OneRepublic Decodes “Stop and Stare”

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After watching the awesome-but-hard-to-follow video for “Stop and Stare” by OneRepublic, we were left with some questions. For example — who’s the old guy? Where’s that creepy motel? Did this cost as much as a movie? Luckily, OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder is such a nice fellow, he stopped by to walk us through the imagery-laden musical epic, plus fill us in on the band’s next video.

1. This video almost didn?t happen.
?We had written a treatment originally, and it just got too complicated and over-budget,? Tedder said. Originally set on the Lower East Side, the band settled for the desert locale when director Anthony Mandler submitted his treatment. ?We got [the expense of the video] down from $620,000 to $450,000?which for a new band ? no bands are getting that kind of budget right now.?

2. Don?t worry; you?re not the only one confused.
?A lot of people have questions as to what [the video?s] about,? says Tedder. ?Any time you see a shot of me, it?s me contemplating where I?m at in my life when the song was written. The grave and the priest represent death, and the girl who?s later pregnant represents birth and life.?

3. OneRepublic said no?to sponsors.
?The video got really convoluted at one point. To be honest, there were sponsors and different things. The one scene that really helped define who [the girl] was got stupid, because we had to incorporate this [champagne] sponsor into it. We pulled the plug on the company altogether. We gave them back their money, but unfortunately we lost the scene with her.?

4. Timbaland is not the lead singer of OneRepublic.
The success of Timbaland?s remix of ?Apologize? also brought along an unfortunate side effect ? no one had any idea who the band was. ?The head of our label, he was right, he said, ?Man, I don?t care how big this song gets, there?s still people out there that think you?re a black boy band. They see Timbaland and they hear you singing and they don?t know what it is,?? says Tedder.

5. If you think ?Stop and Stare? is good, wait for the next one?
?It?s our biggest song on the record,? Tedder says of the next single ?Say.?

6. Next stop: Paris.
?We?re shooting it in Montmartre. There is no real crazy story line, it?s about a band being in Paris, on tour. There?ll be shots of us, performance shots, busking. The final scene is right at daybreak, when the sun comes up. I?m going up a spiral staircase and bust out on to the roof of a building. The camera becomes my perspective, and you get a panorama of Paris right at daybreak. I write down the last few lyrics to the song in a notebook. I?m looking for inspiration to finish the song and I get on the rooftop and that?s where I find it. My journey doesn?t turn color until I?m on the rooftop. For people who like Paris, it?ll be beautiful.”