author: ethan butterfield | a&c writer
Banding with Butterfield talks growing up with John Ondrasik.
Hey everyone! For this week’s Banding with Butterfield, I’m very happy to present an interview with John Ondrasik, otherwise known as Five for Fighting. For those who aren’t aware, Five for Fighting is most well recognized by his powerful ballad based style and for popular songs such as “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” “The Riddle,” and “100 Years.” Having been on the scene for more than 20 years now, here’s what Five for Fighting had to say about his career and sound.
When did you learn to play the piano? Was that something you always wanted to do or did you have other plans in mind?
My mom was a piano teacher and she started me very young. At 13 she let me quit, which was wise, as I had the fundamentals down and started writing songs. Start your kids young on the piano. It’s like a language where the young mind is better suited for the discipline.
What was it like to perform in your first live show? What were your feelings at the time? Scared? Nervous?
I believe it was at a restaurant where the audience were my two friends, a waitress, and a bartender. I’m sure I was amazing in my mind!
I understand you’re a big L.A. Kings fan and that you’ve performed at numerous games. How were those experiences?
Performing at major sporting events has been a highlight of my career. Though nothing tops winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014!
What was your reaction at the time of releasing your debut album Message to Albert? What was going through your mind when you heard your songs on the radio for the first time?
I was thrilled to have an album released on a major label, though EMI Records closed, and I learned early the reality of the music business. Fortunately, I had another chance to achieve my goals. When I first heard my song on the radio, I was stuck in traffic on the 405 freeway. I cried like a baby!
What do you believe is the most important thing about making a song?
That it is believable and evokes an emotional reaction with your audience.
Throughout your career as a musician, what advice can you offer others who are trying to get into the music industry?
Trust your gut, work hard, and enjoy the ride.
So there you have it, if you haven’t already. I definitely recommend checking out Five for Fighting and his entire discography; you won’t be disappointed. Until next time!