John Ondrasik, aka five for Fighting, released his hit song,“100Years,” on November 24th, 2003. The track, i m sorry followedthe artist’s 2001 mega hit, “Superman (It’s not Easy),”solidified five for Fighting in the American cannon. The track, i m sorry followsthe course of a life from bear to old age, hit number-28 top top the Billboard charts and has because earnedU.S. Platinum-status. “100 Years,” which boasts some 50-million YouTube viewsto date, come as the result of a good deal the work and also craft because that Ondrasik. Wecaught up with the songwriter and also asked him about the song’s origin, exactly how hebecame so experienced on the piano, what he loves most about the tune whenconsidering it today and much more.

How walk you become soskilled at play the piano in every one of its regal nobility?

My mom started me early on as a tiny kid. I played recitals and I loved The Beatles, I had actually The Beatles songbook. I also played a bunch of Broadway – Godspell songbook was on my piano. Burt Bacharach, all that stuff. I would play the modern hits. I loved piano. Then, you know, in high school, you’d walk to parties and you’d sit down and play “Somebody to Love” indigenous Queen or a Journey track and all of a suddenly the girls that wouldn’t talk to you actually talked to you. So, ns was offered to law that. And also guitar, too. I’m absolutely not a good guitar player but I’ve constantly – piano has constantly been part of me. Ns banged it in ~ 2 in the morning last night to relax my stress. That a tool for songwriting. However I’ve constantly been sort of comfortable and after friend play 1,000 shows you type of learn how to do that, too.




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What motivated thethrough-life layout for girlfriend in particular on “100 Years”?

Pretty lot every song’s to be written, the just how do yousay the in a different way. After “Superman” – I often tend to be among those peoplewho’s constantly competitive, constantly pushing the score posts. And also I think havingchildren in reality was an extremely helpful in the communication for that song. When you havekids and also they’re sit on her lap, girlfriend can’t aid but it is in in the moment. Allthe exterior stuff that seems to matter kind of takes a backseat to that. Iremember, you know, sitting v my kid, two- or three-years-old, and also trying tofind a song. Exactly how do you monitor “Superman” after that? I created a bunch of“Superman” sequels but, together we know, sequels are seldom as great as the original.So, ns was sitting with the kid and also I kept having to call myself, “Hey man,appreciate the moment. Periodically it’s not an excellent but evaluate the moment.”

A the majority of these songs, they’re little post-it notes tomyself. Also “Superman” in a method and “The Riddle” and “Chances.” and “100Years” to be a small post-it keep in mind saying, “Dude, simply chill and appreciate themoment, recognize the moment.” once I had actually the lyric, “There’s never ever a wishbetter 보다 this,” and I had the piano theme, I had this principle of stop letthis song be a lifetime. Let’s have actually each verse be the stages of our lives,let’s relocate through the song. “100 Years” is various than “Superman” in that,for me, it’s always relevant since I’m constantly somewhere in the song. I wroteit once I was the start of the 2nd verse, currently I’m in the bridge, youknow? Pretty soon I’ll be in the vamp.

So, once I song that song, it is a track I could write today– or at the very least I can conceptually think that today. That’s been kind of cool,growing up with that song. Yes a place for everyone in the song, i beg your pardon iswhy ns think persons relate come it therefore much. Now, this song did not come in45-minutes, as I said. I invested three or 4 months composing 30 or 40 differentverses. I rearranged the thing in most likely a dozen permutations to obtain itright. Us did, girlfriend know, 30 various demos, tempo-mapping the totality thing. Itwas really much an ext structured and also concise and also took a lot much more effort, whichis more typical for me because that songs. Specifically songs girlfriend think might be, like, asingle or a song you want to take to the masses. You have to be lot moremyopic and microscopic and really walk to every information to acquire it right. Luckily,that tune secured myself as a non-one-hit-wonder! that was nice!


Though there to be somuch job-related put into it, the tune is so pleasant and also clean and also bright. Deserve to youtalk about how you accomplished that sonic crispness?

It’s choose all songwriters know, girlfriend explore numerous differentkeys, girlfriend explore many different tempos. “100 Years” is really long. It’s,like, four minutes long, i beg your pardon is really long for a tune that’s on the radio.But i think we essential to phone call the story. We can spend one hour talking about this, butfinding the ideal drum pattern, the specific perfect piano component and climate thevocal. The vocal is key. And also mixing it. Every little thing – friend know, you miss out on on onething, the entirety house of cards can collapse. Yet we had actually a sense, girlfriend know? Ispent 2 years trying to create the follow-up come “Superman” and I knew it had actually tobe a tune that to be the exact same guy but it couldn’t simply be “Superman”regurgitated. And that take it a lengthy time.

I think a most bands or songwriters who have a struggle song,the propensity is to try and create that tune again. Ns knew the was the kiss ofdeath. But there was a lot of pressure, though. Especially with what “Superman”became. No various other song can do that. However you want a track that, if “Superman”never existed, can maybe stand on the own and raise her hand together asongwriter. So, it took a long time. Again, I’m grateful that the masses pickedthat tune up and adopted it. Even to this day – ns look at that as more of asong of mine than “Superman.” because “Superman” come so fast. Through “100Years,” there to be a most sweat and tears and work to obtain it come work. Songsare strange and also how lock come is strange. You start with a empty canvas and also youend up with that thing and everything in between is kind of a miracle when itworks.

This might be astretch yet do you ever think about how that song was numerically oriented andyou have actually a degree in mathematics?

Well, some people think I offered numbers from mine favoritesports players, i m sorry we’ve in reality made videos – of course, 99 gift Gretzkyand 33 is Kareem. But, to be honest with you, I just picked numbers the sangwell. Friend know, 15 had actually a ring come it. But 17 has three syllables. So, ns trieddifferent numbers, thinking, “What sings well? What flows?” So lot of lyricsis in the consonants. That helps as soon as you’re a singer due to the fact that you have the right to see whatrolls turn off the tongue good and what flows. So, most of the numbers ns picked justbecause they sang well and also they stood the end properly. We basically jumped 10years every verse. So, it had to acquire to 99 prior to too long!

What carry out you love mostabout “100 Years” as soon as you think around it now?

I love that “100 Years” is type of in countless people’s video catalogue of their lives. I’ve seen so many birthday parties, marriages, graduations, also funerals – that song is sort of part of America’s house movie catalogue. That, to me, is just amazing and wonderful and I always get a smile when somebody sends me one like, “Here’s ours anniversary” or “Here’s our wedding” or “Here’s our very first child.” Like, “Now i’m 33 because that a minute with a family.” to me, it is a gift.