Fun. are currently on the road in support of their new sophomore record, Some Nights. We spoke to the band a year ago to try and attain any info we could about the album, however, they were quite secretive at the time. As the album's release got closer and closer, Scene Point Blank reached out a second time. We were lucky enough to gather details about the studio, the record's cover, and more from guitarist, Jack Antonoff.
Scene Point Blank: We're inching closer to the release of Some Nights. The last time we talked--nearly a year ago--you projected a late-2011 release date. Is there any specific reason why it was pushed back to 2012?
Jack Antonoff: As usual, things took longer than expected. It's impossible to anticipate how long it will take to make an album, so we always make projections. Somehow, we’re always a few months off. Ha! To be specific, an album is never exactly what you thought it was going to be, and therefore constantly needs to be re-thought and re-worked. It's a thrilling process, but one that can't adhere to a schedule.
Scene Point Blank: Were there any songs written in the studio or were all the tracks written beforehand?
Jack Antonoff: “All Alone,” “All Alright,” “One Foot,” and “Out On The Town” were mainly done in the studio (or in the time period). We worked out the others in January 2011 when we went up to Woodstock, NY for a week to figure out what this album was going to be. The ones that came to life in the studio have a different energy for that very reason. Songs like “One Foot” have a sound that is very in the moment. There's something to be said for the songs where you don't have months and months to reconsider the parts. Having both types of songs on an album us vital to us.
Scene Point Blank: I had asked before if "What the Fuck" would appear on your new album, and I can see why it's not --judging by the direction I've heard in the new songs. Is there, or will there ever be, a studio recording of the track? Did you guys try to rework it to make it fit onto Some Nights?
Jack Antonoff: “What the Fuck” was originally supposed to be on Some Nights. It was recorded in the first batch of songs that all ended up on the album. As we worked on it, we all started to realize that it was one of those “in between” songs that should stand on its own rather than fit into an album. It was written in a time before we knew what Some Nights was all about or, more specifically, before we had worked out the parameters. We tried to fit “What The Fuck” into the mold of Some Nights, but it just didn't work. There was no sense in letting the song suffer just to be in the album. That’d be cool if we ever decide to finish it. It depends on where we are at with it in the future and if it's something that we end up deciding would be cool to put out there on its own.
Scene Point Blank: I'm curious about the Some Nights cover. It's obviously very different than Aim and Ignite's. How did you guys come across the photographer, Nacho Alegre?
Jack Antonoff: Just like Aim and Ignite, Andrew found the cover and Nacho's work as whole. The album is very different and it deserved a cover the reflect that. It's all about a feeling at the end of the day, and that image gave us the same feeling that Some Nights as a concept gives us. It's hard to explain, but it’s just one of those pieces of the puzzle that is going to have a bit more mystery to it.
Scene Point Blank: I know Janelle Monáe came on board for "We Are Young" through your producer, but did you have another vocalist in mind? If Janelle had not been interested, who would you have liked to have done the vocals?
Jack Antonoff: Janelle was always at the top of the list, even before we knew she was an option. Her becoming part of the song was all just wonderful luck based on the connection through Jeff [Bhasker]. We never had to think of who else we would have wanted on the track. If I had to think about it now…I'd say Robyn, Lykke Li, or Tegan and Sara.
Scene Point Blank: Speaking of "We Are Young," you guys recently released the official video for it, even though you'd had another one for it previously. How come you released that first video as opposed to waiting for the official one? Was the first originally intended to be the official video?
Jack Antonoff: The first video was never intended on being the official. The whole multiple “We Are Young” video process was an odd one. Here's what happened: we wanted to do a lyric video for YouTube so we could just stream the audio. But then we thought, “everyone does that, why not do something a bit more exciting.” So we brought on a great artist, Brian Gonzales, and completely trusted whatever vision he had for a strange one-shot video for the stream. Somehow this whole thing created a lot of controversy within our fan base. People hated it, loved it and, more interestingly, also had wild conspiracy theories as to what it meant. The reaction was fascinating for us to witness, and somehow even with the release of the official video there is still a great deal of confusion. From our end, we're always happy to have stuff out there that gets everyone talking one way or another.
Scene Point Blank: Are the tuxedos a look we can expect to see on tour?
Jack Antonoff: God, no. So constricting. I can’t imagine giving a great live show all tied up in that thing. I'd rather be head to toe in denim--and I will be.
Scene Point Blank: Does it get tiring when fans ask to hear Format songs? Especially now that you guys have another album's worth of songs you can play?
Jack Antonoff: That was more something that happened a lot at the beginning. As of late, the fans seem to have a good separation about the two bands being their own entities. Either way, it's not a strange thing because we're all Format fans at the end of the day as well. Truth. But as far as playing songs, we're just at a point where we're excited to have two albums to pull from. Can't say I don't like playing “If Work Permits” live though.
Scene Point Blank: Lastly, I'm just wondering if there any tourist locations you always like to visit when you're touring America? Are there any you want to visit that you haven't yet?
Jack Antonoff: I used to go to South of the Border a lot, but not so much anymore since I've drifted out of my fireworks phase. It's mostly food-related at this point. There are restaurants all over the country that we've fallen in love with over the years and truly look forward to going to. For example, Tellers in Lawrence, Kansas is the best.
Thank you to Jack Antonoff for taking the time to answer the questions and Jordan Frazes for setting up the interview. We also reviewed fun.'s live performance right here.