We met Eddie, Brent, Zach, Drew and Ryan, the five members of the band OneRepublic when they were in Manhattan recently.
Do you guys have a new album coming out soon?
Ryan: We have an album that is about six months old, and it is called “On My Mind.” And we have a bunch of new songs coming.
You are all from different areas. How did you all come together as a band?
Ryan: Los Angeles! L.A. unites strangers from different cities. I moved there with Zach. Eddie and Brent are from California and Drew is from Colorado. He moved out to L.A. from Colorado shortly after I did. We just met through random friends.
Where is your favorite place to perform in concert?
Ryan: One of my favorites is Carthage, the ancient city in Tunisia. We were able to play in North Africa in a 1,500-year-old Roman Colosseum thing outdoors, which was pretty outstanding. Being in the Olympic Stadium with U2 [in Munich, Germany] was outstanding.
Brent: We also played at Red Rocks [in Colorado] — that was great. There are so many great places we have performed.
Was there ever a time when you thought you might not be successful and want to break up?
Ryan: Many, many times over the years. We have been signed by record labels, we have been dropped by record labels. We got dropped by the same record label that dropped Katy Perry. Dropped means fired. We got fired by the same record label that fired the Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. Every day you get to do this job, you are the luckiest person in the world.
Do any of you have a personal connection to your latest song, “No Vacancy”?
Ryan: Yes, we were all sharing a single hotel room in the Dominican Republic. There was no vacancy in the hotel. I would say that every song that we have done, there has been a personal connection. It is normally about some fragment of my life or something.
What is your life like being in a band?
Brent: Horrible! You have to hang out all the time being asked questions by kids. What kind of life is that?!
Ryan: It is a pretty good job. We get to travel, we get to eat good food. I get to wear camouflage pants. People take me seriously. It’s a good job.
What is your favorite song of all your songs?
Ryan: I don’t know if I have a favorite because I like a lot of them. It is really hard to say. “Counting Stars” is a fun one to perform. We like whatever the newest song is, and that is usually our favorite because we get bored really easily. We like to do new music.
What inspires your song ideas?
Ryan: Life. Living life . . . [in] places like New York City . . . a very inspiring place because there is always a lot going on and there are people everywhere. The more people you are around, the more inspired you become.
If you could perform with another musician, past or present, who would it be?
Ryan: Paul McCartney.
Zach: Rage Against the Machine.
Ryan: Maybe Roy Orbison.
Brent: Maybe a famous composer from the past, like Beethoven.
Drew: Michael Jackson would be pretty cool too.
Eddie: Yes, Michael Jackson or the Eagles.
What inspired you to become a musician?
Ryan: I think I just saw people playing in a concert — it didn’t really matter who it was — I was jealous of that person. I wanted to be onstage playing music. I thought about doing music or theater, like Broadway. Everyone looks like they are having so much fun when they are on stage. I don’t know if there was one band or artist, I just wanted to do it. And! If you go into music or theater, you don’t ever have to get a real job! Think about that for a second.
Why did you name your band OneRepublic?
Ryan: All the other good names were taken. It was originally called Republic. We went through a bunch of different names that we liked, and words, colors and shapes, until one of them felt right.
Do you ever get writer’s block when writing a song?
Ryan: Sometimes I do. It is very frustrating, but it doesn’t happen that often. It helps to be surrounded by people because then you can get ideas from them.
What do you do when you hear your own song on the radio?
Ryan: I start screaming. Waving my hands. If I am in my car, I start honking my horn and screaming at everyone to turn the radio up. I film myself listening to my own song, like Bieber.
What is harder to do: perform in concert or make a music video?
Ryan: Make a music video. It is so much harder. It is exhausting and sweaty. And nine times out of 10, they don’t come out as cool as you want them to.
Have you ever been in concert and forgotten the words to your song?
Ryan: Every concert. It happens at least one time in every concert, and I never know which song it is going to be. I don’t know why it happens.