April 17, 7 p.m. | Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tickets: $29.50 – $49.50 plus charges at Ticketmaster
When you hear the words Disney and Hollywood put together, you don’t usually think of a home-schooled quartet of three brothers and one sister forming the nucleus of a young pop-rock band.
But in the case of the Lynches, that’s exactly what happened.
Riker, Ross, Rydel and Rocky, along with their longtime friend Ellington Ratliff, make up the band R5, which will be in Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 17.
The four Lynch siblings were home-schooled by their mother Stormy, who is a manicurist — “nail-tech” — by trade, and father Mark, who ran a successful medical-supply business in Colorado and later in California before he also started co-managing the musical career of his talented children.
Riker also has a role on the hit TV show Glee and Ross is on a TV series as well called Austin & Ally on the Disney Channel.
The ages of the band go from 18 to 22, so their cohesion and their focus is something to behold — and it all began at home.
“I feel we got lucky with all of us really being into the same thing,” Riker says. “It had to do with us doing literally everything together ever since we were little.
“Even today, when we are not touring or recording, we go to the movies together, we go out to eat together, any time somebody wants to do something they go together,” she says in a group phone interview from Philadelphia. “We are very fortunate to have the support of our parents.”
That’s backed up by the move to California in 2008. It was forced by Riker, who at 18, wanted to head west. It prompted the whole family to pick up stakes.
“Dad moved his entire business to California. He had to sell his plane and his motorcycle and he did it for us.”
That bond is even more evident when they talk about their lives together.
“My mom is the bomb. She kept us extremely busy in a good way,” Rydel said. “We did jive lessons and we’d go to school. She home-schooled us. Then we’d have piano lessons; then the boys would go to ice hockey (fave team the Colorado Avalanche; fave players: Nathan MacKinnon, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Matt Duchene) and I’d go to figure skating.
“And we just had one event after the other, so we never got interested in things like video games.
“And when we got older, in order to get on the computer, we had to practise.”
The Lynches did attend a public performing-arts school for three years each in their hometown of Littleton, Colo., but then they returned home.
“I loved being at home and with the family,” Rydel said. “We all have very good work habits. We were very good at studying and finishing our homework.”
Their current tour is in support of their debut album called Louder. R5 has done the European leg of the tour and is about to hit cities across Canada.
This band is not the Partridge Family, slammed together by some TV executive. They say they want to have a long career.
“Our first album is very pop influenced, but our live show is very rock based. We look up to bands like U2, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles,” Riker says.
“We want to have longevity in the music business like a proper rock band doing it the old-school way. We tour a ton and we try to rock out our shows.”
Riker says that as a young teen he watched Elvis videos and Michael Jackson videos and “thought they were cool guys. I wanted to be them. In the mid-’90s I got into boy bands and I wanted to be Justin Timberlake.
“My dad started taking me to concerts. He took me and Rocky to see our first rock concert O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) and I remember just watching that and Rocky and I were just in awe. Pretty soon the entire family was taking dance lessons and singing lessons and learning how to play instruments.”
Some young performers fall on hard times, but the members of R5 seem likely to avoid that kind of pitfall.
“I think one of the luckiest things about us being a band is that we have each other’s backs to talk through tough situations and to keep each other grounded,” says Riker. “Obviously people make mistakes, but hopefully we can keep each other grounded.”
They are also aware, with half-a-million Twitter followers, that their fan base is young and in need of role models.
“You want to be a good person and you want to be a good role model to these kids that are looking up to you,” Riker says.
“At the same time, we have to be ourselves. We don’t want to put on any front. We don’t want to be different on stage and off.”
Their personal lives are their professional lives, they all say, adding that they are each other’s best friends.
“It never feels like work,” Riker says. “We set the bar and we say we are going to work harder than anybody else to get there.”