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American Authors on the "Wild" Inspiration Behind "Best Day of My Life"

Image courtesy of Andrew Zaeh/Island Def Jam (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Andrew Zaeh/Island Def Jam (via ABC News Radio)

The band American Authors broke out in late 2013 when their song "Best Day of My Life" was used in commercials and a movie trailer, but now the song is a bona fide hit on the charts. Fittingly for a band called American Authors, the idea for "Best Day of My Life" came from an actual American author: the late Maurice Sendak , who wrote Where the Wild Things Are.

Speaking about what inspired the song, American Authors frontman Zak Barnett tells ABC News Radio that the band wanted to "take the imagery from the book and the film Where the Wild Things Are."  He explains, "The idea behind it is, no matter what's going around you in the world, whether it's work or family or school or just the craziness that's going on in every day life, it's about escaping and creating your own dream world to create your own best day."

In fact, Zak says that they so wanted to evoke the feeling of the story that while they were writing it, they literally imagined it as the theme song to the 2009 movie version of Where the Wild Things Are

"We all grew up reading the book, so I think the book definitely influenced all of our lives in a great way, but the film is also really amazing too," he explains. "When we were writing it...once we had a skeleton of the song, I remember we would turn the volume down on the [movie's] trailer,  and play the song behind the trailer online. And it was like, 'Wow, this is so cool. How can we make this work even more than it already does?'"

Coincidentally, "Best Day of My Life" went on to get major exposure in another movie trailer, for Vince Vaughn 's Delivery Man . Unfortunately, the band never got to hear their song in the trailer in an actual movie theater, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

"We were out on tour and we were in the theaters going to see a film, and the trailer for Delivery Man came on. And we were so excited," Zak tells ABC News Radio. "And the trailer was running and right before it got to the point where our song came on, the screen went blackout, and it just skipped all the rest of the trailers and went straight to the film! So we didn't actually get to hear the song, but it was a funny moment."

Overall, though, Zak says the song's presence in that trailer, as well as in a Lowe's commercial, and additional commercials in England and Australia, have really helped the song's popularity explode worldwide in a way they never could have predicted.  Initially, he says, they weren't sure of its potential.

"It was actually five different pieces of five different songs, all pushed into one, and at first, we all thought it was kinda strange, and we didn't know what to think of the song," Zak tells ABC News Radio. "But we slept on it for a couple days, and then when we came back to it, we kinda did realize that we had something kinda cool and special there." 

American Authors will spend the summer on tour opening for The Script and OneRepublic .  Their album Oh, What a Life will be out March 4.

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