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Interview:
OneRepublic is hard to pin down, and likes it that way
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Brent Kutzie likes to consider OneRepublic "a rock-leaning band." But within that sound is room for a lot of other flavors, which the bassist acknowledges has made it hard for listeners to get a bead on the Denver quintet over the course of its three albums.

"We have to experiment with the music," says Kutzie, 28, who's OneRepublic's primary songwriting collaborator and co-producer with frontman Ryan Tedder. "We have to try everything and anything all the time.

"But that's what keeps it fresh, too. There are no rules. We don't place rules on ourselves as far as our songwriting goes or as far as how the songs should sound. We kind of let the chips fall as they will, and that's what's fun for us."

Nevertheless, OneRepublic's latest album, "Native," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, while its 2007 debut "Dreaming Out Loud" was certified platinum. The group has also had Top 10 hits with "Apologize," "Good Life" and "Native's" "Counting Stars," so Kutzie and company are getting to have their creative cake and eat it, too. And he predicts that will be the same situation as the group gets to work on its fourth album, with some "iPhone demos" already floating around the OneRepublic camp.

"I'm excited for this next album because, like I said, essentially we're a band with no rules," Kutzie explains. "We can dip our toes into any genre, I think, and even our shows are so eclectic. Zach (Filkins) plays flamenco guitar on a song, so now we've talked to each other about writing a flamenco song, a song rooted in a Spanish type of hook.

"I guarantee there will be a song like that. I guarantee there will be kind of a rock face to the album as well. It's always multi-dimensional. That's what keeps it exciting for us."

OneRepublic and the Script perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $29-$75 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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