Oh, what a life is right.
Apparently, you can thank 2014 Oscar nominee Pharrell Williams – who stole Sunday night’s show with his performance of Happy that got nominees Lupita, Meryl and Amy dancing with him in the front row – for the Monday release of Oh, What a Life, the debut disc from fledgling Brooklyn pop-rockers American Authors.
Typically, CD releases are Tuesday every week.
“Apparently what I heard is Pharrell would only play the Oscars Sunday if they pushed his release (G I R L) to Monday and because his album is so big, iTunes and what not, they agreed, but that just meant that every release had to come out on Monday,” said AA’s lead singer Zac Barnett.
“So Pharrell pushed the cycle. And it’s totally cool with us. We’re doing a post-Oscar performance with (Live with) Kelly and Michael on Monday. So the album will be out for that performance on television so that’s good.”
The group, whose four members come from different parts of the U.S. but met as students at Berklee College of Music in Boston, have known each other for seven years when they played together as The Blue Pages.
But a move to Brooklyn led to a change in the band’s name and sound including the hit single – the banjo-driven Best Day Of My Life – and now a summer tour opening spot for OneRepublic including a June 22 stop at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.
“It’s the right place for us,” said Barnett. “The creativity that was there and every time that we were going there it just felt right. It was kind of a new chapter in our lives. And we were working on new music and we had so much new inspiration, because of our surroundings and everything going on in our lives that it just seemed like the right time to change band names and become American Authors.”
QMI Agency sat down with the band during a promotional visit to Toronto to find out about the band’s best day and learn the inspiration behind the hit song.
Where do you live in Brooklyn?
We could barely afford to move to Brooklyn, Manhattan is so expensive you don’t really have much of an option but we found this neighborhood called Bushwick in Brooklyn which is a very up and coming are and we all moved into a small apartment together and we actually still have that apartment. ... It’s three bedrooms with a living room and Matt, our drummer lives in the living room.
What was the best day of your lives so far?
The first time we performed on live television was really amazing. It was The Tonight Show with Jay Leno so we caught it right before he retired, which was cool. Signing with Island Records was amazing. That was a real life-long journey and goal of ours. And one that I like to bring up now is getting that call about (first single Believer) getting picked up at satellite radio and also about Best Day Of My Life being (used) in the Lowe’s commercial (in the U.S.) and the Hyundai commercial (in the U.K. and France). When we got those calls I think we all kind of realized that this would possibly bring a major change and be a major turning point in this band’s career.
What inspired Best Day of My Life?
Kind of all the craziness and the chaos and everything that’s kind of wrong in the world and how there’s no denying that. It’s not a perfect world that we live in. But I guess the whole thing is to stay focused and to escape that and you know what, no matter what’s going on, get away from that and create your own best day. And make your own best day for yourself.