Zach Filkins, lead guitarist of the pop rock band OneRepublic, has always had great passion for music. He spent a majority of his childhood studying the classical guitar when he was in Barcelona, Spain. During his senior year of high school, Filkins befriended future bandmate, Ryan Tedder. After finding out each other’s musical interests, the two finally decided to form a band in 2002, initially called Republic. After a few changes made, Tedder decided to be the lead singer, Filkins played guitar and sang backing vocals, while welcoming new members Eddie Fisher (drums), Brent Kutzie (bass and cello), and Drew Brown (lead guitar). Despite being first signed with Columbia records, the group was eventually dropped before their album was scheduled to be released. The band decided to release songs on their MySpace page in order to stay on mainstream.

Their work would later grab the attention of rapper/producer Timbaland, who later signed the group, making them the first rock band to be part of Mosely’s Music Group. In 2007, the band’s first single, “Apologize,” was featured on Timbaland’s album Shock Value. The song was a major hit as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Pop 100 charts for eight straight weeks. The song, which was released on their debut album Dream Out Loud, was certified 4X platinum and receiving over 5 million digital downloads. Their debut album also had hit singles such as “Say (All I Need),” “Mercy,” and “Stop and Share.” The group also performed on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. They also toured with Maroon 5 and Brandi Carlisle.

The solid start was just the beginning as their second album, Waking Up, was released in 2009 to generally positive reviews. Hit singles such as “All The Right Moves,” “Secrets,” “Marchin’ On” and “Good Life” helped the album become a huge success. They have supported artists such as Pink, and U2, and have had their songs featured in several television shows such as Lost, One Tree Hill, and Gossip Girl.

In our exclusive with the band’s lead guitarist, he talks about topics such as how different their upcoming album will be, favorite places to perform, his favorite artists, and much more!


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  • OneRepublicFan
    OneRepublicFan on

    are u guys coming back to Nashville this year? if so, do u know when?

  • JessicaEdson
    JessicaEdson on

    how do you come up with your great lyrics

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Q: When will your next album come out, and how will it be different from your other albums? - Cur

The release of the album obviously is still somewhat undefined just because of a lot of different factors. The album should be out probably the beginning of next year at some point. The first single might hopefully be out at the end of the year or early next year. The sound of it is something we are obsessing over because we talk about it a lot. We’re not gonna go off into crazy-land and go over everyone’s head. Things are gonna change. There might be a lot more guitar and take the extremes of our influences like movie soundtracks, hip-hop music—take the extremes of all that. Maybe accentuate that a even more. I think it’s also going to be more—I don’t know what the word is—a little more… emotive. I don’t know if the word is all that descriptive. These are kind of the elements that we’re talking about at the moment. There’ll still be the big choruses and things like that. Ryan will still write the melodies he writes so we’re not gonna lose that side of our influence. I think it’s going to be more defined. It’s gonna be the best album in our history of that I have no doubt about that. We’re gonna experiement a little more probably and stretch ourselves a lot.

Q: Howdy Zach ! Laura, Lea & me have to wait very long after the gig in dortmund & we want to ask if u have time to drink sth with us? - KristinaKluge

Q: I love both "Dreaming Out Loud" and "Waking Up" and can't wait for the 3rd album. What's it like trying to reinvent the band's sound for each album and how do you do it? - FRANKthe3RD

Q: What is it like touring around the world and playing music for a living? Courtney xo - CourtneyDunn

Q: Which country do you like playing in? - TrevorBarry

Q: What is your favorite One Republic song all time? And why? :) - xedMCRmy

Q: How will your third album be different from the first two? - TrevorBarry

Q: what is your biggest inspiration? - DianaElenaCanoMaynez

Q: Howdy Zach, do you give a special gig in dortmund too? - KristinaKluge

Q: What guitarists inspire you? - TrevorBarry

Guitarists that inspire me—David Gilmore for sure. I’m kind of blanking out but the guitarist from Portishead, Adrian Utley. You know The Edge inspires just about anyone who wants to play the guitar in a different way. I think those are the ones who inspire me the most.

