Interview: Their name is FUN.
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • March 16, 2012 @ 11:52am
Although we missed connections in Austin while at SXSW earlier this week, I still got a chance to chat with Andrew Dost from one of the hottest bands on the scene, FUN.
How has Austin been so far for you guys?
Andrew Dost: It’s been really good, but I haven’t had much time to catch shows. We were walking down some streets in the city and randomly ran into some friends I haven’t seen in five years. They are some of my closest friends, which was great.
Another cool thing was we got to check out the NPR showcase at Stubb’s and Fiona Apple was performing. It’s an amazing place to be if you’re an appreciator of music of any kind. Everyone kind of congregates here. It’s exciting.
We heard through Twitter that something happened with your show last night?
AD: It was a sound nightmare. I don’t like to point fingers, but things weren’t working. We were all set to do a full set but we didn’t go on until 40 minutes late. We decided to just go on with an acoustic guitar and do the show. It was a real bummer because we had gotten it down to a science with our own team.
It was just a disappointment to be in that situation, but the fans were amazing.
Personally, I’m a big fan of “Some Nights Intro” and “One Foot” off the Some Nights album. What was the thought process behind those songs?
AD: With “One Foot” it was one of the last songs we recorded and we wanted to make it a hard ass rap song. Well, as hard as we could. We were looking a lot at older hip hop at the time and it’s a real reference to that, working through some great ideas. It’s really our version of a rap song.
With “Some Nights Intro” we always thought in terms of theater and cinema and what kind of journey the music would set. We wanted it to be like setting up a film. Like setting up a Woody Allen film.
Your single, “We Are Young” has been getting a great buzz recently. How did that collaboration with Janelle Monáe come about?
AD: It happened through our producers. We obviously wanted to work with her, but didn’t know quite what to do. She reacted positively to the song and finished the vocals on the track. In addition to respect for her as an artist, we adore her and all her people. They were awesome and really inspiring.
You guys are working your way through a pretty packed tour this year, any cities you’re looking forward to stopping at?
AD: I really liked playing in Rochester and Salt Lake City was cool too. It’s those smaller pockets that can sometimes be amazing shows. New York City and Los Angeles are great for obvious reasons, but there’s something about those other shows. I live in Michigan so I always look forward to the Detroit show. But for the rest of the year, I’m very excited for the international leg of the tour too.
Where does your personal music inspiration come from?
AD: I grew up with the Beatles. I knew from then on that I wanted to play music and in junior high I really started to get into it. I was fortunate to grow up in the 90’s rock era. Nirvana, Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins were amazing bands who put together amazing music videos. It was a great time to watch MTV and buy Rolling Stone.
In high school there was more punk rock, indie rock and The Clash. But Ben Folds really blew my mind. To be able to write songs like that with a piano as a rock instrument was great, since that’s what I play as well.
Coming from different musical backgrounds, was it an instant click when FUN. got together?
AD: It took a little bit of time. We started working on one song and it just wasn’t happening. We started freaking out a bit because it felt too much like work. We decided to scrap that original song and start over with a new track. The second song is where everything started to piece together and click. We really liked working together after that. From that second song on, it was really a good thing.
Any chance we can bribe you with chicken wings to play a show in Buffalo this tour?
AD: Probably not this tour, but if you double the amount of wings, I’ll talk to my manager.
Any crazy stories from being on the road so far?
AD: We’re all actually pretty sick. So that’s as crazy as it gets. We’re drinking tea and taking Emergen-C. I was out of the woods for awhile, but caught it again recently.
Last but not least, what are your favorite songs to sing in the shower?
AD: I Inherited this one from my Dad who sings it when he plays golf, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” by the Beatles is usually my go-to. Then there is also “Bad Romance” by Gaga. It’s probably one of the catchiest songs ever written.
Photo courtesy of Atlantic Records.