OneRepublic Talks Hitting the 'Reset Button' and How It Has Resulted in Their Favorite Tour So Far
"For the first time ever we feel like we have long-term fans," says frontman Ryan Tedder.
Summer 2017 has seen a resurgence for OneRepublic, as the band has been performing all around the country on the 2017 Honda Civic Tour -- their first official tour since promoting their third studio album Native in 2015. Despite releasing a new album last October (Oh My My), none of the group's five members (frontman Ryan Tedder, drummer Eddie Fisher and guitarists Drew Brown, Zach Filkins and Brent Kutzle) were really all that enthusiastic about playing those songs on the road.
"I couldn’t even listen to our album -- it just made me feel exhausted, depressed," Tedder tells Billboard prior to their July 29 show at Long Island's Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, touching on the near-breakdown he discussed in an open letter to fans in April.
Adds Filkins, "I needed silence, i needed a non-musical environment. But after taking all that time off, I hit the reset button."
That said reset button resulted in a newfound love for their craft, which in turn resulted in the group's newest singles "No Vacancy" and "Rich Love." Clearly their rekindled spirit was felt within those new songs, too, as OneRepublic went from 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify to 21 million with the two releases alone -- a reaction Tedder says they could genuinely feel with their ticket sales, too.
"We’ve been around 10 years. [We knew] we were either going to put this on sale and sell a shit ton of tickets or not. And we ended up doing that. We added some dates in some cities," he asserts. "The shows, for the most part the crowd feels the same as they did two years ago when we were promoting 'Counting Stars.'"
As Tedder suggests, all five guys insist that things are going better than they could've imagined on their latest tour, especially after coming close to not touring after Oh My My at all. Part of the reason they've been able to enjoy their trek so much is the "cultural imbibing" they've been able to do: Scootering their Honda Rukuses around Pittsburgh, taking the subways in New York City and running from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. And they'll likely continue those experiences as they kick off the second half of the Honda Civic Tour in Auburn, Washington, Tuesday (Aug. 22), something Tedder recognizes that they're lucky to do.
"I can say that based on about 50 artists that I’ve talked touring with, we get out more than probably 99 percent of them. Part of it is, if you’re not just a huge artist but you’re also a celebrity, you’re a prisoner in your hotel. And I’ve had this conversation with [Justin] Timberlake, Scooter [Braun] behest to [Justin] Bieber, Adele -- I’ve gone out with her in the city and it’s a different scene. You’ve got five ex-SAS or Navy Seals shadowing you. Whatever level of success that is, I don’t want that."
Another thing they feel fortunate about on this trek specifically is the food they've been able to experience in a handful of the cities. As part of a partnership with Civic Tour City Flavor, the OneRepublic guys have had some of the best food truck cuisine in bigger markets like Nashville and Detroit -- giving a shout-out to Hattie B's chicken of Nashville -- which is both making their tour lives tastier and more convenient.
But perhaps one of the bigger things playing into the good vibes on the Honda Civic Tour (which also features special guests Fitz & the Tantrums and James Arthur) is the evolution some of the tour stops have seen. "One thing that I’ve noticed is different is I feel like America has changed a lot in the last couple of years since we’ve done a proper tour here," Brown says. "And we’re going to places we’ve been before that feel very different and kind of revitalized. Places like Indianapolis, Kansas City -- in Kansas City there’s like 8,000 people on the street on a Friday and I didn't see anyone getting beaten up for having pink hair."
Tedder concurs, adding that the food is playing into that change: "The power is now shifting whether it’s restaurants, community coffee shops, food -- very much, you can feel that it is the guiding force of how things are evolving right now culturally and community by community in every city."
With so many positive experiences playing into one tour, the doubt that was once surrounding the band has turned into excitement. And no matter the surrounding circumstances, what OneRepublic's latest trek has ultimately proven to them is that their fans are here to stay.
"For the first time ever we feel like we have long-term fans, and you just have no idea until you’ve been around long enough," Tedder says. "I think this tour so far has been my favorite -- and now we're more excited than ever to put out new music."
OneRepublic 2017 Honda Civic Tour Dates:
Aug. 22: Auburn, WA, USA at White River Amphitheatre
Aug. 23: Ridgefield, WA, USA at Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre
Aug. 25: Wheatland, CA, USA at Toyota Amphitheatre
Aug. 26: Mountain View, CA, USA at Shoreline Amphitheatre
Aug. 27: Concord, CA, USA at Concord Pavilion
Aug. 29: Phoenix, AZ, USA at Ak-Chin Pavilion
Aug. 31: Inglewood, CA, USA at The Forum
Sept. 1: Chula Vista, CA, USA at Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 2: Anaheim, CA, USA at HONDA Center
Sept. 6: Salt Lake City, UT, USA at USANA Amphitheatre
Sept. 8: Englewood, CO, USA at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Sept. 9: Englewood, CO, USA at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Sept. 11: Dallas, TX, USA at Starplex Pavilion
Sept. 12: The Woodlands, TX, USA at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sept. 15: Marina Bay, Singapore at Singapore Grand Prix
Sept. 17: Taipei, Taiwan at Nangan C3 Field
Sept. 19: Hong Kong, China at Asia World Arena
Sept. 21: Bangkok, Thailand at Impact Arena
Sept. 25: Tokyo, Japan at Zepp