Q: Do you like visiting Ireland? - TrevorBarry

Q: Will you eventually publish all of your music onto sheet music, or are you withholding it from the public, such as "Passenger"? - MarkBrammer

Q: Which song of yours to date do you like? - TrevorBarry

Q: What they like more to record an album? - DianaElenaCanoMaynez

Q: Zach do you love big boobs ? - KristinaKluge

Q: Are you planning to make a tour of Asia in the coming future? If yes, which countries? - AtabakHafeez

Q: Did you think about having all this success? - DianaElenaCanoMaynez

Q: Hi, first of all I love your music! And does not reassure me and make me feel better ... Well my question is, What is your main inspiration? - NatasshaMirkaMorales

Q: Do you follow soccer? Do you have a favorite? - AtabakHafeez

Q: im wanting to know if you guys will be coming back to Nashville, Tennessee this year? - OneRepublicFan

Q: Are you releasing a new album soon? - AtabakHafeez

Q: Which TV programs do you most enjoy? - AtabakHafeez

Q: What is your favorite song of all time? - AtabakHafeez

Q: When will you all be coming to Oklahoma again? - DonnaRainey

Q: When are you, if ever, coming to Pakistan? - AtabakHafeez

Q: plan to ever come to mexico? when? - IsabeelReyesRojas

Q: Is Ryan Tedder single? - MorganAnderson

Q: so what was the name of that track you guys were producing in mastermix studios in here at south africa??? on the video it had like brent playing a keyboard and their was like a african loop. im just curious to know what song that was. it wasn't everbody loves was different..but yeah ha :) - JonBell

Q: Will you guys be touring during the summer? Specifically anywhere on the east coast? - DanielWeathermanUhler

Q: What was the most exciting moment of the tour for you? - KristinaKluge

Definitely the most exciting part of the last tour was when we were in Zermatt, Switzerland, and we all like to ski and snowboard. The promoter said we all had a day off after the show and the promoter said, “We’re gonna take you guys snowboarding and we might take you in a helicopter.” So we were expecting a short helicopter ride to the top of the hill, which was gonna be enough. But we find out the helicopter ride was a 30-40 minute ride around the Swiss Alps and literally a 360 around the top of the Matterhorn before they dropped us off on the top of the slope. By the time we got to the slope, there was no way—no matter how good the skiing or snowboarding was—there was no way that was going to top that experience—being able to fly around the Matterhorn and seeing all that and the glacier and everything from the bird’s eye view. But the snowboarding turned out to be amazing too. That was probably the best day we had out on the tour. There was no way of beating that.

Q: Where did you come up with the name for the band? ps Orlando rocked!! - RinascitaWellnessCenter

It evolved. It started out as Republic and the reason we wanted something like that is really just because it’s a universal word and it’s easily recognizable, it’s easily remembered. As soon as we heard it, and we thought about and we saw it written out on a map, that’s the name. We changed it to OneRepublic because for one reason, if you Google "Republic," you’re gonna get a few countries, a few banks, before a band like us would come to the top of the list. So there was so much to compete with. We were gonna get lost in the shuffle. We made it OneRepublic which means more to us than just Republic. So we added it for two reasons and that’s what we’ve been ever since.

Q: ohh i have another question is "life in colors" gonna be a new single for this summer??? - JonBell

Q: absence of the band ... would have been in their lives? - IsabeelReyesRojas

Q: I hear that you guys are coming out with a 3RD ALBUM :) Are the songs more similar to that of Waking Up or Dreaming Out Loud? Or is it an entirely new sound? - MadeleineYu

Q: Hey Zach! What's your favorite place to play in the USA and what's your favorite place to play in the world? - KevinTucker

Favorite place to play outside of the U.S.—that’s a tough one. We have some great shows, some great fans everywhere. But at the moment, if we can play outside of a ski resort outside of the U.S., we’ll take that opportunity selfishly just so we can go skiing. Favorite place to play in the U.S. so far—hopefully we’ll get to play in Red Rock in Denver. And that will be our favorite place to play.

