDER IS AVAILABLE NOW. ajr.ffm.to/neotheater pic.twitter.com/ORl5mj18Q9" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ @AJRBrothers (April 1, 2019). "DEAR WINTER. Thursday Night. (It's not about the season.)pic.twitter.com/cuB0quxoyg" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ @AJRBrothers (April 4, 2019). "'DEAR WINTER' OUT NOW. Hope it means as much to you as it does to us. ajr.ffm.to/neotheater pic.twitter.com/stm3jQWPlh" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ AJR [@AJRBrothers] (October 24, 2019). "We reimagined Dear Winter, changing the production and upping the emotion. Dear Winter 2.0 comes out tomorrow ❄️" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Mamo, Heran. "AJR Truly Go Out With a 'Bang!' in New Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  29. ^ Breaking down the production of Three-Thirty, Next Up Forever and Bang!, retrieved March 13, 2021
  30. ^ "OK ORCHESTRA by AJR". Genius. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Daisy The Great x AJR - Record Player (Animated Video), retrieved September 10, 2021
  32. ^ "AJR Announce "The Infinity Tour" For The Fall • Digital Tour Bus". Digital Tour Bus. September 24, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "AJR Announces "What Everyone's Thinking Tour Part II" • Digital Tour Bus". Digital Tour Bus. April 15, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  34. ^ "AJR Plot 2018 'The Click Tour' Dates: Ticket Presale Code & On-Sale Info | Zumic | Music News, Tour Dates, Ticket Presale Info, and More". Zumic. November 14, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  35. ^ "AJR Announce 'The Click Tour: Part 2' with Robert Delong". Shameless SF. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  36. ^ a b c Emma Gallagher (September 28, 2019). "Review: AJR erupts with energy for tour start". The Creightonian. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  37. ^ Union, Wonderful. "AJR". AJR. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  38. ^ Center, Target. "CANCELLED - AJR with Quinn XCII – Everything Everywhere Tour | Target Center". targetcenter.com. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  39. ^ a b @ajrbrothers (July 21, 2020). "A NIGHT IN YOUR CAR WITH AJR. A very special one night Drive-In show. On sale Friday. Can't wait to be back out playing live again. pbs.twimg.com/media/EddEHD2XYAIB2_u?format=jpg&name=orig" (Tweet). Retrieved August 20, 2020 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ a b AJR [@AJRBrothers] (November 19, 2020). "AJR's ONE SPECTACULAR NIGHT. New songs, new effects, new live event. On sale Monday. t.co/HksVKc5wXB t.co/CR0rRMcMKm" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ www.girafficthemes.com, Giraffic Themes. "AJR on Tour with Lindsey Stirling! - AJR". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  42. ^ "Ingrid Michaelson Announces the "Hell No Tour" • Digital Tour Bus". Digital Tour Bus. June 29, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  43. ^ AJR [@AJRBrothers] (May 14, 2020). "Due to everything going on, we aren't able to move forward with the upcoming tours. We're bummed, but it's more important to us that you guys are safe. If you bought tickets or VIP, you'll be emailed about refunds or you can go to livenation.com/refund.pic.twitter.com/auFCAEaN3b" (Tweet). Retrieved May 21, 2020 – via Twitter.
  44. ^ @ajrbrothers (July 23, 2020). "This sold out in pre-sale. Woah. We're adding another Philly date on sale tomorrow, and thinking we should add more of these. Where should we come?" (Tweet). Retrieved August 20, 2020 – via Twitter.
  45. ^ "How We Made 'NEOTHEATER'". youtube.com. February 24, 2020.
  46. ^ "Arnetta Johnson". Whyy. November 3, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  47. ^ Hall, Trish (May 5, 2002). "Habitats/Chelsea; Moving to Manhattan, for the Children's Sake". The New York Times.
  48. ^ E. Miller, Gregory (October 15, 2013). "Could AJR be the next Jonas Brothers?". New York Post. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  49. ^ Raspe, Becky (January 28, 2019). "Hozier, Sheryl Crow, AJR on tap for LaurelLive". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  50. ^ Met, Jack [@JackAJRbrothers] (October 4, 2017). "This is Oscar worthy right? t.co/xk0cifGOlK" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  51. ^ a b La Gorce, Tammy (May 17, 2019). "How the members of the band AJR spend their Sundays". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  52. ^ Breaking down the production of Three-Thirty, Next Up Forever and Bang!. March 20, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020 – via YouTube.
  53. ^ "AJR | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved December 22, 2020.

External links[edit]