Interview with The Sun

Since bursting into music in 2007 with song Apologize, OneRepublic have become a powerhouse in pop.

But Ryan is arguably even bigger as a songwriter, having penned hits including Beyonce’s Halo, Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love and Ed Sheeran’s Happier.

But sitting down for an exclusive interview to address the four-year gap since the group’s last album Oh My My, he admitted it was the industry he loves so much that drove him to breaking point amid a relentless schedule of touring, recording and promo.

Ryan explained: “I was falling apart emotionally, physically, mentally. I hadn’t seen my kids in seven months.

“I was taking Xanax to curb my anxiety and I was having panic attacks and heart palpitations. I was just going too hard. I think I was going to die.

“So the month the album came out, I went to the label and I said, ‘I can’t support this album, I don’t have it in me, I have to have a break. We have not stopped for ten years’.

“I became consumed with, ‘Well, we should be bigger, we should be more successful with higher goals’.

“I remember as it was happening I was going, ‘I’m letting this machine that we created and controlled, now control me’.”

Taking a break from making music meant Ryan was able to spend time with his wife Genevieve and their sons Copeland and Miles — and finally grow up himself.

It inspired the band’s new single Didn’t I, released yesterday, and their fifth album Human, out May 8.

He added: “From the moment you’re an artist, you freeze. I was frozen basically at 19 or 20.

“I got into the business of being a dad, a husband, trying to figure out, ‘Can I do things other than write songs?’

“The last three- and-a-half-years gave me the time to live life, experience things, including friends’ break-ups and divorces.

“Didn’t I is about a horrible divorce, but then the idea of, ‘wasn’t it great while it lasted?’”

While Ryan is now back in the music game, there is one thing he won’t return to — Twitter.

Hitting out at the social networking site, he said: “I got off Twitter three years ago because I f***ing hate it. It is trashy.

“It is wildly dangerous to have an app that allows ghosts to sound off from the privacy of their bedroom. I call them bedroom assassins.

“The world needs less microphones for pieces of s**t. Take the microphones away.”

However, he admitted MySpace was instrumental in getting OneRepublic’s music heard at the beginning of their career.

Ryan said: “There is some hypocrisy because we wouldn’t be a band if it weren’t for social media.”

Whether on Twitter or not, talented Ryan certainly has no problem getting people to listen to his records now.