Bill: If you were going to pick a personal favorite OneRepublic song, what would you pick?
Ryan: A favorite OneRepublic song...I would say "Everybody Loves Me" off our new album. Man, I just never did anything like it, and I don't know if we ever will again, but...you just have to hear it. We did it in South Africa when we were on tour, and...yeah, I'd say that's my favorite. If you ask me two or three days from now I might give you a different answer.
Bill: What about a favorite song for another artist?
Ryan: I've gotta be honest, man, "Already Gone" still gives me goosebumps. I love the crap out of "Already Gone." I love that one and for the first time ever, last week in Orlando I heard "Happy," the Leona song, on the radio, and that might be my new favorite. That's one of my favorite songs of all time I think that I've written or had any part of. I can say honestly that what I was tallking about a minute ago about writing the kind of songs that people can actually, that can change people's lives and actually affect people, that's one of those songs. Those are the kind of songs that when I'm old and gray and not writing anymore, "Happy" is the kind of song I want to be known for. Those kind of songs.
Bill: In the current tour, is there anything in particular fans should look for from OneRepublic?
Ryan: A lot more energy, I can tell you that much. I really do love our first album. I don't have any complaints about it. Once we started touring on it, I realized, "Oh crap, I just put together an album of 11 midtempos." You don't realize that until you start touring. You realize, "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to write a bunch of ballads." So this album has a lot more energy to it. The first single is an indicator. There's a lot more energy. We still have ballads and midtempos. I'm not an idiot. I know kind of what we've built. I know the sound that we've garnered fans for. We definitely made sure we weren't going to leave the fans that we do have high and dry on this record. I can say 100% that people that were fans of the first album will, I think, absolutely be fans of this album and will connect with it.
As far as live, 50% of our live show is the first album, and right around 50% is things off the new album, and then we do a couple cover songs. We try to keep it interesting, particularly when you're opening. Our goal opening for Rob Thomas, Lenny Kravitz, or whoever it is...you've got 30 to 45 minutes, and my goal at the end of 45 minutes is, 5,000 or 10,000 or however many people are in the crowd, that we've won them over by the last song. That's really the goal. So our shows are another level of excitement compared to what it was.
Bill: Is there anything in particular we should watch for from your outside projects this fall?
Ryan: Yeah, you should look out for Adam Lambert. I've done, as of now, and it could change, but as of now, four songs for his album. I've never watched American Idol until this year. Ironically, I've worked with enough of them you think I would have, but I never had. But this year I saw that guy and thought, "Man this guy's out of his mind, it's amazing." Finally something different. This guy doesn't care. I love it, and so I did four songs with him. I'm not going to say what the single is. I'm actually trying to find out what the first single is right now. I'll just say I've got these two now that are in contention. I would love, of course, to have the single.
I'm working with Adele. I'm really excited about it. She's one of my favorite artists in the world.
As far as things coming up, I've got another single on Leona Lewis called "You Don't Care" that is one of my favorite songs. I pushed her vocally more on this song than any song she's ever done. I mean, she did some stuff on "Happy" that's awesome, but this other song she takes it to another level.
That's pretty much...there's other stuff coming out on other artists. You know, I'm working on Rihanna and some other stuff, but I try to be calculated in terms of how I spend my time. I don't have the luxury of sitting around 24 hours a day writing like some other writers do, so I really have to focus on connecting the right song with the right artist...I'm not trying to cash out and I never got into this for the money, and so for me it's just more about quality...my goal in modern music is to remind people about real songs, to try to write songs in the traditional sense and still connect with people.