OneRepublic kicks off a big tour Thursday night with Sara Bareilles in their home state of Colorado. One song they're sure to play at that gig is their latest hit, "Counting Stars," which looks back to a time when they weren't playing to sold-out venues and racking up hits.
"That was one of the quickest lyrical songs on the whole album," lead singer Ryan Tedder tells ABC News Radio. "I mean, I sat down and it was, 'Lately, I've been I've been losing sleep dreaming about the things that we could be.'" According to Ryan, those words were inspired by his own life, during a time when it looked like the band wasn't going to make it, and he felt like a failure.
"All I was thinking about was how many years I laid awake in bed, not sleeping, or woke up and I would sit there thinking, 'I'm not as far along as I should be' for the age that I was at," he recalls. "When I was 25, 26, when we got dropped [from our record label], I remember that whole next year just laying in bed going, 'Is this my life?'"
"The thing that I wanted to be, that I wanted to do, just got ripped away from me," Ryan says recalling that dark time. "And now I'm worrying about, like, 'How are we going to move out of this apartment? I'm so sick of worrying about money. I'm so sick of stressing about money.'"
Ryan says he wrote the song "thinking of the day when the more important thing is counting stars, [not] counting dollars," adding, "That's what inspired it, which I think a lot of people can connect with."
Of course, these days Ryan doesn't have to worry about money. Not only is OneRepublic successful, but he's made tons of cash himself, writing hits for the likes of Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Maroon 5 and Gavin DeGraw.
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