Q: What's your favorite song on the radio now? - MadeleineYu

Q: when are you guys coming to houston, texas - JanMartinezWence

Q: How many tracks will there be on the 3rd album? - MadeleineYu

Q: I noticed that your album names all have something to do with sleep, hence – "Dreaming Out Loud" and "Waking Up." Will the third album share the similar theme? - MadeleineYu

That’s a good question. The third album will most likely not share that similar theme. Partly because the whole sleep thing was an accident that we didn’t think about later. And we’re like, 'Oh, wow that’s kind of a funny trick.' And we really didn’t mean for it to be a sleeping theme. If we were to do that in the third album, we’d have to fully commit to it, like Weezer has different color albums. We’d have to fully commit now, every album would have to be called something regarding sleep. So most likely we will not take that direction. Three times actually means you’re locked in for life.

Q: Well, when you see a person on the street (lost), without food, without a home. What do you think?. - KevinTorresOrtega

Q: are you planning to have a tour in latin america? - DanyLarrea

Q: well my life dream is 2 be a famouse singer ur probably thinking so does like every other person but iv wanted to be a singer for like my whole life and i wanted to know wat was ur life dream when u were 12? - AngeliqueWhite

Q: what song uplifting you when you most need it? - PaulinaAndreaCastilloDiaz

Q: What is you favorite song you have done with OneRepublic and why? - LeoriaGibsonBlankenship

Q: Why did u ame ur band OneRepublic - AngeliqueWhite

Q: Are you guys planning to tour in Montreal? - Anoush

Q: What type of viola do you play on "Secrets" and a few of the other songs? Do you prefer an amplified acoustic or electric viola? - BrookeKallevigEikenberry

I prefer acoustic viola for sure. The viola that I play, it’s kinda funny—it’s a no-name viola that was given to Brent when he bought a cello. It was kind of buy a cello, here’s a viola kind of thing. It’s not extremely high quality because we play electric. So it’s not gonna be anything crazy. But I will say that I’m hoping to get one from Luis & Clark, which is a company that makes Brent’s carbon fiber cello and they make cellos as well. I hope to get a viola from them.

Q: Hi Zach! Any plans to retour Australia? Any plans to releases some DVDs? Music videos and live shows? Thanks! Sean - SeanSearle

Q: Would you be interested in making christian songs? - HervBiey

Q: Is OneRepublic going to work with Timbaland again (like on Shock Value 3 or your new project)? - pate0320

Q: When do you expect the 3rd album to come out? - intendrum

Q: My children and I love you guys and your music! Our eldest son Elijah listens to you everyday and wants/has the talent to be a drummer. What your advice be to him? And where do you get your inspiration from? Cheers! - AshleyAzzopardi

Q: Hey,Zach! in the Ekaterinburg i throw on stage plastc bangle with russian flag on it. U Still wearing it? =) - pavelbannicov

Q: what is an important issue that you think should be more sung about to reach the hearts and minds of all humanity? - MelloJello

Q: Why aren't songs like Dreaming Out Loud and Something's Not Right Here available to buy on iTunes? - NicoletteMojica

Q: Hey Zach! What's it like with Leighton and Copeland being only 2 months apart? :) - AbigailLoves1R

Q: Ashley again,from Aurora,CO-could you also give a shout out to all of us military families???? - AshleyAzzopardi

Q: How long have you been playing guitar ? How did you learn to play ? - tonyj23911

Q: Do you have a favorite song to perform if so what is it ? - tonyj23911

Q: Who are your favorite artists right now? What's on your iPod ? - tonyj23911

One of my favorites right now is Ghostland Observatory, largely due to the fact that we saw them live and they’re like a full psychedelic experience live. They’re music’s really cool and it’s really kind of Daft-Punk. So we definitely listen to them. I like Kings of Leon's new album. I like Radiohead, the new Girl Talk album. That’s it at the moment, that’s what I’m rotating right now.

Q: Who did you look up to in music ? - tonyj23911

Q: What would you do during a zombie apocalypse? Where would you hide out? - FionaLeuanglith

[laughs] That’s a real big deal! I would be in a log cabin somewhere in Montana, I think. I’ve actually never been to Montana so that goes to show that I have a very realistic view of Montana. I just picture beautiful mountains with a stream and a log cabin and totally avoiding most of the destruction.

