Owl City is the perfect example of how a kid writing music in his basement in Minnesota can blow up to international success overnight: The oddly named act (aka Adam Young) - with a voice extremely reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service singer Ben Gibbard - was suddenly propelled to fame when his song "Fireflies" went viral. Now he's touring in support of his fourth studio album, “The Midsummer Station,” featuring the hit “Good Time” with Carly Rae Jepsen, and rocks Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7. Young talked to Miami.com about the show and his unlikely rise to fame.
What's a live concert by Owl City like?
For this tour, we tried to make the live show dynamic and powerful. We have a lot more big and loud guitars than there are on the album so that it gives off a rock-show sound and vibe.
You performed most of the instruments on your records - what's the breakdown live?
We have Daniel who plays synth, guitar, vibraphone and drums, Breanne who sings and plays keys, Jasper on guitar and synth and Steve on drums in addition to me singing, on guitars and keys.
How long will you play, and how much of the new album will we hear?
We'll play for quite a bit, and you will hear all the new songs off the new album, mixed with old songs.
When you first started recording at home in your basement, did you envision success like this? What was your goal?
It depends on how one defines success. When I first started experimenting with music, it was out of boredom, so I definitely wasn't expecting the reception that "Fireflies" got, and that was never the end goal. And now still, as long as I can inspire someone with my music, then that to me is success.
When did you first realize music could be much more than a hobby for you? Was there a "eureka" moment?
It truly happened overnight. It easily went from a hobby to becoming my passion, and now it's all I can think about. There wasn't really one particular "eureka" moment so much as there were a bunch of wake-up calls that led me to finally believe that doing this for a living would be able to sustain me.
As a Christian, has the rock-'n'-roll touring lifestyle caused any conflict with you?
It really hasn't affected my faith. I tend to be a private and independent person, so I don't really engage in the fame and fortune aspect of touring anyway. So far I've been lucky that it hasn't proved to be a challenge.
Who or what has influenced you the most musically?
For the new record, I would definitely say my love of dance and trance music has influenced me the most musically. In particular, European club tracks and the great Dutch DJs of the past 10 years. There is something epic about dance production, and I wanted to recreate that magical feeling in my music as well.
How often have you been to Miami, and what do you think of the city?
Not often, just while on tour, but I think it's a good change from the Midwest. The weather is always warm, and I enjoy being by beaches since we don't have many in Minnesota.