Since OneRepublic swung by Bangkok in elephant pants between their 2013 Native Tour dates, fans have been longing for the day they would perform in the city.
Thanks to BEC-Tero Live Nation, last Thursday, September 21 the Colorado band of multihyphenates finally took on the Impact Arena and put on a two-hour debut show. It was packed with spellbinding hits like “Stop and Stare”, “Secrets”, “Apologize” and “Counting Stars”; huge pop anthems including “Kids”, “Good Life”, “Something I Need” and “Love Runs Out”; and stripped down covers of songs which frontman, the “Secret King of Pop”, Ryan Tedder himself penned, namely Beyoncé’s “Halo” and Ed Sheeran’s “Happier”.
Before all of that went down AsiaLive365 attended the show’s press conference where Tedder, Brent Kutzle (bass, cello, keyboard), Zach Filkins (guitar, viola), Drew Brown (guitar, synths) and Eddie Fisher (drums) shared their Bangkok itinerary and talked new music, exciting collaborations, and decade-long journey as a band.
On their second visit to Bangkok
Ryan: The last time we were here we just came for vacation. This time, the second we landed we got out into the city immediately. We went to see a Muay Thai match then to Thip Samai, a famous pad thai place. It was incredible and we walked around that area. A few of us went to the rooftop of the Banyan Tree Hotel, took some photos, had some drinks then it started raining on us so we had to leave. We took a riverboat and visited the Big Buddha and the whole of [Wat Pho] which we’ve been to before but we went back. We’ve kind of just been trying to hit as many things as we can while we’re here. Hopefully, next time we have more time to go to Phuket and other places. We love Thailand. The food’s amazing, the people are so nice and warm. It’s just amazing here, colourful and beautiful.
On Oh My My and “Rich Love”, a new single featuring EDM trio Seeb
Ryan: Oh My My was done while we’re on tour for our last album. It started in 2015 and finished the following year. It was recorded everywhere around the world, probably 15 different countries. “Rich Love” isn’t on the album but we decided to put it out because we’re kind of releasing songs as we finish them. Brent and I wrote the song back in January andFebruary and we didn’t know what to do with it so we sent it to Seeb because they had done the Mike Posner song and the Coldplay remix that we liked. They produced a version of “Rich Love” that we love, and that’s the version that we put out. For us “Rich Love” was the song we wanted to have out this summer. It feels like a summer song – feel-good and uplifting.
On new music
Ryan: We’re working on new music constantly. I’m finishing a song right now with Martin Garrix and us that I’m super excited about. We’ve been FaceTiming every day trying to get it finished. We’re also working on another record potentially featuring Logic that we’re excited about and our own stuff that doesn’t feature anybody.
On OneRepublic today and the path of the band’s success
Ryan: To describe us today, I would say that we’re a patchwork. We’re like a Junya Watanabe-style jacket that’s got a red patch here, a green patch there and then more of different stitchings. Just different patchworks. I don’t know how else to describe this band. It’s very eclectic. We evolve with music as it’s evolving and we end up doing music that reflects the kind of music we’re listening to. We get along. We still like to hang out as a band when we’re in different cities. I think that’s the most important thing: you have to have chemistry as a band. We still love traveling. I mean, we’ve been doing this now for ten years and we’ve been in Asia for over a week now and every single day I’m having the best time. We’re already talking about when we can come back to Asia, what’s the next time we can do, what cities can we do next time that we haven’t done. We need to do Seoul. We want to do Ho Chi Minh City, another place that we haven’t been to. Yeah, we’re a patchwork band, I think. That’s one way to put it. A combination of a lot of different things.
On what they do in their downtime
Zach: We all do some various forms of fitness. That’s very important when you’re on the road. It’s important when you’re sitting on buses and planes to get out and move. Eddie, what else do we do?
Eddie: We paint. We write poems. I’m just kidding! We like to take in the culture, relax, swim, and get a massage and coffee.
Ryan: We like to find really good food, look for some interesting places to eat, not just any typical meal. We don’t eat American food on tour. If we’re in Thailand, we’re not going to TGI Friday’s. When we first toured ten years ago we would do that, but now we’re trying to eat the best places in the countries that we’re in.
Drew: We’ve been doing a lot of record shopping on this past tour. Also riding bikes and (turns to Eddie) painting, actually. And kind of anything that allows us to get out and see the way that the world can look not from a highway. You actually have to work to see the things that make different places unique when so much of the travel that you do is on a freeway or a plane. You have to disrupt your comfort to be an active participant in your surroundings.
Brent: Zach and I just started training in krav maga, which is a martial art. We had an instructor out with us on the last US tour. It’s been fun. So to see the Muay Thai match was super cool for us.