Interview by MAREK BARTEK

American indie pop band AJR is founded by brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, collectively a trio of vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters. In November 2023, they released their fifth studio album ‘The Maybe Man’, which will be followed by a nationwide tour, starting this April.

You’re not only band members, but first and foremost, brothers. How did the idea of starting a band come along?

We actually started off street-performing in different parks of New York City. We didn’t know anybody in the music industry, so it felt like the only way to play music for strangers. As we got more and more comfortable performing, we started writing original songs, and that was the magic we fell in love with. The feeling of bearing your soul, and admitting embarrassing things about yourself, can be very addictive.

blazer GANT
shirt ETON
pants BOSS

sweater & pants MAISON KITSUNE
shirt BOSS

varsity jacket GANT

What has your experience been like so far working as an immediate family, and how do you navigate this collision of professional and personal lives?

Obviously, we have fights like any brothers, but it hasn’t been too bad! We figured out early on what everyone was good at: Ryan is more of the emotional lyric guy, Jack is better at melodies, and Adam handles more on the business end. That way, we can fully trust each other in all aspects of running this company.

For someone who isn’t familiar with your music yet, how would you describe it?

Broadway has come to be our biggest inspiration, but we like to combine theatrical music with the understated emotion of The Beach Boys, and the crazy production of hip-hop.

Born, raised and still living in New York, do you feel that this place has impacted your music taste?

A hundred percent! Growing up and being surrounded by such a diverse group of people, it set a standard for us that we needed to win over EVERY type of person with our music.

full looks REISS

You are known for being a DIY band, writing, producing and mixing your own material. Why have you decided on this approach and what challenges and rewards come with being a DIY group?

We fell into a pattern of doing everything ourselves because we couldn’t afford to hire anyone! We learned how to make our own album covers, edit our music videos, write, produce, and mix our own songs. Something rare happens when no one else is involved in the process: you’re really forced to reinvent the wheel, and figure out your own unique voice. As soon as we realized fans were falling in love with the charmingly cheap music videos, we didn’t see a reason to change that. It felt like we cut out the middlemen, and were speaking directly from our hearts to fans, which is pretty rare in any industry.

The recently released ‘The Maybe Man’ is your fifth studio album and it explores themes of identity and introspection. How did this concept come about and how does the album reflect your personal experiences and emotions?

We had the craziest couple years of our life while writing this album, from family loss, to crazy legal battles and marriage proposals. This was the album where we truly grew up into adults. We were having new thoughts and deeper realizations about life than ever before and, we decided, as hard as it was, that we needed to capture this snapshot of our lives we could never get back.


The album features hit singles like ‘Yes I’m A Mess’, ‘The Dumb Song’, ‘The DJ Is Crying For Help’, and ‘I Won’t’. What was the creative process behind these songs and the album in general, and what was your favorite part of this whole journey?

This was definitely our most difficult album to write, because we wrote a lot of the painful songs while in the middle of going through painful moments. With other albums, we’d often write about traumatic events years after they occurred, once we had some hindsight. But, here, we decided to write more viscerally, which, although more difficult, made the songs also more authentic.

One of the most moving songs of the album, ‘God Is Really Real’, addresses your father’s illness and passing. How did the process of writing and recording this song serve as a way for you to cope with such a loss?

With a lot of our songs, we often try to think “why does this need to be written by us?” Songs have been written for thousands of years, and millions come out every week. We always ask first: “What can we say about this topic that no one has ever said before?” And although our dad‘s illness was the most shocking topic to write about, we found that even more interesting topic was watching our non-religious family and friends suddenly turn to spirituality and faith, when faced with something so confusing and unknown.




The upcoming ‘Maybe Man Tour’ will cover 43 cities, including venues like Madison Square Garden, Boston’s TD Garden, Austin’s Moody Center, Los Angeles’ Kia Forum and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. What are your expectations for this tour and how do you hope it will shape AJR’s path in the music industry?

As much as we love ‘The Maybe Man’ album, ‘The Maybe Man Tour’ is probably the coolest thing we’ve ever done with our career. I think we’ve leveled up what people have come to expect from an AJR show (magical illusions, Broadway style storytelling, cinematic effects) to new heights. It really feels like the album is simply a soundtrack to the Broadway show that is the tour.

As we’ve discussed, you’ve just released an album and have a tour coming up, however, are there any exciting new projects you are already working on and we can be looking forward to?

Yes! We are also scoring a Broadway show simultaneously to the AJR stuff. It is a grown-up, raw, edgy take on the children’s book ‘Harold & the Purple Crayon’. We have a lot of crazy ideas of how to bring our weird ideas to the Broadway world, and we’re excited for everyone to see how it progresses!

talent AJR
photographer / creative director/ set design TYLER PATRICK KENNY
pet handler/ set design NICOLE SALDUTTI
studio tech / paper airplane design RENO RONQUILLO
studio tech / set design MADI SILEO
interview MAREK BARTEK
special thanks to ALEXA PRICE