An odd reality of OneRepublic's [cq] situation is that its frontman, Ryan Tedder, is more prolific as a hitmaker for other than he is for his own group.
The band itself has notched a handful of hits -- including "Apologize," "Stop and Stare" and "Good Life," but on the outside Tedder has produced and written for Adele, B.o.B., Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Jrodin Sparks, Maroon5, Gavin DeGraw, Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis and a slew of others. Nevertheless, Tedder says he's never written one song for someone else that he later wished he'd kept for OneRepublic.
"No, that's never really happened for me," contends the Oklahoma-born Tedder, 34, who co-founded OneRepublic during 2003 in Colorado Springs with guitarist Zach Filkins. "My lyrical approach and even melodic approach is so different on my own than it is with OneRepublic, for starters. There's been moments where I've thought, 'Man, it would be so cool for OneRepublic to have a song that has this kind of feel to it,' but we haven't really taken it that far.
"I'm just so keen on keeping those two worlds separate that it's literally like two completely different hats that I wear. It messes with my brain from time to time; I have to actually re-learn how to not write every song like it's trying to be a hit when I'm doing stuff for (OneRepublic), 'cause when you're writing for other artists, they're pulling you in to write hits, not album tracks.
"But it's not like that with the band."
Tedder's extra-curricular activities certainly don't hurt OneRepublic; the group's third album, "Native," debuted at a career-high No. 4 on the Billboard 200 after its March release. And, Tedder says, being part of "an actual band that plays actual instruments" is still important to him, even though he could comfortable spend all his time behind the scenes.
"There's just no many bands anymore," he explains. "If you look at the Top 50, My God, there might be two bands or something. So it's a weird time right now for bands, especially ones that want to play their actual instruments.
"What we do, it's very unique. There's a lot of bands right now that sound like they're formulated in a lab by a super-producer, and that's not the sound we go for. We don't want to be just noise. There's a lot of noise out there, and faceless bands, and it's challenging to carve out your identity amidst the noise."
OneRepublic and Mayer Hawthorne perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $60 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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