Arriving at the Hard Rock Hotel, I decided it all seemed apt that the Colorado rock quintet OneRepublic would be hosting their press conference in this quintessentially American rocker hangout. The evening's rain had just let up, and the dim lighting in the venue made for a cosy hideout whilst awaiting the arrival of the band members, including Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzle. The press conference however, was a little too short, and not many of us could actually get a word in, partly due to the long answers given.
The mouthpiece of the band was largely Ryan, although Drew quipped in with anecdotes once in a while. The rest of the guys looked comfortable to hand the reins over to their frontman, and sat patiently as Ryan answered questions from the press. I felt however, that the band felt a little lacklustre in this case, because the other personalities did not manage to shine. Perhaps a one on one interview might have felt more relaxing for them to come out of their shells?
In any case, the hosts, Shan and Cheryl, kicked things off by asking the boys about their "One Night In Bangkok" trip, and Ryan explained that they had a couple of days off and "jammed everything into one day" and "hit all the top attractions".
They even managed to get onto a "tuk-tuk", but didn't do so for long because of the pollution. Ryan went on a spiel about a country's culture, saying that for some bands, it is "just another hotel", and from the start OneRepublic "vowed never to be that kind of artistes", and it was actually quite endearing, it gave the band some sense of humanity, that they were interested in each destination's culture and people.
On Singapore, the band expressed their amazement, saying that "so much has changed in Singapore, it's almost like your country went on a building spree! We couldn't believe it, we were driving around and going 'that wasn't here, that wasn't here, that wasn't here'".Fans should be glad to know that Drew mentioned, "Our keyboard player felt very much like we were in Jurassic Park, which in America is the highest compliment!" What particularly caught their eye was the giant tree-like structures at Gardens by the Bay, where Ryan commented it looked like something out of Avatar.
Four questions in total were asked in this roughly 20 minute press conference, of which included a reference to Swedish DJ Alesso's remixed version of the EDM-fused single If I Lose Myself. Ryan admitted goodnaturedly that the original song on the record didn't connect as well as they wanted it to, saying that the record label had rejected an earlier version that was more "live-sounding", but it was "something that I hope we can put out someday". The band also acknowledged Alesso's version of their 2013 hit, even saying it was better. What do you guys think?
With super-songwriter Ryan Tedder on the panel, the band was asked if there were any songs that Ryan had written and given away that they thought would have worked for the band. To that, Drew commented that while that had not happened yet, they almost lost a song on their current record, Native. The James Blake / Prince-inspired Can't Stop apparently was written for no particular artiste, but Ryan affirmed, "I didn't hear it for the band," but lucky the band members rallied and convinced him that it was a great one. He went on to say that with the "biggest challenge" for them was trying to find the right songs, because of their "diverse musical tastes". The one common thread between the five guys? "British bands of the 90s", quipped Ryan, "if not, we would probably be 5 guys in 5 different bands".
Photo credits: Universal Music Singapore/ Ryan Tedder