Midseason Rush: ‘One Tree Hill’s’ Gavin DeGraw Takes A Look Back, Reveals What Helped Actors Stay Out Of Trouble

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What could honestly be better than chatting about One Tree Hill with Gavin DeGraw? Absolutely nothing. The musician recently talked to me about his album Sweeter and now he’s back to reveal how he’s feeling about the series ending. Gavin’s been there since the beginning with his “I Don’t Wanna Be” theme song and has recently come full-circle with the Wilmington, North Carolina set by appearing in its last episode.

Starting January 11 there won’t be anything but nostalgic memories running rampant in fans minds. This is just one of the first. So check out Gavin’s clear appreciation for the show that’s given us Naley, Brooke Davis and phenomenal soundtracks.

I recently saw Tyler Hilton and Bryan Greenberg play at the Gramercy Theater here in New York. Have you ever collaborated with them? Even just for fun?

GAVIN DEGRAW: We never collaborated but I actually really enjoy both of those guys. And on top of that they’re just some great guys. Just really good, musically talented guys. I’ve never worked on anything with them. Tyler and I knew each other from years ago. He really has a good command of his audience. You notice that with musicians and an audience–it’s rare. You really know when an artist is comfortable talking with the audience.

Well, as you must know, One Tree Hill’s final season premieres soon. What do you think about it coming to an end?

It’s kind of weird thinking about it because it’s kind of like an end of an era. And at the same time there’s a level of nostalgia there.

“I Don’t Wanna Be” was the best theme song for the series. Did you ever get sick of hearing it?

No! [Laughs] I mean it’s exciting to hear the song with it.

Have a favorite cover? They started to change the singer with each new season. Like Jackson Brundage who plays James Lucas Scott did it.

[Laughs] Probably my favorite cover of it was from him. He kills it.

I saw a few pictures of you from the finale. You’re definitely in it right?

I’m definitely a part of that day. I don’t know to what extent I’ll be in the show but I was there. It was a lot of fun. It’s cool to be a part of something that’s documented like that and to be a part of it. At the same time I was at a distance with it, which was kind of interesting. I was a part of it from afar. So it’s kind of surreal thinking of a show like that ending and having been a part of it because it really was a show that was initially geared toward young people and now the people on it are now young adults.

Such a great show. It deserved to be on for that long. It must have also been great that it was filmed in Wilmington and away from the L.A. area.

That probably helped a lot of them out of trouble. Having the tabloid culture away from them and what was going on. It helped them have a life and not just a career.

That really is such a good point. Is there a person from that set that you specifically grew close to? Favorite memories?

That would be hard. That would be hard for me to tell you the truth. The person that I was probably the closest with in that whole organization was on the creative side of it. It was Joe Davola that initially called me asking if I could be a part of it and I ended up with a relationship with him and Mark Schwahn. I was really the closest with them. Hanging with Bryan or Sophia [Bush] or Tyler–those are really great people. Quality people. They really honestly are just a warm group of people and I think that was one of the many reasons why it had so much success and how long that show was able to run. I think that kind of thing really came off on-screen. They were working with quality people and I think that really came off.

Definitely. And the soundtracks were so good! They chose really great songs throughout the years.

Exactly! I think that was one of the many great assets of that show. Really, I’m happy you mentioned it. They really did their best to expose great talent to the world.

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