Owl City's Adam Young on Taylor Swift: "She Wouldn't Be a Bad Roommate at All"
Released late August, Owl City's The Midsummer Station debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200 and the single "Good Times" sold over 1 million copies in its first week out. With catchy dance tunes like "Speed of Love" and collabs with pop rockers like Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Adam Young, the mastermind behind these beats, brings indie dance pop full force. From Indonesia to France to the Philippines, Young's fan base is expansive and even includes starlets like Taylor Swift.
In anticipation of the September 8 show at Revolution Live, we chatted with Young while he was in Nashville, Tennessee, about The Midsummer Station, and some pretty silly stuff we found on Adam's blog.
New Times: The vibe of The Midsummer Station is a bit different than Owl City's past albums, how did that come to be?
Make America Rock Festival Featuring Trapt, Alien Ant Farm
TicketsFri., Sep. 30, 7:00pm
TicketsFri., Sep. 30, 7:30pm
Opera Fusion: Not in My Town
TicketsFri., Sep. 30, 8:00pm
The Dandy Warhols: Distortland Tour
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 8:00pm
Prophets of Rage - Make America Rage Again Tour
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 7:00pm
Adam Young: It
was pretty intentional. I think just 'cause If you repeat yourself
forever and just keep doing the things you've always done, you know, we
just wanted to try something new. And yeah, I think experimenting and it
being a little more poppy and a little more dancey it's just more fun.
During the recording of "Good Times" with Carly Rae Jepsen, did you guys happen to sing a little "Call Me Maybe" together?
No, we never did unfortunately.
Well, will you sing a couple bars for us now? We know you know it, everyone knows it.
I would, but I'm scared.
What! Don't be scared!
Oh, trust me. I'm shy.
Well fair enough, we'll hear you sing live on Saturday, so it's all good.
In other collab appearances, would you say working with Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 fame was a dream come true?
definitely. I've been a huge fan of Blink forever and everyone said to
me, "don't meet your idol!" and I was pretty scared because I sort of do
idolize Mark in a healthy way, I guess. [Laughs] But, I met him, and he
proved that wrong. Mark was so down to Earth
and so kind and funny, and gracious. He is who you think he is, and it
was really amazing to work with him.
Did you guys happen to jam out to any old school Blink songs?
Nah, I didn't want to be like, "Hey, Mark can we sing all of your songs?!" Somehow, I was able to contain myself.
Owl City has its own adjective,"owlsome," what's that like?
It's cool, it's like I'm revolutionizing the English language. But yeah,
it's so cool to know that there're people out there who connect with
what I do.
It's really weird at the same time,
because what I do is inherently quirky and bizarre and to my knowledge
has always just been what's going on inside of my head. It's so weird
and, like, subjective. How is "that" reaching anybody? But for some
reason, it is and I am so humbled and thankful to be able to do what I
If it wasn't for this, I'd be working at a
gas station, or doing something bottom-of-the-barrel for sure, because this is
the only thing I've been interested in or halfway decent at, and it's
So I was lurking your blog
(sorry) and I noticed you have quite a bit of intense fan art. Our
personal fav was of you as Finn from Adventure Time, do you have a personal favorite?
I do remember that one very much! Yeah, that's a great one. Well, I'm kind of known to be this big fan of Lord of the Rings
and so somebody made one with me as a wizard, like Gandalf, and it just
looks so real. It's me with like the beard and everything and it's one
of my favorites.
So you're like "Adam the Grey?"
[Laughs] Yeah, I guess so!
Well, what's your favorite cartoon of all time?
Oh man, that's a good question! Uhh... Darkwing Duck. Yeah. Totally.
Along with your fan art, you wrote on your blog: "If someday we all go to prison for downloading music, I hope they segregate us by genre." What genre would you be in, and who would you want your cellmate to be?
I'm gonna say that I'd probably be filed under my own music, like
quirky, electronic, singer-songwriter guy who sings about his own life
and kinda like the weird stuff in his own head. I
feel like my cellmate... Well, I'd have to have someone who sort of
figured out life and the process and doing the same thing, like writing
music, so I feel like maybe the only other person who does that really
well is Taylor Swift.
Well that certainly wouldn't be a bad roommate situation, right?
[Laughs] Yeah she wouldn't be a bad roommate at all.
Have you and T-Swift ever worked together?
Unfortunately, no. I've been trying to get her attention of course but
she's very busy, and I totally understand. But yeah, I'd love to
someday, somehow, do a duet with her or to work with her. She's amazing.
We also understand that one of your dream collaborations would be with b.O.b. What about hip-hop is so intriguing to you?
think that I'm such a beat guy, I like really beat heavy music. I love
dance music, drums in general, and I like that hip-hop is so based on
that groove. Especially b.O.b, I'm a huge fan
and just love what he does. Even though it's not really my world, I have
so much appreciation for music outside of my main love. If it's done
well, how can you not appreciate it?
According to you blog, you're also a fan of Further Seems Forever and are stoked on their new record.
Yeah, aren't they from Florida?! Totally. That band, like The Moon is Down, that record, I grew up on that record! It's so good. I'm so glad that Chris Carrabba is back.
Owl City at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 8 at Revolution Live. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door. All ages show.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.