When I was in college, I wanted to study film. My first passion was to be a cinematographer. So maybe there's something innate in my music where it partners well with images.
Owl City is exactly as you'd imagine him. It's hard to have much on him. He's like a frightened bunny. I feel like if you yelled at him, he'd just dart to a corner of the room.
I was an English major in college, so I really liked spoken word and poetry; it was what I did before I wrote music.
When I barely got into college, the one thing I could do was write, so I became an English major.
I was an English major, and I always wrote poems.
Even on tour, where I perform songs from 'City Of Black And White,' I still do songs from 'Nothing Left To Lose.' I never turned my back on that material. On some albums, you change - that's all. The trick is to follow your heart and do what feels right.
Hopefully, reading and being around great literature inspires me to write songs, but I'm not sure about that.
For my father, he didn't know what 'Grey's Anatomy' was. He didn't know who John Mayer was. But when I showed up on the 'Law & Order' TNT promo spot, he thought, 'Wow, my son has made it.'
I started writing music in a season of my life where people were telling me I wasn't defined by mistakes, and God really loved me and was fighting for me, and there was a journey to be had with that. And I don't know of a more important message.
Minneapolis has always been a very special place for me.
I grew up in Oregon, so there was always a lot of that folksy, Bob Marley stuff. There was a mural of Bob Marley on a wall at my high school.
The first year I moved to Nashville, I started playing these songwriter nights with people like Nickel Creek, Duncan Sheik, and even Ryan Adams... That was the first place I really started playing music, and I had to really step up my game. Really quick. Or get kicked off the stage.
Paul Simon is the king!
More than any other instrument, the relationship between an acoustic guitar and a microphone is super-important. The kind of mics that you use and your placement of the mics to the guitar can radically alter your sound.
I think I have always made really beat-driven pop-rock records.
Songs like 'Learn To Love Again' and 'Rochester' and some of the more gut-wrenching ones deal with the pain of the younger times of your life... trying to make sense of some the stuff we probably all went through.
When I started forming my own taste, there was a period in high school when I listened to only rap and hip-hop, like A Tribe Called Quest.
I'm really influenced by '90s hip hop. A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul were my heroes growing up.
I love Bruce Springsteen's writing, but I grew up on '90s hip hop, like Tribe Called Quest.