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For OneRepublic, "Throwing Darts" Led to "Counting Stars"

Image courtesy of Image Courtesy LeAnn Mueller/Interscope Records (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Image Courtesy LeAnn Mueller/Interscope Records (via ABC News Radio)

OneRepublic 's debut single, "Apologize," which came out in 2007, was a huge hit -- and it only took them another six years to score a song that was just as big. 

"Counting Stars" is the only OneRepublic single that's matched the chart position of "Apologize," and it's a song that revitalized their career -- and their album Native -- in a big way.  So why did it take OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder -- a guy who's written and produced huge hits for everyone from Adele to Kelly Clarkson to Beyonce -- so long to come up with another massive hit for his own band?  He says it's because the band's gradually been honing their sound until they finally hit the musical jackpot.

"I feel like for the last six years, we've kind of been throwing darts a bit," he tells ABC News Radio. "And we have an idea of where the bulls-eye is.  And our vision's just gotten better and better...so we get more accurate."  In other words, "Counting Stars" hit the bullseye.  But why?

"When we did 'Counting Stars,' I remember telling the band: 'Guys, this represents...what I like about music and, I think, what we are, better than any song."  And I think the reason that it reacted so big is that it was true.  It was the truest form of what we were when we recorded it."

Ryan wrote "Counting Stars" about a time in the band's life when they had no money and no record deal, and he despaired of ever becoming successful.  Noting that a song inspired by failure led them to their biggest success, Ryan laughs, "That is kind of funny, yeah.  The irony is very, very thick." 

OneRepublic's North American summer tour in support of Native and their latest hit, "Love Runs Out" through the end of this month.  The band will then head to Europe in the fall for a batch of new tour dates.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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