February 8, 2018 Interview – Tim Myers
As one of the founding members of the multi-platinum, internationally-beloved recording group OneRepublic, Tim Myers’ was practically destined for musical greatness at a young age. An accomplished creator with over a thousand major musical placements in feature films, TV shows, and commercials, Myers knows a little something about music. He is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and record exec who dabbles in all aspects of his musical passion on a daily basis, embracing inspiration as he works with others to create great new things. With a healthy career firmly planted beneath his creative feet, Myers has recently decided to place himself front-and-center with his solo debut, Portraits, which was released on January 5, 2018, thanks to Palladium Records.
With his album finally in the hands of the fans, Myers recently sat down to discuss his musical influences, OneRepublic, collaborative writing, friends, Palladium Records, films, and all things Portraits.
CrypticRock.com – You are one of the founding members of the multi-platinum, world-renowned band OneRepublic. What did your time with the band teach you about the industry, and how did it prepare you for your future in music?
Tim Myers – It taught me a lot! Playing in a band can be so much fun; it’s like being married to 5 different people. There’s differences, but the love for music bonds you close together. I had so much fun in OneRepublic! I learned a lot about songwriting and production, I was so young. I co-wrote “Stop & Stare” when I was 19-years-old and some of those other OneRepublic hits; I really didn’t know what I was doing. I still feel like I’m always learning new things, but those formative band years really taught me about the writing and recording process and I took some of those tricks with me that I picked up for the last several years in my writing process.
CrypticRock.com – Being able to learn and move forward with that knowledge is a great career-builder! Obviously you have been able to parlay your knowledge into working with other artists, and you have written songs with and for a truly eclectic list of artists – ranging from Capital Cities and Five for Fighting to Hailee Steinfeld, Ke$ha, and many more. What is it like working with such an array of unique artists, and what does that bring to your own art, inspiration-wise?
Tim Myers – It’s a blast writing for other artists! Ke$ha was one of my favorite collaborations: she is so eccentric and fun. She is one of the best ad-libber vocalists I have ever seen: she’ll think of the funniest, off-the-wall, ad lib free-style lyrics in the vocal booth. We wrote together for her music, but she also would come in the studio and just sing on things for a demo vocalist’s fee. She was always so cool and helpful. One of the Ke$ha songs we wrote was one of the main songs for American Idol for years that she performed as an artist.
Capital Cities was like a giant party and I felt almost like the dad – which I am a dad – in the studio, keeping it all together and on track; which is ironic because in my early days in OneRepublic, I was the party animal. They actually played my wedding as an ’80s cover band! They dressed up in ’80s nerd outfits and it was a blast!
John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting is such a gifted writer and producer! He actually doesn’t know this, but when I was a kid (17/18) I would sit in the studio and watch them record. My friend Mikal was producing their record and I would sit in on the sessions and hang out. I didn’t write with him and produce music for Five For Fighting till a decade later. One of the songs we wrote together got in a lot of TV, film, and commercials, it was a TV film hit. We are both huge Kings fans and he has taken me to a few games.
It’s great with all of these artists because you build so many long-lasting friendships, the stories are endless.
CrypticRock.com – It is a true blessing to be able to work with your friends and people who truly inspire you, no? Now, as if you don’t already have enough hats to wear, you are also CEO and founder of Palladium Records. What made you want to run your own label?
Tim Myers – I started Palladium with no expectations of where it is now. There’s over 30 artists on Palladium’s roster and there’s been thousands of syncs in TV, film, and commercials with all the songs. It’s amazing how much it’s grown in such a short amount of time. I’m so excited to see where the future takes all these artists and it’s so exciting to be a part of changing people’s lives at the ground level. It’s a lot of fun! It can be very stressful, but at the end of the day, music is the most rewarding work.
CrypticRock.com – It is wonderful to know that something you are doing is bringing joy to others, absolutely. As the man behind the desk, what intrigues you in an artist/band and makes you want to sign them?
Tim Myers – A lot of times I’m looking for that really special voice! I’m all about the vocals and if the person has a unique, amazing, one of a kind voice… I know that’s really simple, but I don’t look at if the person dresses really cool, is fit, or has a good look. I don’t care about that at all because you don’t listen to great music with your eyes. I’m looking for people who can also write great melodies, and bring something really unique and one of a kind to the table in the writing process. At the end of the day, those special songs can be written or produced, so it really is all about the voice for me and what they can do.
CrypticRock.com – That is a great approach to take because it really should be about the music and the true talent and never the look or the packaging. To speak about your music specifically now, let’s discuss your debut full-length album, Portraits, which is scheduled for release in the spring. There are a myriad of sounds on Portraits, where you cross genres and bend sounds to tell a collection of sonic stories. Who are your musical influences and what inspires you, lyrically?
Tim Myers – There are so many influences: The Beatles, Bowie, Beach Boys, Dylan, Stones, Nirvana, and modern day influences like Passion Pit, Phoenix, MGMT, and Alternative-Dance music. The album is a mix of a lot of genres: Alternative, Dance, Folk and Rock. Lyrically, I’m influenced by a lot from Dylan and The Beatles, and modern day Alt music.
CrypticRock.com – Your diverse influences definitely show throughout the album. In fact, some of the songs on Portraits lean toward an Indie-Pop style, while others have a heavy Folk influence. In fact, these gentler, more acoustic-driven tracks are where you truly shine. What are some of your personal favorite tracks on the album? Which songs do you most look forward to performing live?
Tim Myers – I really love “Portrait of Home,” that’s my favorite song on the album. I’m really proud of that one! It was fun experimenting with more dance music on this album; I haven’t really explored that side too much.
CrypticRock.com – Getting people’s hips shaking is never a bad thing! Obviously, to add to the fun, you have some amazing guest appearances throughout the collection, with a standout being Phillip Phillips on the new single, “Mother.” How do you decide who you’d like to approach to collaborate with on a project?
Tim Myers – I love Phillip and we’ve written a few songs together. I approached him about the songwriting collaboration and he loved the idea. It was so fun doing this song! We actually didn’t write this particular song in person, we wrote it over Skype.
CrypticRock.com – That is very cool and it’s actually somewhat curious to consider Skype as a kind of songwriter’s assistant. Now, presumably, you will be heading out on the road to support Portraits and bring it to the fans. What can we expect from a tour?
Tim Myers – I love performing live, it’s always so much fun. I love to really move and dance around, I really get into it. I can’t wait to see a lot of familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while!
CrypticRock.com – There is no doubt your fans are equally excited to see you light up the stage! Beyond all of this, what can fans expect next from Tim Myers?
Tim Myers – I’m writing and recording a lot. I have some movies and end titles I’ve written songs for. There’s a lot going on and I’m so excited for this year!
CrypticRock.com – Sounds like it will be a big year. Last question. At CrypticRock, we cover music as well as films, especially those in the Horror and Sci-Fi genres. Are you a fan of either of these genres and, if so, what are some of your favorite Horror and/or Sci-Fi films?
Tim Myers – I watch a lot of movies! I love, like everybody, Star Wars! I’m really looking forward to Solo. I know there’s been a lot of haters, there’s a lot to be skeptical about, but I love Ron Howard. He’s a fantastic director and I think Solo is going to be great. Like a lot of people, I thought The Last Jedi (2017) could have been a little better with Luke’s story. I wasn’t a fan of his send off, but overall I thought it was so much better than the prequels and I was totally entertained. My wife and I just binge watched all 8 Harry Potters in two weeks, which was hilarious.