It's Too Late for OneRepublic to Apologize

I go way back with the now ever-present pop-rockin' guys in the super-clean, Timbaland-tested, mom-approved OneRepublic. I mean, we both rep Colorado Springs, and I've spoken to the members a few times over the phone.

OK, so we only spoke once. But it was for a cover story on how the band was pretty much the biggest thing to come out of the Springs since Nikola Tesla and evangelicalism. Very flattering stuff. Their parents even e-mailed and called me to tell me how much they liked it. True story!

So you'd think I'd have some pull with OneRepublic's camp. Like maybe some free guest-list tickets to the band's upcoming and, shockingly enough, sold-out House of Blues show? Just so I could stop in and say hi?

Nope. Apparently these guys didn't get how much I've done—out of the sheer goodness of my heart, no less—just to help out their careers. Forget the fact that my story on them came out after the band had already broken the all-time record for the most Top 40 radio spins in the country in one week for its Timbaland-featured song "Apologize (Remix)." And dismiss the coincidence of how, just last month, when I DVR'd a few overnight music video shows to see what the music video channels were spinning these days, OneRepublic's "Apologize (Remix)" video showed up on each and every show.

Listen: It's not like I think I "broke" OneRepublic. I didn't. But, I mean, I did kind of humanize their coming into the spotlight and make them heroes in their hometown. You'd think that'd count for something, right? Wrong.

Luckily, before I fully gave up on my reporting capabilities, I finally reached OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. We set up an interview (via a compact disc listening session) with me here in Dallas and Tedder on my computer (speakers, via the ubiquitous song, "Apologize (Remix)" on the band's debut album, Dreaming Out Loud). Timbaland even showed up! Which was kind of cool...

Hey, is this Ryan?

Timbaland: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Doesn't really sound like Ryan. You sure this isn't Timbaland?

Timbaland: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tim? Be a sport and find Ryan for me?

Tedder: I'm holding on your rope. Got me 10 feet off the ground.

Huh? Ryan? Is that you? What'd you say you were doing?

Tedder: I'm hearing what you say. But I just can't make a sound.

I'm confused.

Tedder: You tell me that you need me.

Um, yeah, well, I did want to interview you about your upcoming gig at the House of Blues here in Dallas. It's sold out, right? That's gotta be exciting...

Timbaland: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Trying to talk to Ryan here, Tim...

Tedder: Then you go and cut me down!

What? No I didn't—

Tedder: But wait...

I will not wait! You will hear me out!

Tedder: You tell me that you're sorry.

Hell no! I didn't do anything. Unless...wait—are you upset at the review I gave your CD when it came out? How I said that all your songs sound alike and how I said, "Piano backed with ambient strings and guitars can only go so far." Is that what this is about?

Tedder: Didn't think I'd turn around and say that it's too late to apologize.

No, that's pretty much exactly what I expected you to "turn around and say." I think that's what everyone expected you to say. This goddamn song won't die. That's got to be both a blessing and a curse, right?

Tedder: It's too late. [Tedder and Timbaland say "yeah" and "whoa" a lot.]

I'll take that as a yes. And, on that note, I'm gonna end this interview.

Tedder: I'd take another chance, take a fall, take a shot for you. And I need you like a heart needs a beat.

That's...sweet? But I really don't want to deal with you guys and this song any more.

[Tedder rambles on about apologizing for another minute or so. Timbaland continues to announce his agreement somewhere in the ambient background.]

OK. Thanks, guys.

Tedder: I'm holding on your rope. Got me 10 feet off the ground.

Oh, just shut up already.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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