Q: Do you have any funny/embarassing stories to share while on tour with the band? - FionaLeuanglith

Q: what you think about your band,one republic?Why? - LorenaApostol

Q: Are you guys ever going to come to the Pacific Northwest for a concert? - nguyh225

Q: What made you guys choose to incorporate the 'cello into your work? (And I "Apologize" (ha!) if this has already been asked.). And do you try to incorporate it into each song? IMO, it really made "Secrets" pop; the 'cello is probably the most beautiful instrument there is, and how genius of y'all to include it into already awesome music. - ColemanRobison

Q: You rarely switch instruments like your other co-members of the band do. Can you play any other instruments besides guitar or viola? What instrument would you like to learn how to play? - MarcusRepublic

Q: Have you ever woke up one day realizing that you almost came so close to not being apart of OneRepublic? - MarcusRepublic

Q: Do you ever foresee OneRepublic touring different arenas or venues with semi-trucks full of equipment, lighting, instruments, etc. like the size of shows Taylor Swift puts on? - MarcusRepublic

Q: Will the third album be recorded & produced in a home like it was for the second album? Or will it be all done in the studios? - MarcusRepublic

Q: Many artists have at least one music video where they ask their fans to upload a short clip of them mouthing or lip-syncing one of their songs. Will OneRepublic allow fans to be apart of their next music video? - MarcusRepublic

Q: who's your favorite artist that's not OneRepublic and what's your favorite song by your favorite artist? Also, whats your favorite song by your own group and why? - DanielZimmerman

Q: Hello, guys!!! I am your fan from Ukraine... I'm a musician amator.... And I write songs.... I very want to know your opinion, so maybe you can read my songs, please? Maybe I can send them to you and you can read and listen and maybe some my songs will interesting to you and maybe you can give to my songs a capability live in life, please? I really very interesting!!! Thank you for your art!!! P. S. your songs "Apologies" and "All the Right Moves" are great!!! Thank you!!! - humility

Q: Hello, guys!!! I am your fan from Ukraine... I'm a musician amator.... And I write songs.... I very want to know your opinion, so maybe you can read my songs, please? Maybe I can send them to you and you can read and listen and maybe some my songs will interesting to you and maybe you can give to my songs a capability live in life, please? I really very interesting!!! Thank you for your art!!! P. S. your songs "Apologies" and "All the Right Moves" are great!!! Thank you!!! - humility

Q: I love your music! It seems that One Republic is taking over the world with your songs appearing everywhere. With all your success what are some of the things One Republic dreams to do in the future? - BrandiTobiasMandolini

Q: You will arrive again to Czech Republic? PS: You are the best !! :* ♥ - KateinaSlivkov

Q: When are you guys going to coming to Kansas to tour? You have been to every other state but not, Kansas. Hows come an why? - ChrisFalucher

Q: for ryan tedder,who is your favorite singer and why? - maijhun

Q: Good Morining I was on your concert in Prague, and i can say that it was the best show i´ve ever seen! Do you conspire to come back to Czech republic? Thanks you advance, and I´m sorry for my mistakes. - MonikaVeeov

Q: If you have a time machine,when would you like to go back or forward? - tail1024

Q: What roles do you guys play in the band? Who is the funniest man? - tail1024

Q: What is your "secret"? - tail1024

Q: Do you still wear trendy knickers? :-o support allways excuse the pun. - HeatherArblaster

Q: what motivate you guys to keep marching on? - tail1024

Q: Will OneRepublic have someday concert in Bratislava or near Bratislava? - DorotaJagnekov

Q: How is your family if you are the whole time on the road? - AndreaKuehne

Q: Do you know a name of 1R 3rd album? - DorotaJagnekov

Q: what time do you guys sleep and wake up almost everyday ? - yvonne

Q: I live near Tokyo and it has been a really stressful time recently. Listening to your music has helped lift spirits here and we would love you guys to tour here. When will you come to Tokyo for a concert?????? - larahayashi

