Before last week's "American Idol" finale, where they took the stage at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live to perform their hit song "Apologize" alongside 17-year-old David Archuleta, the guys in OneRepublic didn't count themselves among the "Idol" faithful. In fact, they only started paying attention to the televised talent competition the previous week, when they found out they'd be appearing on one of the highest-rated programs of 2008.
"We were in London last week, and we got a call right before we came back to the States saying, 'You're not going to believe this, but you're playing the "American Idol" finale,' " recalled frontman Ryan Tedder, who hobbled his way down the "Idol" red carpet on crutches, having torn his Achilles tendon ("I was on the beach, and these baby seals were getting clubbed, and I ran up and stopped the clubbing, and they clubbed me," he joked).
Tedder, who called his injury "so painful" and one of "the worst things" he'd experienced, said the band just returned from Paris, where they shot a video for their next single from Dreaming Out Loud, "Say (All I Need)." Tedder — who has written songs for Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, Ludacris, Hilary Duff, Timbaland and Jennifer Hudson — revealed that the clip features a grunge icon.
"We have a little cameo in the video: Chris Cornell shows up in the first few frames," he said. "We shot it in the old section of Paris. The song's about living in Los Angeles the last five years, and we were in Europe and wanted to make the video. We've been lucky enough to have as much success overseas as we've had in the States, so we thought, when else are we going to have time to shoot a video in Europe?"
In the clip, the boys are seen wandering the streets of Paris, ending up on a rooftop. The video was shot half in color and half in black and white. "We wanted to make a piece of art and do something beautiful and inspiring," said Tedder, who is now working with Kelly Clarkson. "We've just started promoting it, and it's my favorite track on the record. People who liked 'Apologize' will love it."
In fact, the band asked the "Idol" producers if they could play "Say (All I Need)" during the finale, but it didn't work out. "They wanted us to do 'Apologize,' so it was a bit of a trade-off," Tedder said. "But in the end, we figured, 'Whatever, let's do it.' "