Ryan Tedder, prolific pop songwriter/producer and frontman for OneRepublic, posted a long message to the band’s Facebook wall Thursday (April 27) expressing his disdain for album promotional cycles and teasing the band’s upcoming single, the Stargate collaboration “No Vacancy.”
Most notably, though, the note delves into the mental health issues Tedder struggled with shortly after the release of last year’s Oh My My LP, which led to him calling for a complete pause on the group’s promotion of the album. Tedder explained that after an endless sequence of live dates, recording sessions and promotional appearances for OneRepublic, he “hit a physical, emotional, psychological wall.”
“I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, not sleeping, on meds, not happy, anxiety on a crippling level and it was triggered from sheer exhaustion,” he writes. “I looked at a calendar, realized I had been gone 200 days of 2016 and still had 3 more weeks of being gone. From my family, my wife, my kids, my friends, basically my life. I also realized that had been the last 10 years. At that moment I wanted to quit, and almost did. I called my manager and said ‘pull the plug’… cancel tv’s cancel promo, cancel the single, cancel the album.
“At the time we had a tour planned for the US in February, straight into Europe and then the rest of the world. We were gonna be gone again, for ages. The thought of it literally sent me into a sweat and made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack. Crippling anxiety. It also made me stop writing songs. I didn’t have the motivation or joy necessary to. That’s over now.”
Tedder relates that while Oh My My is his favorite of the band’s albums, the work that went into the album and its promotional minutiae is also what triggered his collapse. Partly as a result of that experience — and partly because he’s grown increasingly frustrated with waiting to release older songs as singles — he writes, “Starting tomorrow, [OneRepublic] will be dropping new music as often as humanly possible.”
The first in that series of new songs will be “No Vacancy,” which will be out Friday, with more new music to follow two weeks later. Tedder writes that the song came from his and Stargate’s attempt to “write a Gotye style song for Selena [Gomez] actually, but when I sang the chorus it just felt right… It had a Police vibe I loved… A month later we ended up doing a concert in the Caribbean and that’s where I finished the lyrics and vocals and instrumental bits.”
He also proclaims the song does not presage a larger project — “It’s not a first single, it’s a song for April” — and that, indeed, the band is done with that type of release schedule altogether. “There are no ‘first singles’, there are no ‘album cycles,’ there’s us getting inspired, writing a tune, and getting it to you fast as we can. Because of Streaming services we can finally do what I’ve wanted to do for years. Some songs you will love, some you may loathe, but guess what?? Wait another couple weeks and you’ll have something new that may just be your favorite thing ever.”
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