American Young is in the position to offer something completely fresh to the country music world. The duo, featuring Kristy Osmunson of Bomshel, and Jon Stone, who has penned hits for Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts and many others are creating a major ripple in the industry. The two are no strangers to the music industry, with songwriting, artist, and producer credits under their belt. Their formation as Kristy puts it is from something much bigger than them, and it just feels right, no struggles, no gimmicks this is the real deal, and it’s just life in its truest form. Their style is far from the Big Green Tractor, Springsteen, and Country Fried era of today. You won’t find anything of that here, but you will find true artistry, no over produced vocals, or production, but two good friends sitting on the front porch, with nothing but acoustic guitars, and fresh, crisp, raw vocals, put to amazing stories of the issues of life. So sit back, and let these two take you on the American Young journey thus far!
On American Young’s conception
Kristy: Well I was looking to start a band and I was going through different options I just really felt that it was the right thing. I randomly went to a Lee Brice number one party and I was watching Jon play, he had written ‘A Woman Like You’ and there was a real cool thing that he had with the other players on stage, I felt like this impression and that this project has been very spiritually guided for me personally.
I get a very overwhelming sense of right when it works and I felt that, that night. When I called Jon we kind of got together and we were working out some stuff and I think it was the very first time that we really sat down and sang together and I had the same overwhelming sense of peace, like it was very complete, I can’t explain it. That’s how I felt with ‘Love is War’ the first song that we are doing as a single that it was the same thing the first time that I heard it was like this very overwhelming sense of oh my gosh, ok this is all right this is exactly where it’s supposed to be that this is all right.
I feel that Jon and I have very little to do with this,(laughs) I feel like we have been guided here, and I don’t know where it’s going and I don’t know what this is, but it’s very exciting to be able to make the music that we do.
I think when you chase something and you really, really, really try to make it happen, and then it all of a sudden all of that goes to shit, I realize I have nothing to do with this and if I just let go and let it happen, then the right things happen, and sometimes that’s a very painful awareness and frustrating, but it’s good to have that.
Jon: I think we are discovering new parts about American Young every day, it’s a really natural thing, it’s been very organic it hasn’t been difficult, it sounds great we all knew it immediately we aren’t trying overly hard to be anything that we are not, We’re just kinda doing what we love and I think that either the market has evolved to what we love, or we have evolved to what the market is, it’s just wonderful to us, we just enjoy it, and sometimes we forget that there are people out there listening!; because we like it so much, you know?
On the name American Young
Kristy: I think I was playing Jon a song I had, called ‘Young in America’ and I got done with it, and he’s like ‘American Young, now that would be a great name’ and I just happen to Go Daddy it and the dot.com was available, so I’m like, there’s our name! (laughs)
Jon: Everything from the name to the logo to the music to the pictures to the single to the video to everything has been so easy, and it’s just so apparent immediately to everybody.
On industry reaction
Kristy: I like that in the songs that are coming and being brought to this group, I feel like we are able to say things, like Jon said where that five years ago, ten years ago the industry wouldn’t have been ready for the sound and the content that we are getting ready to discuss and talk about.
I think that the listener base and the whole idea of country music has evolved so greatly and it’s exciting, with the invention of the internet we’re just moving faster, and I do believe that we have been led to stand and say something, that is obviously so much bigger than what just the two of us carry and it’s very inspiring to me.
It’s funny because I felt that this idea and concept was going to be really big, and then the name and everything when it happened I was like, well, ok, I can’t explain it, it’s really been a cosmic kind of experience.
On radio reaction
Jon: We’ve done a few radio things, we’ve seen probably about 15 stations so far and when we went out to radio at first, we were like, this is gonna be the single, we don’t know when, everybody was like, wow we love it, we played about three to five songs at one station and another about 8 songs. They really loved the single and the project, which is so important I think.
I really don’t want us to be the artist that is hanging on to a single, but a record, a legacy, a sound, you know.
On shooting the ‘Love is War’ video
Jon: It was pretty intense, lots of explosions, it was cool, we got to walk through bombs, I learned a thing or two about bombs, if you wrap them with electrical tape they blow up bigger, and they are louder.
It was great, our director Eric Welch is extremely creative, super intense on set, he knows what he wants, it was wonderful to see somebody like that work, and the shots that he was getting was so intense it was magical, it looked magical!
It looked like the way Twilight was filmed, killer camera angles, and you’re like was that us?
Kristy: It was crazy, it was unbelievable we got done with it and I was asking hair and makeup, production guys this was definitely the biggest video I’ve ever seen, just craziness and they were like, yeah top 5 we’ve ever been on, it was a huge production, 30 people on the set.
Jon: we pulled up and there were 20 cars, and we were like there’s a lot of people here! We shot it down in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Jon: We were told not to flinch while bombs were going off by us, it was difficult.
Kristy: It was really fun, we had to lie on the ground in the woods, and we’re from the Pacific Northwest there’s nothing up there that is poisonous, in Nashville there are Chiggers that get in your feet and plant things in you!
Jon: A bazillion ticks everywhere-Kristy: It’s disgusting these monstrous spiders they’re so gross, anyways (laughs). You’re lying there, and you see a spider come across your legs, (sings) Sometimes Love is (laughs).
Kristy: Oh my god, I flipped my shit like one time at least though, when a spider came crawling up my dress and I was like (Screams).
Jon: She screamed so loud I bit my tongue, (laughs) it was pretty cool. When you are in the middle of a take I felt something on my face a couple times, and I was like, probably just a leaf, (laughs) it was probably a spider. Right in the middle of the shoot I’m shooing them off of her, big spiders!
On the single ‘Love is War’
Kristy: This is the only video that I’ve ever been a part of that I’m like it will get played a lot! (laughs) I don’t know what radio is going to do with it! (laughs) this video is ridiculous it will get played a lot! It’s very exciting, and we really, Jon and I, think that video is such a huge part to who we are as creators, it’s a great medium.
Fortunately our head of marketing Jeff Tuerff, when I took in some videos from Thirty Seconds To Mars to him and I was like this is how videos are made, that’s what you gotta do, and he went with it! I couldn’t believe it we had a mini helicopter there doing all these aerial shots, just unbelievable. I can very strongly say that this should get nominated for video of the year. I would never say that, but that video was the biggest thing that I have ever seen happen, it looks exciting!
Jon: We are so excited about this record and you know we spent a lot of time making, creating these sounds on this record, I couldn’t be happier and I wouldn’t change a thing.