An Interview With One Of The Former Founding One Republic Members, Turned Solo Star, TIM MYERS!
From 2004-2007, Tim Myers was part of the pop group, One Republic. He was with the band when they released their mega hit debut record, Dreaming Out Loud. This album had the hit songs, “Stop And Stare”, “Apologize” and “Say (All I Need)”.
After leaving One Republic, Myers set out on a very promising solo career with continues today. Earlier this year, he released his sophomore album, The Year. Its first single, “Hills to Climb” is making a lot of noise.
Learn more about this very talented singer-songwriter in the following interview:
Can you remember the moment that you decided to be a musician? Was your family always supportive of this passion?
I was 5 years old! I started playing piano and always loved singing. There was a singing group for kids and I tried out for it and got in! We got to play Anaheim Stadium, San Diego Stadium and perform on TV and make a few records. I’m very fortunate, my parents have always been extremely supportive. They bought me an amp and guitar when I was teen and let my band practice in our house. I grew up poor and my parents definitely could not afford it, but were so supportive of the music!
Did you really start writing songs at age 14? What were they about at that young age?
haha YES! They were horrible! I had a band and my parents bought studio time and everything! I don’t think the songs were love songs, they were more like “life” songs. One of the songs was called “Finish Line” and was about running life’s races and obstacles. haha pretty deep for a kid. Just recently I heard two of the recordings and it was pretty hilarious/cute.
From 2004 to 2007, you were the bass player for the hit pop group, One Republic. How did you get to be apart of that group? What was that experience like? Are you still in touch with the guys of One Republic today?
It was overall such a great experience, I feel so lucky! I met one of Ryan Tedder’s roommates when I was filling in for bass at a church in Malibu with some of the Lifehouse guys. He asked me to come down and meet Ryan (lead singer) in LA at their place, by the way did mention I was only 19 years old! Crazy. I almost turned away when he answered the door because he looked like he fell off an Oklahoma tractor, his style was horrific. He played me a few songs and it was undeniable, he was so talented, we decided to start a band. I brought in a few musicians from bands I played with, he brought in a few friends and the rest is history. We started writing several songs together, it was so fun recording the first album, and the second album I have several songs as well. The only negative experience I had was a lost a lot of confidence about my voice. I was told several times by a certain member that my voice “was bad” and that I “couldn’t sing” and it took years to overcome that bullying of sorts. But I’m so happy that happened because it helped me become stronger. I’m so thankful to have learned so much about the music industry good and bad from that experience.
You have also written songs for a number of artists. What collaboration has been the most fun or most rewarding for you?
There’s so many. Just recently I wrote with Capital Cities, I’m a huge fan of “Safe & Sound” and we all feel like we wrote a hit! Joy Williams of the Civil Wars was incredible, we wrote several songs together. Ke$ha was my demo singer before she was famous, she sang on 12 of my songs. We wrote several songs together for her as an artist, and she is so talented. Michelle Branch, Lenka, Meiko and Ben Lee are some of my favorite collabs too.
Who would you still love to work with and why?
Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan hands down. Two of the greatest living songwriters still alive, either one would be a dream come true. Paul obviously is pure genius, great melodies, lyrics, plays every instrument, master at recording. Bob Dylan, great lyricist, poet, all around king of cool. I think we would have a poetic field day together.
Why did you ultimately decide to break away from One Republic and release solo records? Do you think you prefer being a solo artist as opposed to being in a band?
100% breaking away was the best thing that ever happened to me! I love writing and recording, I do it everyday! everyday I wake up and write and record songs, except on weekends haha. I’m so lucky that I have an outlet: tv/film and commercials for my songs to be heard and make a great living doing it. I’ve had songs all over the TV the last few years and I’m so thankful I can do that. If I was in One Republic I would be touring non-stop and not able to do the creative process everyday. Also, I have a family, a beautiful wife, a 3 year old and a new baby girl due any day now! I LOVE being with my family. There were several reasons why I left but the main reasons were a) I love singing, writing, recording as a solo artist and I couldn’t due both, b) I hate touring all the time and c) the bullying of a certain member was too much.
How has your music grown since you started playing and writing songs?
It’s grown a lot! Musically learning more about chord progressions, lyrically getting more poetic and learning from the masters like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Hooks learning more from the greats. The more songs I write the better and better it gets with each passing year. At this point I probably have written over 1,000 songs but I’m not sure. haha
Your music has been featured in a ton of commercials, TV shows and movies. Do you still get excited when you hear one of your songs on TV? What’s been the coolest show to be a part of so far?
I still get very excited when I hear my songs on TV shows or movies! There’s so many, I’m so proud of all the commercials for Target, Apple, Toyota, Google, Verizon, and all the trailers. “Hills To Climb” my single on my new album The Year was featured in trailers for “The Judge” and for the movie “When The Game Stands Tall” and NBC Promos! When I heard the song blasting in the theaters it was so exciting!! Almost every song off the album The Year has been placed in a commercial, tv show or movie. I feel so thankful and blessed that it’s getting such a huge response. I never expected it to happen.
Let’s talk about your latest album, The Year. Can you explain how exactly it is a concept album?
It’s a concept album, each song is a month of the year, January: Get Out Of Here, February: Smoking Gun, etc. It takes you through the year in someone’s life. At first it was about an imaginary story that I created in my head about someone who had been damaged, the first two songs are very dark. Then “It’s My Life” and “Hills To Climb” hit and it’s all about overcoming these obstacles and moving forward. This person leaves town and moves away to start a new life. The summer months come and it’s happy, the person falls in love. The final months are all retro-spective. After I was done it become very obvious to me that this album became autobiographical and I didn’t even know it. If you could compact my life so far, you could compact it into this album The Year. The album is so orchestral, almost every song has real strings on it, I’m extremely proud of this album, it’s the best thing I’ve done so far.
I have read that you brought in friends to play the violin, cello and viola on the album. What was that experience like?
I brought in friends that played violin, cello, viola and I really wanted to create a cinematic album, I did all the orchestral arrangements. I created my own mini orchestra and we layered several parts to make it sound like we recorded a whole symphony. I love strings, it just takes a song to another level.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I love alternative music. We live in such amazing times and there’s such great music out there right now. I also find myself lately being inspired by paintings and poets. I’m very inspired recently by the poems of Alan Gainsberg, particularly “Howl” I want to write a song called “Howl” I’m way into art and often art can inspire my music. I would love to do some songs based on “portraits.”
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
I remember back in my One Republic days becoming friends with Katy Perry, I asked her out on a date and she came over to my apartment at the time to leave from there to go on a date. I asked her where she wanted to go, I named some “fancy” restaurants in LA and she said “let’s go to In-N-Out burger” and it was hilarious. When we were recording the first OneRepublic album I asked her to come over, we were actually filming it that day so somewhere there’s a video. She came in and put a pillow under her t-shirt and said “Tim I’m having your baby” and instantly the attention was off all us and on Katy. Pretty funny.
If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I think there’s a lot that needs to change and it will. The major label system needs to change with the times. I think a lot of focus is on radio, I love radio, but there’s a whole other world out there. TV/Film and commercials are so amazing, I wish majors could jump on board more with promoting artists in this form. I also think streaming has overcome music sales, major labels need to start becoming more creative on how to create revenue for the artists and themselves through steaming, or they will be left behind.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
To be uplifted and not torn down. I want people to feel strength and love and happiness from my music. I want them after listening to my songs to feel something, to relate it to their own lives, to feel empowered, to feel beauty, to feel love. I want them to think and discover more about themselves through my music.