FUN. INTERVIEW

September 01, 2020 11:53 PM

Tie It In 

Music is powerful – it can be so powerful that certain mel- odies and rhythms create primal surges of energy and emo- tion in our bodies. TWELV felt this magic when we first heard the catchy, feel-good melodies created by fun. with members Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff, and Andrew Dost, of the highly successful, Grammy Award-winning Ameri- can pop rock band. Some Nights was catapulted into the mainstream with the mega hit title track, “Some Nights”, as well as “Carry On”, and “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monáe); which won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. We spoke with Jack Antonoff, moments before fun.’s first of two sold out New York City concerts, to dis- cuss his inspirations, raising money for LGBTQ shelters, and what’s to come from the world of fun. 

Do you have a go-to inspiration source? 

It changes. I have an inspiration folder on my computer; mostly filled with images, not so much with music. Sometimes if you get inspired by the thing you’re doing, then you can just repackage it and you don’t want to do that. But if you look at an image, it can make you think of things. For a while, that folder was filled with Hirschfeld drawings, “Annie Hall”, and Woody Allen art; like the way he uses his font in “Manhattan Murder Mystery” and on the cover of the book “Side Effects”...that classic New York feel. I don’t know why, but that made me feel creative. Now that folder has a picture of a Kid Dynamite album I love, a picture of Grimes in a really long shirt, and a Hirschfeld picture of Liza Minnelli. 

Do you think a muse can be good and evil? 

I think it can be both. I think Kanye is a weird evil muse. He can be so hateable in so many ways, but then his art is still so powerful, so it’s a weird push and pull with the people who draw inspira- tion from him. Someone who I’m consistently inspired by is Bruce Springsteen. He is an extremely positive force on every level, with his songs, the way he treats his fans, the way he plays his live show, the way he carries out his life. I think you need both good and evil to feel different angles. 

Do you have any memories of times when you may have been bul-lied? Do you ever call upon those memories when you want to evoke feelings of anger or frustration? 

I perpetually feel that someone in my life told me that I’m no good, but I can’t think of a moment when that actually happened. I feel there’s this force that I’m always trying to prove something to – maybe to myself – that I’m not a fraud. 

Please tell our readers about the Ally Coalition. How, when, and why did you create it? 

We created it about a year and a half ago because we had the means to do it. Everyone should do something, whatever their means are. Whether it’s talking to people at a dinner table about current issues or starting a non-profit and telling their families about it, it’s basi- cally the same thing, just on different levels. We’ve raised a lot of money, specifically for LGBTQ shelters, like The Ruth Ellis Cen- ter in Detroit, The Oasis Center in Nashville, and tonight we’re raising money for The Ali Forney Center in New York. Everything we do, we tie it in. Every ticket that gets sold, a dollar goes to it. We also do awareness stuff where we have people make signs and make it real easy for them to tweet at their legislators about issues. We try to be a positive force to help people use their voice on these issues. 

Do you think music or a song has the power to change the world? If so, how? 

Definitely. I think people can make big statements like “War is over if you want it”. I think now it’s easier for us to see what an im- pact that has had. I don’t think people like to admit that it can, but I do think people can make the most intense things when they’re inspired in either a positive or negative way. I think music is the most inspiring thing out there. 

What are some challenging moments you’ve experienced on this path to realizing your dreams? 

At this point, I’ve been on the road for 12-14 years. At the begin- ning everyone crammed into a van, sleeping at rest stops, barely eating, coming home from a 3 week tour half dead. Then you grad- uate to a bigger van and everyone’s sharing one shitty hotel room. In the moment, you muster up the energy to do it and you find it in yourself to get through it. I feel so lucky to have moved past that, but all these things take a toll on you. The more success you get, the easier it gets, but at every step there’s something crazy. I feel lucky that I always loved it enough to not worry about those things. 

What can our readers look forward to from fun.? 

A new record that we’ll start working on once we get off this tour. I’m based in Brooklyn, Andrew is in Detroit, and Nate is in LA, so we’ll pick a place and go to it. It doesn’t take us very long. We made Some Nightsin two months of writing and recording. 

 

WRITTEN BY CHERIE LILY 

PHOTOGRAPHY LINDSEY BYRNES 

EDITED BY ERINA NAKAZAWA

 

 

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