OneRepublic is the latest act to postpone their new album due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their album Human, originally due in May, will now arrive in the fall. Front man Ryan Tedder tells ABC Audio there were many factors that went into that decision.
“I can tell you as an artist, it feels gross to promote something during this,” he explained. “People [go] ‘But we want new music!’ No, you don’t. You want music that you’re already familiar with, that makes you feel good.”
Plus, Ryan points out that people are really distracted right now.
“If you’re trying to…find new fans and you’re dropping new songs during a global pandemic…you can’t compete with the news cycle,” he notes. “A OneRepublic single cannot compete with Governor Cuomo or Trump or Boris Johnson or CNN.”
The fact that a huge percentage of the world isn’t commuting right now was another factor.
“That’s when people listen to music,” Ryan explains. “You remove a third of the population of the world driving to and from work…there goes a third of the people that will listen to us.”
One exception? OneRepublic’s latest single “Better Days,” written while the band was in quarantine.
“That makes sense right now,” he says. “Us dropping a super-summery bop or whatever, it doesn’t make sense.”
Ryan also says he has no idea when or if some other big albums he worked on — from Adele and Katy Perry to the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus — are going to come out.
“I don’t know. I’m kind of operating in a vacuum,” he admits. “Like the Jonas Brothers: Do I think there will be a full album this year? The plan was for there to be one. We have the track listing…[but] honestly, it changes every day.”