As he prepares for his Sunday, March 20 show at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, OneRepublic lead guitarist Zach Filkins spoke with Taylor Holland, student writer for The Crimson White, the University of Alabama’s newspaper. Holland shared a sneak peek of the interview with UAB News for fans getting ready for the show.
Filkins said he began playing guitar at age 8 in Barcelona, Spain. “My parents really enjoyed the Spanish guitar so I was playing it quite often around the house.” He says he was inspired to become a musician by bands like U2 and Nirvana.
One of Filkins's most memorable moments with OneRepublic occurred last year when they were asked to open for U2 on that band's 360 tour. “It was unbelievable,” he recalled. “Everything from the sound checks to the performances themselves was truly amazing. It’s one of the best moments we’ve had. From the smallest employee all the way to the four of them, they’re all really humbling. They tell you you’re part of their family.”
When OneRepublic is on the road, Filkins said each member has a completely different taste in music. “We listen to everything from movie soundtracks to the Top 40 to some obscure band that has yet to be discovered,” he said. “We all try to stay current with the music scene, even with the music we don’t quite enjoy listening to.”
Filkins says his favorite song to play live changes all the time. “It’s always fun to play ‘Secrets.’ I sometimes try to take out my in-ear monitors to hear the crowd while we’re playing. Anytime the crowd reacts well to a certain song, that’s my favorite.”