Riker Lynch is at Los Angeles International Airport catching a plane to Japan, where he’s scheduled to tour with his pop band, R5.
From there, he travels to Australia and then New Zealand before returning to officially kick off the band’s U.S. winter tour, which includes a stop in Fresno on Wednesday, Jan. 27, playing at Saroyan Theatre.
“I feel like I haven’t been home since June,” Lynch says.
Local fans last saw R5 in 2014 at the Big Fresno Fair.
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The group spent the majority of last year on the road. It toured Europe (twice) and South America, where the band is so popular that Lynch couldn’t even leave his hotel room.
“It’s another world,” he says.
They ended 2015 with a three-night stint at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
R5 is Lynch plus his brothers Rocky and Ross; his sister Rydel; and longtime friend Ellington Ratliff. Some will remember Lynch as the runner-up on Season 20 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” His brother Ross was on the Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” and in the movie “Teen Beach 2,” the sequel to 2013’s “Teen Beach Movie.”
Over three years, the young band has built a worldwide fan base – and doubled its ticket sales – with commercial guitar-driven pop rock that is heavy on catchy hooks. It landed a deal with Hollywood Records and released “Louder,” which debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 10 countries in 2013.
Their follow-up, “Sometime Last Night,” found equal success: It was No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart last year.
That album was actually a second try and a change of direction for the band, Lynch says.
They had another album completed with songs written by other artists, but the band scrapped it at the last minute because it didn’t fit R5’s musical vision.
It was high risk, high reward, Lynch says, and the band was rightfully nervous, inviting the label heads to their house in Sherman Oaks to discuss the band’s future.
We get to hang out and do what we love. But we also work really, really hard.
They played three songs they had written.
“That was it,” Lynch says. “We proved ourselves.”
And they plan to do it again, once the band’s tour schedule lightens up at the end of April.
Then R5 will find another house – possibly in London this time – to be closer to the birthplace of bands such as the Rolling Stones and Queen. They will build a studio and hole up for awhile – just the five of them.
“We want to forget about the rest of the world,” Lynch says.
- 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27
- Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St.
- Tickets: $35-$49.50
- 800-754-3000, www.ticketmaster.com