American Authors' Zac Barnett on Pranking One Republic

If you're like the rest of the Western world, you've heard the song "Best Day of My Life." American Authors have usurped these words in your mental vocabulary, and now when you say them, you sing them.

The Brooklyn based foursome met in college in 2007 and has only one album out so far, but this big song has been featured just about everywhere -- including on the big screen, in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the small, in Vampire Diaries.

Enjoying their success, American Authors have already toured with pop-rock bands like One Republic and the Script and are currently showcasing their album Oh What a Life on the Honda Civic tour, featuring openers Oh Honey for fans attending East Coast shows. The tour hits Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live on Thursday, October 23, in honor of the venue's tenth anniversary.

In a recent interview with lead singer Zac Barnett, we got to talking about how he and the guys pulled the ultimate prank on One Republic's Ryan Tedder, the fact that he's a total adrenaline junkie, and his guiltless love for 5 Seconds of Summer.

New Times: What can you tell us about your upcoming show in Fort Lauderdale?

Zac Barnett: It's gonna be fun. Just a lot of energy. We just can't wait to get down there and have a big party with everyone.

You'll be playing with Oh Honey; how did you get together with that band?

When we get out to the East Coast, Oh Honey is going to be joining us, and those guys we've known for a long time. They're really good friends of ours from back from Brooklyn. It's always good to be coming out with friends.

Any fun tour stories you'd like to share?

Hmm... fun tour stories. Well, the last night that we did with One Republic, we wanted to kind of get at them with some sort of prank. So what we did was, we all stripped down to our underwear and ran onstage while they were playing. And we started kind of grinding on Ryan Tedder. So that was fun. We always kind of have fun and go on adventures in every city that we go to. We were just in New Zealand, where we did some bungee-jumping, which was cool. When we were in California, I went skydiving. So always fun things.

How's the new music coming along?

Our album Oh, What a Life is less than a year old, so it's still going strong and whatnot, but you know we love to write music, so we're creating and always coming up with new ideas. It's been great. We have a lot of cool songs that we're really excited to show people, and we've started playing a couple on this tour so far. So if you come out to a show, not only will you hear our entire album but you'll hear another new song.

What has been the most unexpected or surreal moment for the band this year?

Everything is always so surreal. We don't really take anything for granted, but you know different things like performing on late-night shows to performing on the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards, getting to open for One Republic and the Script, for these massive amounts of people. All of that is so surreal; it's pretty amazing stuff.

What's your favorite song at the moment?

You know what I really like? I gotta say "I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith. It's my favorite song right now. I love that track.

Is there anything in your musical collection that you'd consider a guilty pleasure?

Yeah, I'm pretty into 5 Seconds of Summer -- I'm not gonna lie. I wouldn't call it a guilty pleasure because I'm so into them.

What is the best concert you've ever been to as a guest and not a performer?

Paul McCartney. I saw Paul McCartney when I was in high school, and it was absolutely my favorite. I'm pretty sure nothing will ever beat it.

American Authors with Oh Honey and Mowglis, 6:30 p.m. Thursday October 23, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door plus fees. Visit

New Party Rules for Millennials

10 Best Hipster Bars in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Top 20 Sexiest R&B Songs from the '90s to Today

Ten Best Florida Metal Bands of All Time

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ashley Zimmerman