- Mon, 2012-05-21 15:44
When fun. first formed in New York City in 2008 they were one more new band in a town full to the brim with aspiring musicians. Aware of the challenges ahead they drew on their collective experience and forged a vision, and four years later they’re at the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 and pushing for number one in the UK Singles Chart. The single in question is We Are Young, featuring Janelle Monae.
Before the release of the single, the band put together an I Like Music Guest Edit featuring a twenty track playlist and three features on their favourite track, album and video. Since then, we've been super excited to see how well they've been doing. Following their BBC Radio 1 live lounge session (which featured their cover of Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know) we jumped on the phone to catch up with Jack!
Listen to the interview below and stay up to date with everything fun. at www.ournameisfun.com
“I Like Music because... it’s the only thing in today’s world that completely binds all people. I think it’s the only thing we can agree on as human beings.” Jack, fun.
ILM: We Are Young has broken records! It’s had over 52 million views on YouTube, which is insane! How have you found the success? Has it been exciting, weird, strange... what’s it been like?
Jack: Um, we’ve been on tour for twelve years – separately we’ve been in bands for a long time, and then, obviously, fun. has been together for four years – so I don’t think there’s any way that you can prepare yourself for what we’re going through at the moment. But if there was something you could do I think we’ve done it. We’ve just been on tour for ages and ages and ages, learning how to be away from the people you love, and making the sacrifices that we have. So, it’s definitely like a really interesting moment that we’ve having, and, like I said, a part of us is prepared for it.
ILM: You have all been in bands before; what’s different about fun.?
Jack: The thing about fun. is that we all started playing music when we were really young. I did my first tour when I was 15. And at that point you’re limited to your friends and the people you know. You make mistakes and you screw tons of things up and fun. was the second chance that most people never get, in a weird way. We got to go back and we got to put together this dream team of musicians and songwriters, and we all have so much respect for each other. And then also just going out there and touring and making albums and writing songs: we’d had so much experience that we got to do it at a higher level, and we didn’t have to carry that baggage that we did with our other bands, where there was just so much history of messing up!
ILM: How much do you consider your audience when you’re making your music? Is it important to you to make music that’s accessible, that a lot of people can enjoy?
Jack: It’s important for us to make music that’s meaningful to us, and sometimes that means it’s accessible for a lot of people, and sometimes that means it’s not. And it doesn’t really matter if it’s accessible to a lot of people or not if we’re making music that’s extremely important to us, and dear to our hearts then it will mean something to someone, and that could be one person, or a billion people. But all that matters is that it’s resonant and it does matter. When we do finish an album we hope it’s the kind of thing that will reach a lot of people, but it can’t be the goal. The goal just has to be making it meaningful, and then depending on the times... A lot of it is how people hear it and how people take it.
ILM: What can people expect from you guys live?
Jack: Just a really big show, a really big – not afraid to do a big over-the-top rock show that’s what we love and it’s what we aim for. To connect to the audience, and have us as a band and them as an audience come together and create something bigger than both of us. One plus one doesn’t equal two, it should equal a thousand. And also, it’s very different on the album in the sense that it’s a different aspect of the expression. We have a lot of respect audience, and if they’re gonna pay money to come see us then they deserve to hear something outside of the realm of what the album is, something much bigger.
ILM: Outside of the band, what new music have you been listening to recently? New, old, anything...
Jack: I can’t stop listening to Robyn. I love Body Talk, the album. I think it’s one of the greatest pop albums ever made, and I find it so inspiring. Robyn and Bruce Springsteen is what’s going on right now on my iPod.
ILM: Any particular Springsteen track?
Jack: Lately the song I’m On Fire. I’ve been incredibly inspired by just how minimal it is, and it’s one of my favourite guitar parts of all time, and the lyrics are beautiful. Also, it’s just like a moment of change in his career. It’s on the Born In The USA album, and it feels like it’s all started working at that moment.
ILM: What do you get up to when you’re not making music?
Jack: I love film... We have a great time playing basketball when we’re hanging out not playing music! Right now I’m obsessed with Game Of Thrones, The Wire and Friday Night Lights. Those are the three TV shows that have just taken over the tour bus. It’s great on tour to be able to flip into another world, and be in, like, Baltimore with your friends in The Wire.