American pop-rock band OneRepublic are set to return to Singapore this April, after playing to a raucous crowd at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix in September last year. This time, the band will be back for their very own concert.
The band, best known for tracks like 'Apologize', 'Counting Stars', 'If I Lose Myself' and more are currently working on new material, which will likely be released later this year. Their last record Oh My My was released in October 2016.
Bandwagon spoke recently to OneRepublic drummer Eddie Fisher, who discussed the new record, performing in Singapore again, the early struggles of the band and more. Check out the complete interview below.
You performed at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix concert, which is a little different from regular concerts. What was that like?
E: It was great, any time we get to come back to Singapore is a great time. Performing at the Grand Prix was cool because we had the chance to perform for people who haven’t heard of us or aren't fans of us, so we could change their minds. We were performing for our fans at the same time too, so that was great. The energy in Singapore is always insane, it’s always so lively. And that’s why we’re returning to Singapore so quickly.
Last year, it was revealed that the band had begun working on new material for a new album scheduled for a 2018 release. How’s the record coming along?
E: It’s coming along well, we’re all about to start coming together to record everything. As of now, we’ve all really just been writing on our own, it’s going to be good, we’re all really excited. We’re just going to clear a few shows first.
You’ve been involved in most of the studio albums that the band has put out. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve experienced from going into the studio for the first record, to now?
E: I think the biggest difference is just how a record is written now. Back in the day, the whole band used to sit together and jam and write stuff. Now everyone has their own families and they want to spend time with their families so everyone writes separately and we all come together when we have enough material and we’re ready to record.
Also, another thing that happens now, that didn't happen in the earlier days of the band is that we used to all work on our demos together too. Now because of technology, it’s easier for someone to use a program to add drum parts to a guitar and bass line, to show the rest of the band what they think the song should be like. From there, we all go into the studio and record all the parts for real, using real instruments.
What was it like working with Timbaland on 'Apologize', which some consider your breakthrough single?
E: He was really cool, he’s a really nice guy, but more important than that, he’s very well versed in music. He knows what he wants, he knows what he’s doing. And he was gracious enough to want to work with us and impart that knowledge to us, and really show us a trick or two.
At any moment of the band’s career, have things gotten too overwhelming?
E: Yes, definitely, especially in the beginning. It was extremely tough to leave our family and friends behind and go on tour for weeks and months, and acclimate to a new city or country and its cultures everyday, after being cooped up in the same town for our whole lives. Touring is still hard now, but it’s a lot easier than it was back then. I think it’s all about getting used to it.
We once played a show in Jakarta, Indonesia, and we had flown in the day of the show, from home. We were all incredibly jet-lagged and tired but we just drank a ton of coffee and powered through the show, and it ended up being one of the best shows of our lives. The energy was insane. Asia has some of the best crowds for concerts.
A live DVD was released recently, in which Zach had mentioned that nothing came easy to the band, and that there were a lot of struggles. Could you expand upon what that meant?
E: He was right, there were a lot of struggles before we signed with Timbaland. We all had day jobs and we were almost always awake because when we weren't working, we were rehearsing for gigs and recording demos to send out, just trying to perfect our craft. We had to change in a car, and transport our own gear all over the country out of our own pockets, we were barely paid.
Everything we did, we did just to get exposure because whatever we were being paid was barely enough to cover the cost of transporting equipment, renting equipment and so on. So yeah, there were a lot of struggles, nothing came easy. But we’re glad that it didn't because we’re stronger for it, and we’re hardened by what we went through, so now, any minor hiccup doesn't throw us off.
You’ve been to Singapore multiple times. What keeps you coming back and how will your upcoming show differ from the past shows?
E: I think the last show was more of a festival setting, so it wasn't 100% our crowd. This time, it will be. We’re going to be bringing a lot of energy with us because we know Singapore’s one of the best crowds in the world, we’ll have played a few shows before reaching Singapore so we’re going to be really tight. Hopefully we’ll be able to work out a new song to maybe perform live? I don’t know, we’ll see about that. We absolutely can’t wait to come back to Singapore, it’s going to be amazing.
OneRepublic are set to perform at The Star Theatre on 23 April 2018, presented by Live Nation. Tickets are on sale now for S$108, $148, $188, $228 and $268. Get your tickets here.
In the meantime, check out OneRepublic performing 'If I Lose Myself' live in South Africa below.