Catch up with American Young's Kristy Osmunson and Jon Stone and look for the Nashville based country duo's forthcoming album to be released March 11th.
How did you come up with your name American Young and what does it mean to you?
Jon: We were writing one day and Kristy actually had a song idea called "Young America" that she'd written and we thought American Young would be an awesome name for a band and it really describes, I think, where we are and where we come from and growing up in this country and the influences that it's had on us. It was just the perfect name for us because it means so many things to us, as far as, we're not exactly spring chickens, but we can really relate to a lot of different people of different ages and stuff and I like to think that American Young, there's an almost ageless effect to that music, it's more of a timeless thing.
Kristy: Yeah, I think American Young is very encompassing. We're idealistic people and we like to sing the ideas of what we want to be, where we want to go, and I think that that's what the American dream is. I was born in Canada and Jon's American and we both live in Nashville, Tennessee and we're just chasing it all the time. I think that's what American Young is; you can do whatever you want to do and you can be who you wanna be.
What brought you two together?
Kristy: Jon has a number one song that he wrote called "A Woman Like You" for Lee Brice and it was his number 1 party and I was on the co-write and now he can't get rid of me. I'm persistent.
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
Jon: I think we are connoisseurs of music from all different ranges. I grew up on classical music, as well as Kristy did, and I got into rock music and country music early in my life, everybody from Metallica to Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin to The Beatles and blah, blah, blah - it's just the range. I can't tell you that there's a type of music I don't like. I love opera. I just love all genres.
Kristy: I'm pretty much in the same boat. I'm obsessed with '90s country though. I'm such a Winona fan and I absolutely love Garth Brooks, so much. I play the fiddle so I feel like that's when I really started feeling music, was when I started listening to '90s country and I've never been the same since.
You're both musicians and songwriters, so how does the creative process work between you two when you are working on new music?
Jon: We live in a town where there are the most amazing songwriters - there's no community of songwriters in the entire world like the one in Nashville - so we write songs and play ourselves, but we also are absolutely open to recording other songs that we hear; if somebody writes a song that fits us, then we would be foolish not to do it. Every artist in the history of time has always recorded outside of their own because it's just smart to do that, you can't write a song every day, but when it comes to writing together - we do write together for American Young stuff - we just kind of know what it is now, so it's easier to write it.
You mentioned the ageless factor earlier, what other words would you use to define your sound?
Jon: Good [laughs].
Kristy: [Laughs] We are -
Jon: I would say romantic.
Kristy: Yes, very romantic.
Jon: I think that our music's definitely dynamic.
Kristy: It has a lot of depth of conversation. There's a lot of conversation, a lot of perspective, a lot of depth to it. We have a lot of layers to this whole record and we're really proud of it. It's coming out March 11th and we put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the making of this project, so we're just incredibly excited to watch how it connects with people.
How would you sum up that forthcoming record in one sentence?
Jon: I would say the unadulterated story of American Young [laughs].
"Love Is War" is an outside cut, could you tell us more about the song and why you choose to record it?
Kristy: So, Billy Montana, the guy who wrote that song, is a soulmate co-writer to both me and Jon. He's written most of our record with us and I had actually heard that in a meeting with some friends of mine, they were playing some songs, and, you know, [laughs] I don't think I've ever honestly done that. We were looking to develop and see what this band was about but, when you've first started, you're playing live shows to empty rooms and you're hunting around and we really wanted to find the purpose in what American Young was and it became this relational conversation and "Love Is War", I felt was a song so far ahead of its time. I mean, I just feel like it's an element of real in this world of 3 minute alcohol advertisements which, essentially, to me, is what country music has gotten into - which is fine, it's so much fun, but we've been writing songs with no substance - and I heard that song and I was like, 'man, there's substance to it, it's so powerful'. [Laughs] Real love ain't always easy and that is not always hung on the wall.
You're heading out on tour with Sasha McVeigh and Loveless Effect, do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Kristy: Yes, I like "Point Of View". I really love that song, I love playing it live. You can see how people, everywhere, have connected with that and it's so much fun.
What do you want your listeners and fans to be able to take away from your music?
Kristy: I would say, hopefully, it is a heart opener and it gives you a good glimpse into your soul as a human being and, also, kind of taking your relationships and hopefully celebrating the next level. I just hope that one gets an insight to their own soul.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Kristy: We are excited to see everyone and meet everyone at a live show.
Jon: Yeah, come say hi to us.
Kristy: Yes, come listen to live music. And, eat local, think global. We love you all. Good night!