Owl City Interview
Fervr interviews Adam Young, the man behind Owl City.
When Fireflies was released, you couldn’t get that song out of your head. Now Adam Young, the man behind Owl City, is back with an exciting new album. Taking a break from his hectic schedule, Adam filled Fervr in on his new tunes, his infamous shyness and why he won’t be quiet about being a Christian.
Your new album Midsummer Station just came out in August. Tell us a bit about it.
It's pop music the way I've always envisioned it. It's bigger, bolder, more dynamic than all my albums in the past and I'm really proud of it.
On the new album you collaborate with people like Emily Wright, Matthew Thiessen and Carly Rae Jepsen. Before this, you’ve done everything yourself. What was it like working with other artists?
It was exciting because it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and allowed me to look at songs from an outside perspective. I was really fortunate to have worked alongside such brilliant minds.
The imagery in the lyrics across all your albums is quite unique and unusual. Where does your inspiration and imagery come from?
I write a lot based off fiction and the imagination. Certain words and phrases just jump out at me sometimes and I'll remember to jot it down in a never-ending text file which ends up being the inspiration to my songs.
Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen has contributed vocals on 'Fireflies' and now again on the new album. He also helped to co-write your song ‘Good Time’ and you produced Relient K’s song ‘Terminals’. Can you tell us more about your partnership with Matthew?
Matt has actually been a great mentor to me and I've learnt so much from him about songwriting, melody, etc. I don't know where my music would be without his insight and inspiration.
You’re quite open about being a Christian, even though you’re in the mainstream media. Why are you so open?
I like to make sure that who I am is never swept under the rug.
How do you hope to use your music for God?
My prayer is that God would use my music to do whatever He wills. I just want to keep the door open and allow Him to work and to do whatever He sees fit.
The media sometimes gives the impression that being extroverted is ‘cooler’ than being introverted. From what I’ve read, you’re a pretty shy guy. How does this affect you? Are there any good points to being introverted?
I've learnt to be better about my shyness but, for the most part, remain a private and independent person. I think it grounds me and separates me from the craziness of the industry.
I read that before making it big as Owl City, you were studying at college and working in a warehouse but you weren’t quite sure what to do with life. What advice would you give to teenagers who also might not be sure of what to do with their lives?
Keep dreaming. Everybody is saying get your head out of the clouds and go get a job or focus on work or enrol in college or whatever it is. And while all of those things are very admirable, I think it's a real shame when you let yourself stop dreaming. I think there's a real healthy element to using your imagination.
Owl City is touring across the world in 2012/13, including supporting the Maroon 5 North American Tour, and playing in Australia in November (Melbourne Nov 18, Sydney Nov 20). To buy tickets, check out the official website. To buy the new album check out iTunes.