Many musicians spent a lot of time thinking about pandemics, but they emphasized how to survive without being able to tour, and even got hooked (and if they could tour again). John Ondrasik spends little time writing and thinking about music.
He realized that he was spending his days on a completely different job.
“We have a family-owned company that has been here since the 1940s. It’s a manufacturing industry. Ondrasik, who plays and records under the band name Five for Fighting, said in a telephone interview.
“And my dad was 83 years old and had to quarantine. So, through the pandemic, I was driven by the role of managing the business not only economically but also in health. Has 300 employees, many of which are like families I grew up working with. And since we have reached zero COVID here, my focus is really on a pandemic. The idea was to get over it and make our people as healthy as possible. It’s probably the most challenging two years of my life, and the pressure is certainly very different from what I’ve experienced in the music industry. But fortunately, we got over it. “
This business is called PrecisionWire Products Inc. and its employees manufacture shopping carts. In short, working from home was not an option for the majority of employees, and as an important business, it continued to operate no matter what happened with COVID. Ondrasik felt obliged to keep humming the business.
“Economically, many of these people are older. They are in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and if Precision Wire goes down, there is no alternative,” he said. “So there was a lot of pressure to keep the work there for them and try to keep them as safe as possible with COVID.
“It’s funny. In the keynote, we’ll talk about” Superman. ” My Superman doesn’t want to be a Superman. If you are everything for everyone, he doesn’t want to be everything for everyone, because there is nothing left for yourself. And for the first time in my life, I actually lived my song.
“I quickly realized that when I got off the whole ship would get off with me, so it was better to take care of myself first. So it got brighter, but we got over it. “
Of course, “Superman (it’s not easy)” was a song that put keyboardist / singer Ondrasik on a music map. Released on the second album as Five for Fighting, the “American Town” of the 2000s, “Superman” slowly gained momentum and then accelerated after Ondrasik performed a song as part of a New York City concert. .. A terrorist attack that destroyed the city’s twin towers. The song became like a first responder and military hymn, and eventually reached number two on the Adult Contemporary Charts.
The next Five for Fighting album, “Battle for Everything,” in 2004 gave Ondrasik his first number one song on adult contemporary radio for “100 Years.”
Since then, the two hits have been popular with music fans and have essentially given Ondrasik a long-term career.
Five for Fighting will play ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe on July 27th.
“That’s why I’ve never experienced such a hit. That is,” The Riddle “(from the 2006 album” Two Lights “) was a popular song. “Chance” (from the 2009 album “Slice”) was a popular song, but it certainly wasn’t “100 years” or “Superman,” said Ondrasik. “And maybe I’d be a little more comfortable with these two (mega-hits) songs, but it’s also another, not just watching me try to write a hit song. It made it possible to make a record, and I’m aware of it and don’t take it for granted. “
In fact, Ondrasik hasn’t made a Five For Fighting album since 2013’s Bookmarks, and in the last year or so, he’s released new music, especially two very topical and timely songs.
Their first song, “Blood On My Hands,” arrived last year shortly after the unsuccessful withdrawal from the Afghan War, where the United States was unable to evacuate the remaining civilians and some of its allies in Afghanistan.
Ondrasik, who considers himself politically neutral and actively involved in various veterans / military activities, is very angry that America has failed to fulfill its promise that no man is left behind. , A dark and tense ballad “Blood On My Hands as a bitter rebuke of evacuation”.
Another song, the recently released “Can One Man Save The World,” is a piano solo tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his stubborn determination to protect the country from Russian attacks.
“Many people recognize these songs as political songs, and to me they aren’t,” said Ondrasik.
“I’m not the one who wants to write this kind of song, but at the same time, I think we’re at a critical time in history and have cross-generational events. I grew up with great protest songs from the 1960s. Some of my biggest influences were protest songs. They told the truth to power.
“I’ve always passively incorporated my worldview into my music, because my last hope is to give lectures to people, to celebrities and people standing in soap boxes. Even musicians who like to lecture are very frustrated. I have only one opinion. But the blunder in Afghanistan is the moral of abandoning our citizens and allies. I think it was very terrible from a point of view. It was a song that could happen no matter what. I had to say it.
“Ukrainian songs were a little different,” said Ondrasik. “I don’t think it’s politically divisive, but why can’t we be inspired by President Zelensky and the Ukrainians fighting for all the values we value? Is it? “
Ondrasik does not promise that the two new songs mean he is trying to write a flood of new music. But after years of feeling that he has nothing to say lyrically, creative sparks show signs of new life.
But for now, Ondrasik is happy just to go on tour again. He had a spring date with a string quartet. The string quartet is the format he has chosen for about 10 years. But this summer he plugged it back into rock band format.
“My agent called me and he asked me for years, but would you like to get out there for a rock tour and get back on the bus?” Ondrasik said. “And I said’yes’. As you know, I have a wonderful memory of being trapped for two years and traveling with my friends. And I have been doing these quartet shows for a long time. I think I was playing. I was looking for something new. “
when: July 27, 7:30 pm
Where: ArtsQuest Musikfest Cafe
ikura: $ 39 to $ 75
Tickets and information: steelstacks.org
John Ondrasik and Five for Fighting for Arts Quest’s Musikfest Cafe
Source link John Ondrasik and Five for Fighting for Arts Quest’s Musikfest Cafe