OneRepublic’s new DVD, Live in South Africa, is out today. In addition to the concert the band played in Johannesburg in 2015, the package also includes a documentary about their insanely rocky road to the top of the charts. Watching it, OneRepublic guitarist Zach Filkins says it makes him “feel blessed” and “extremely thankful.”
The documentary includes early footage of OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder winning an MTV contest years ago that was supposed to be his big break, but that went nowhere. He puts the band together, but they run into many obstacles before finally scoring a hit with “Apologize.” After that, there’s more struggling to prove they weren’t one-hit wonders.
“When I look at [the DVD]…I’m struck by how nothing was easy. Absolutely no part of it was easy for anyone of us,” Zach tells ABC Radio. “The reality was, for a long time, we had no clue whether any of our sacrifices were gonna work…we bet it all.”
“I’m…also extremely thankful for where we are now,” he adds. “I definitely feel blessed and feel like we have to keep going from here to the next step.”
That “next step” is new OneRepublic music, which Zach says they’re working on now, in an attempt to get what he calls “that one or two songs that really represent where we’re going and what we need to do…and as soon as we get those, then they inform everything else.”
But no matter what happens in the future, Zach says the documentary has reminded him that OneRepublic can make it through.
“If we run across difficulties now, we’ve had those before, none of it is a surprise,” he notes. “We should know what to do with difficult times because we’ve had many of them.”