Q: I live near Tokyo and it has been a really stressful time recently. Listening to your music has helped lift spirits here and we would love you guys to tour here. When will you come to Tokyo for a concert?????? - larahayashi

Q: I live near Tokyo and it has been a really stressful time recently. Listening to your music has helped lift spirits here and we would love you guys to tour here. When will you come to Tokyo for a concert?????? - larahayashi

Q: Do you plan to come to Poland in each tour like to Germany or Netherland ? I beg :) - Olita1RPoland

Q: How it is to be in Luxembourg? Do you like it? =) - IsaMalheiroGonalves

Q: When you guys will be releasing the third album? - MelikeBellek

Q: Do you have a favourite venue? - groovebea

Q: What'S your favourite song to play live? - groovebea

Q: when do OneRepublic come back to austria and when we can hear more songs from the third album ?? - yvi16m

Q: What was the most incredible and memorable encounter with your fans? - MashenkaEl

Q: I would like to ask how you enjoyed Prague..:) and what is name of the guy who filmed it all?? I spoke to him and forgot to ask him...:( oh, and message to Brent - when you are comming back to czech republic,I´ll come, bring our photo on Charles bridge and I´ll find you to sign it for me,OK? :) - Lerietka

Q: how many songs will be on the new album?when we can buy a new song "Live in color" - MahiraBahtiarova

Q: What your favorite film and band? Have you ever heard Hollywood Undead ?if "yes" do you like it? - MahiraBahtiarova

Q: I'm a big fan and I've been waiting for you to come to Sweden. If that ever happen, when do you think it will? - EmericCarlsson

Q: what would you suggest to people who want to make music for the rest of their lives cuz music is what makes them happy, but they haven't really open up themselves to the world, (like, no one knows that except themselves, their close friends & family)? do you think posting youtube videos could lead them to nowhere, or somewhere? Cuz there's so many people who are trying the same,so how can u be sure that hard work and not giving up pays off? How did u remain trying and not giving up after they rejected you from Columbia records? Oh, and what is the best way to get into a songwriting competition, if you are from Croatia, do u have to move to the States to start a music career? Can I be a musician-singer & songwriter even if I don't know any instrument, except my voice? I sing well, but somehow I doubt that's enough to succeed..Can you guys make a video that explains how to make a good song? Where do you start, where do you pick idea from, how do you get inspired? How do you know someone didn't already make a similar song? Thanks, love y'all. - OneRepublicCRO

Q: You guys have a very unique sound, that other bands don't seem interested in. What made you guys want to use instruments like the cello, and violins? - LCstories555

Q: Do you prefer to play a concert outdoors or indoors? Why? - YeoJunChye

Q: I experienced more pozitive feelings on your concert 10 april :) When you will come to Saint Petersburg again? - GaliaTomashpol

Q: Hi Zach! Are you guys planning to make a tour in South America? Would you come one day to Venezuela? - Andru1R

Q: When will come your new album? :) - GaliaTomashpol

Q: Hey :) I am from Poland- we are so excited and can't wait your show in our country...I've got 2 questions...Is there any chance that you will play "Prodigal" during the show ??? I know how this magnificent and breathtaking song is important for you, co I believe that you will persuade guys and make my dream comes true :) Now, time for a serious question...Have you ever quarrelled with guys? Do you sometimes argue about lyrics or melody during creation new album. Thanks for answer. Take care. Dagmara - nozdrynka1

Q: Zach, how did you acquainted with Ryan? :) - GaliaTomashpol

Q: Are you planning on tour new countries/cities, with the third album? - Iheart1Republic

Q: If this music business never happened for you guys, what do you think you guys would be doing right now? (And not, "We wouldn't be answering these questions.") - smilestogo28

Personally, I think would love to try acting but that’s huge, that’s like trying to play lottery. I have this thought that it would be fun to open up a whole personal wellness complex where there’s everything from a personal trainer to a therapist or financial planner. Basically someone could go in and just get all-around help with life. I don’t even know how that would work. There are a lot of different things that sort of get people down in whatever situation—whether it be financial, family, physical, health or whatever. It’ll be cool to have a place that could help with all that.

