John Ondrasik, aka five for Fighting, exit his struggle song,“100Years,” ~ above November 24th, 2003. The track, i m sorry followedthe artist’s 2001 mega hit, “Superman (It’s no Easy),”solidified five for Fighting in the American cannon. The track, which followsthe food of a life from birth to old age, fight number-28 on the Billboard charts and also has due to the fact that earnedU.S. Platinum-status. “100 Years,” i beg your pardon boasts some 50-million YouTube viewsto date, come as the an outcome of a good deal of work and craft for Ondrasik. Wecaught up v the songwriter and asked him about the song’s origin, how hebecame so experienced on the piano, what that loves most about the track whenconsidering the today and much more.

How go you end up being soskilled at playing the piano in all of its regal nobility?

My mommy started me at an early stage as a little kid. Ns played recitals and also I love The Beatles, I had The Beatles songbook. I also played a bunch the Broadway – Godspell songbook was on mine piano. Burt Bacharach, all the stuff. I would certainly play the modern-day hits. I loved piano. Then, girlfriend know, in high school, you’d walk to parties and you’d sit down and also play “Somebody come Love” indigenous Queen or a Journey tune and all of a suddenly the girls that wouldn’t speak to you actually talked to you. So, ns was used to law that. And also guitar, too. I’m absolutely not a an excellent guitar player however I’ve constantly – piano has constantly been part of me. Ns banged it at 2 in the morning critical night to relieve my stress. The a device for songwriting. Yet I’ve always been type of comfortable and also after girlfriend play 1,000 shows you type of learn exactly how to execute that, too.




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What inspired thethrough-life design template for friend in details on “100 Years”?

Pretty lot every song’s been written, the just just how do yousay it in a various way. After ~ “Superman” – I tend to be among those peoplewho’s constantly competitive, always pushing the score posts. And also I think havingchildren actually was an extremely helpful in the basis for the song. Once you havekids and they’re sit on your lap, girlfriend can’t assist but it is in in the moment. Allthe external stuff that appears to issue kind of take away a backseat to that. Iremember, you know, sitting v my kid, two- or three-years-old, and also trying tofind a song. How do you follow “Superman” after that? I created a bunch of“Superman” sequels but, as we know, sequels are rarely as great as the original.So, i was sitting v the kid and I kept having actually to phone call myself, “Hey man,appreciate the moment. Sometimes it’s not an excellent but appreciate the moment.”

A most these songs, they’re little post-it note tomyself. Also “Superman” in a way and “The Riddle” and “Chances.” and “100Years” was a tiny post-it keep in mind saying, “Dude, just chill and appreciate themoment, identify the moment.” as soon as I had actually the lyric, “There’s never a wishbetter than this,” and also I had actually the piano theme, I had this concept of stop letthis song be a lifetime. Let’s have actually each verse be the step of ours lives,let’s move through the song. “100 Years” is various than “Superman” in that,for me, it’s always relevant because I’m always somewhere in the song. I wroteit as soon as I to be the start of the 2nd verse, currently I’m in the bridge, youknow? Pretty soon I’ll be in the vamp.

So, as soon as I sing that song, that is a song I could write today– or at the very least I could conceptually think of today. It is been kind of cool,growing up with that song. There’s a place for everyone in the song, which iswhy ns think people relate to it for this reason much. Now, this track did no come in45-minutes, as I said. I invested three or four months creating 30 or 40 differentverses. Ns rearranged the point in probably a dozen permutations to get itright. Us did, you know, 30 different demos, tempo-mapping the totality thing. Itwas really much much more structured and concise and also took a lot much more effort, whichis more typical for me for songs. Especially songs you think may be, like, asingle or a tune you want to take to the masses. You need to be much moremyopic and microscopic and also really walk to every detail to obtain it right. Luckily,that track secured myself as a non-one-hit-wonder! the was nice!


Though there to be somuch work put into it, the track is so pleasant and clean and also bright. Have the right to youtalk around how you completed that sonic crispness?

It’s prefer all songwriters know, girlfriend explore numerous differentkeys, you explore many different tempos. “100 Years” is really long. It’s,like, four minutes long, i beg your pardon is really lengthy for a tune that’s top top the radio.But ns think we needed to phone call the story. We could spend an hour talking about this, butfinding the ideal drum pattern, the specific perfect piano part and then thevocal. The vocal is key. And mixing it. Everything – girlfriend know, you miss out on on onething, the whole house of cards have the right to collapse. Yet we had actually a sense, girlfriend know? Ispent 2 years trying to compose the follow-up come “Superman” and also I knew it had tobe a tune that was the very same guy but it couldn’t just be “Superman”regurgitated. And also that take it a lengthy time.

I think a the majority of bands or songwriters who have a fight song,the tendency is to shot and compose that track again. Ns knew that was the kiss ofdeath. But there was a the majority of pressure, though. Particularly with what “Superman”became. No various other song could do that. Yet you want a track that, if “Superman”never existed, could maybe was standing on that is own and raise her hand as asongwriter. So, it take it a long time. Again, I’m grateful that the masses pickedthat track up and embraced it. Also to today – ns look at that as much more of asong the mine than “Superman.” because “Superman” came so fast. Through “100Years,” there was a the majority of sweat and tears and work to get it to work. Songsare strange and how castle come is strange. You begin with a blank canvas and youend up v that thing and everything in in between is type of a miracle once itworks.

This can be astretch however do you ever before think around how that track was numerically oriented andyou have a level in mathematics?

Well, some world think I provided numbers from my favoritesports players, which we’ve in reality made videos – the course, 99 gift Gretzkyand 33 is Kareem. But, come be ethical with you, I simply picked numbers the sangwell. You know, 15 had a ring to it. However 17 has actually three syllables. So, i trieddifferent numbers, thinking, “What sings well? What flows?” So lot of lyricsis in the consonants. The helps once you’re a singer since you deserve to see whatrolls turn off the tongue an excellent and what flows. So, most of the numbers i picked justbecause castle sang well and also they stood out properly. We basically jumped 10years every verse. So, it had to get to 99 before too long!

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

I love the “100 Years” is kind of in many people’s video clip catalogue of your lives. I’ve watched so many birthday parties, marriages, graduations, even funerals – that track is type of part of America’s residence movie catalogue. That, to me, is simply amazing and also wonderful and I always get a smile when somebody sends me one like, “Here’s our anniversary” or “Here’s ours wedding” or “Here’s our an initial child.” Like, “Now ns 33 for a minute with a family.” to me, that’s a gift.