In a new republic

Anjali Jhangiani
Thursday, 19 April 2018

Ryan Tedder of the American band One Republic talks about their plans to explore India on their maiden visit, how they went from organic to electronic and how they’ll be going back to their original sound for their upcoming 5th album

Twelve years ago, One Republic entered our playlists and let us know that ‘it’s too late to apologise’. Since then the American boy band has given us a host of feel-good, sing-along songs with lyrics that millennials relate to. As they get ready for their debut concert in India, we catch up with them to find out more about their plans. 

The band consists of Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Eddie Fisher, Drew Brown, Zach Filkins, who have stuck together as a band since 2002. But it was only in 2006 that their track Apologize became a global hit and got them a lot of attention. Since then it’s just been one massive hit track after another. “We’ve grown together over the years, and have had so many experiences as a band that not many have or can relate to. That bond has been a large part of our friendship both personally and professionally,” says lead singer Tedder. 

Organic to electronic
Recently, they have started collaborating with EDM producers and DJs to keep things exciting. After a collaboration with KYGO for Stranger Things, which went on to top charts all over the world last November, the band worked together with Norwegian EDM record production trio Seeb for a dancy club hit Rich Love which is out now. Are there more collaborations with DJs and EDM producers in the pipeline? “We started as a 100 per cent live band with no programming, but as times have changed, so have we, we love electronic music and new technology so we use it where it makes sense in our music and I also collaborate a lot with electronic artists from Swedish House Mafia to Kygo and Alesso,” says Tedder. 

Exploring India
Everyone in the band, and their team, is super kicked about their maiden tour in the country. But every Indian fan would want to know that since they are on a spree collaborating with other artists, will they be looking out for talent in India to work with?

It’s still very early to think on these terms, but the band sure is eager to explore the country as tourists. “We are psyched!  We have never had a chance to explore until now. We’ve actually been pushing our booking agents to find us a show in India for a long long time… years! So, the deal clincher was finally getting an offer that made sense and lined up with other dates in that part of the world. I’ve personally wanted to go to India since I was a little kid, I’m fascinated by it!” says Tedder. Their concert is organised by Opium Events and powered by Nokia. 

Though they’ve done as much research as they could to make sure that they put up terrific show for their fans here, Tedder reveals that the band has no idea what to actually expect from the audiences here. “Very few American artists have played there, so I haven’t been able to ask too many people what the concert crowd is like. I’ve been researching for a couple of weeks on places to eat and coffee shops and neighbourhoods to visit. I’ve gotten to be friends with Diplo recently, so I’ve been asking him advice on places to visit in Mumbai. I have a pretty detailed list of places I plan on visiting for coffee and food and some of the more obvious tourist destinations. I will also check out some art and music while we are there, I’ve also hired a tour guide for the second day. We will be documenting the whole experience as well,” he says. 

New music
Now that the band has released a few EDM collaborations, they believe that it’s time to change their sound all over again. With new music up their sleeves, they share that they want to go back to making more organic songs for a while. Tedder says,

“We are in the process of working on our 5th album. No dates yet, but we’re planning on later this year. But there will be lots of new songs coming first. A lot of the forthcoming stuff will be way more organic sounding, like, more of a ‘five people in a room’ sound than we’ve been able to really attach ourselves to, in a while. I think we’re ready to push that in front of us, to try to get people to care about organic-sounding honest music again.”

But when they manage to take that long-needed break after the world tour they are on, Tedder says he wants to take a few days off and hang out with his family. “I will watch some movies, cook food, and if there’s snow, go skiing. Skateboarding around my studio or while going down to get coffee is a favourite as well,” he signs off. 

ST Reader Service
OneRepublic will perform on April 21 at NSCI Dome, Mumbai. Gates open at 5pm. The opening act is ONEmpire and closing acts are DJs Zenith and Axonn

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