Q: hey jessica here wanting to know if you guys are going to come back to tulsa anytime soon oh and if get the time will guys follow me back on twitter? - JessicaEdson

Q: How many days in year are you on tour? How your families can stand your long absence? - Olita1RPoland

Q: What would you do if you met zombie goat, for ezample in your bedroom or recording studio ? - kasiaz123

Q: Has the songwriting style changed at all for the band ever since your son and Ryan's son were born? - aliasaddict

Q: You guys seem to love covering songs onstage. What's your favorite song you've covered so far? - aliasaddict

Q: What or who inspired you to be a musician? - heart 1R

Q: Which is your favourite song and why?? (I mean, it can be your song or not..just your n.1 song..) - Lerietka

Q: Which is your favourite song and why?? (I mean, it can be your song or not..just your n.1 song..) - Lerietka

Q: Usually how much does front row seats cost at your concerts? - EstefanyRios

Q: What is your favorite fan cover of "Apologize," & "Secrets?" - MarcusRepublic

Q: How did flamenco style guitar affect how you are today? - danielyeap

Q: On the cover of the your first album is a tree...What is the meaning of this cover??? Dagmara - nozdrynka1

Q: How long would you want to continue creating music and going on tour with OneRepublic? - MaryahDelgado

Q: Would you rather be considered a teen idol singer or normal? - MarinaaLopezAisa

Q: If you could be granted one wish, what would it be? - MagdalenaPawowska

Q: Are you thinking about making a new music video for "Everybody Loves Me"? We think that is a really good song! - MarinaaLopezAisa

Q: Why did you learned guitar? And do the fans get on your nervous sometimes? - PiaWissel

Q: Any plans on touring with Sons of Sylvia later this year? You guys were soo good together in Nashville! Please say YES!! :) - BrendaBellaire

Q: Hey Zach! My name is Dóri, maybe you remember you wrote me a 'love letter' in Vienna, becuase I couldn't be there...It would be so great to see you in Debrecen(in Hungary) I would love to meet you and it would give me so energy for my upcoming exams!xx :D:D:D - VargaDra

Q: When are you guys coming to Puerto Rico? - aneirys12

Q: Any tip for a young guitar player? - loverobertdowneyjr

Q: Will you ever come to central american countries ( Honduras) cuz you havefans here!! - loverobertdowneyjr

Q: is there any new album coming? - loverobertdowneyjr

Q: Hayo, I'm just wondering when you and your extraordinary crew are coming to NZ. It would be incredible.I am a big fan!!! - AshleighRosewarne

Q: Why is there no songbook of waking up yet? Please don't tell us there will never be one =) - Ines

Q: Hello Zach, I want to thank you for OR's concert in Prague. It was truly amazing ;-) My question is: what do you think about Czech Republic, especialy about Czech fans? Thank you for your answer. Say hello to all members of One Republic ;-) Misha - MichaelaHorkov

Q: what's the story for the name "OneRepublic"? - photomak

Q: What are your goals in life as a band and as individuals? And what are you dreams? :) - photomak

Q: How did Brent joined the band?? I am pretty sure it wasn´t like Ryan likes to say, that you tagged "sexiest man in the world" into a google search and it found Brent...:) (but at that statement is a bit of true..:-D ) thanks - Lerietka

Q: Which european country do you like the most? and why? - Honeychild89

Q: What's the best about touring the world? - Honeychild89

Q: How is it being a dad? And what has changed since you got father? - Honeychild89

Q: hey! when you'll come the next time to vienna would you do again a spontaneous gig like in front of the opera house?? please :3 - hellladg34

Q: Do you plan to go back into modeling at any point? - Erik Meers

I wouldn’t mind doing that. I think it would be much later when I’m retired. I don’t mind just doing Sears catalogues or something. Or if something came about and it was sort of attached to One Republic, I think that would be cool. I think I would do something like that, yeah. I wouldn’t rule anything out. It’s a different thing to do for a living. I think it would be fun. I definitely wouldn’t do some of the catalogue stuff I used to do just because If I have time, I’m doing other things. I don’t have time to run to the studio for half a day to take a few pictures. It would have to be something a little more interesting.