Fun. – Interview

Sunday 6th June 2010
Rock City, Nottingham

How does it feel to be back in the UK?

Nate: Good

Andrew: Great

Nate: I don’t know if I’m jet lagged anymore. Are you guys?

Andrew: Yeah, I stayed up until 5am watching Modern Family last night.

Nate: Well I’ve been drinking myself out of jet lag, so I get until about 3am and then I pass out and wake up at a normal time but I still feel tired.

How is it different to your tour with Paramore?

Andrew: Really, really different. That one we just ate all day. No, we drank all day.

Jack: It was really good but it’s difficult to notice one person, you know at smaller shows you get to see more people and their reaction, which is exciting.

Nate: Yeah, I think that when we started with the band and with previous bands we had been in within the United States we had been fortunate to have a draw already and I think that here in the UK we get to start over fresh.

Andrew: Which is kind of exciting actually.

Jack: Yeah it’s kind of cool to feel like we get to start over.

Andrew: It’s nice to play and know that you have to win people over and that you’ve got to play your hardest.

Jack: And with the crowds here they don’t show you a lot really. Yesterday the headliner was Mystery Jets and I was like “are you guys ready for the Mystery Jets” and they were like crickets, where as in the states if you do something like that and say the headliners name people go ape, so I think that’s quite interesting.

So would you say the crowd reacted well to you on the Paramore tour?

Andrew: Yeah

Nate: Definitely

Andrew: The fans seem really accepting and open to new music and stuff.

In terms of your fans, on your MySpace you’ve had over 231 thousand views and you’ve been together since 2008, which is really outstanding. How do you guys feel about that?

Andrew: What’s MySpace? Do people still go on there?

Jack: No really, it’s great that people care.

Nate: It’s so great because we probably haven’t hit our mark in every aspect and it’s nice we’ve got a great jump-start.

So is MySpace no longer the place to push yourself online and where is?

Andrew: Maybe Facebook or maybe Band Camp.

Jack: I think your own websites are the ones to back because most bands or artists I know are trying to drive everything back to their own website, because the internet isn’t messed up it’s just Facebook and MySpace and a lot of bands are taking things off their Facebook and MySpace and linking it back to their own site.

Nate: I like that.

Jack: It’s a classy move and that people have interest in our website.

How would you describe your music to anyone that hasn’t heard it before?

Jack: I think we’ve had this come up in an interview before.

Andrew: Listen to it.

Nate: Or draw a picture.

Andrew: A pop, rock band with a bit of soul and maybe a bit of theatrical leanings.

I read your influences and you cover everything from “Nilsson Schmilsson” to the Beach Boys.

Andrew: We like Nilsson.

How do you combine all that and not get such a wide range of diverse music?

Nate: Well whatever we’re doing it’s certainly not forced and I don’t think I can describe it anymore than that. Which is good enough for us because I’d rather us not be too aware of what’s happening, even though we’re probably some of the most aware people in the world I think when it comes to just writing music I think we’ve got to try and shut that off and just know what we know. We’re all fans of music no matter how diverse and if we can bring something different or proper to the song then it’s good.

When writing those songs at what point do you cut it off and say that you’ve got to stop tinkering and leave it as it is instead of an ongoing process?

Nate: We don’t. I’m sure we’ll probably learn it as time goes by but when we made the first record we were all just so excited to see what the other person can do because everybody is so talented, so we didn’t.

Jack: That’s our goal for the future.

Andrew: Yeah try and cut away the excess and see how it can stand on it’s own two feet without these piles of other stuff on top of it.

How did you come up with the band name and what is the meaning behind the full stop at the end?

Nate: Well we were sitting at dinner and coming up with band names. Someone said ice cream (Jack) and we all said no, but we built an idea and Jack then said “Fun” which was a really cool idea because you don’t have to say it in a sarcastic way. We had to put the period at the end legally, which is nice because we’re not just Fun, we’re Fun.

Andrew: I kind of adds a hint that it’s ironic.

Nate: If fun was the last word in a sentence of a book it would be like ‘and Jonny was having fun.’

Jack: ‘The rally was fun.’

At what point did you guys decide to peruse music as a career?

Nate: When I was deficient in Spanish so I couldn’t go to the University and I’d already kind of been doing music so I guess I was like, alright I can continue to do it so I don’t have to go to community College and make up that deficiency into University.

Jack: In America College is so important that at the point where you don’t go College or leave College is the moment of no turning back because it’s such a big deal and either you’re a loser, you know but that’s just how we’re raised. So I think for me it was leaving College and for you (looking at Andrew) finishing College.

Andrew: I graduated.

Andrew: For me even though I went to College it was still something that I knew I wanted to do. I was like, I’m not in a band that’s wildly successful so I’ll go to College and I’ll probably meet my band there and I met my band there and we played and it was great, but even then I’ve always wanted to play music since I was about 5.

Has there been anybody who has been pivotal in supporting you with your music?

Nate: No. I always hoped that my parents would be supportive but I think that it’s more of a College thing and until I had a band and it was a big deal, then they supported me.

Andrew: My parents were pretty supportive and I had a music teacher in High School that took me after class and he also taught me how to play bass and music theory, a lot of stuff like that. All of which he wasn’t paid for we were just friends.

So do you think that what you do in school when you’re younger helps with what you want to do now?

Jack: I think your life either stops or starts in High School in America because most of the people I know stopped and started on a trajectory and other people who were like losers in High School in a way their life started. I don’t know if its different here but where I grew up there’s a lot of formulas and it’s very hard to get out of them.

So if you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

Andrew: I would like to think that we are all capable intelligent people.

Jack: I’m thinking I could be an athlete.

Andrew: Yeah or and astronaut, I’d be happy going into space.

Nate: I wouldn’t have the confidence to do anything if it wasn’t for this first so I think that I’m capable of doing anything after this, but I think this is where it has all started.

Jack: Part of the reason I’ve been doing this is because I’ve been made to feel like I can’t do anything else, which is another issue about school.

Andrew: Well my experience is different because academically I had a lot of support and I went to a very small school, but in other ways like athletics and socially I was very much an outcast so I think that feeling of being unwanted is a feeling that we all have in common.

Jack: It’s hard to be bad at something you’re supposed to be good at.

Andrew: But who wants to be good at science class, I don’t really care about that. It’s a common thread with a lot of people making music it probably developed out of an intense yearning to be good elsewhere and not really coming through.

Nate: That’s true with artists in general.

They say that music is a new learning curve and platform for new bands, what have you learnt from your experiences and what would you pass onto other bands? We interviewed Myles Kennedy and his advice was to not trust lawyers.

Andrew: He said that? Our lawyer is one of the trust-worthiest people we know.

Nate: I think that it just comes from my own personal formula to just go ahead and do it. As long as you’ve got the drive to be yourself and as far as music is concerned that was always big for me and just believing in yourself and what I was doing, not necessarily being happy with it which could make me a miserable person but it makes me more ambitious. Furthermore on top of that it’s not as important to promote yourself as feeling great about what you do and then playing live as much as possible.

Jack: I think for me it was about having a lot of idols and people are thinking that the bands they idolise they could never be like and wondering if they suck or if anyone will like their record and how they look, but those are really important lessons that I learnt and that whether you’re playing to one person or one hundred people they’re always worried about ticket sales and then below that is the real reasons why we all do it, but everyone I’ve ever met is thinking the same thing.

Andrew: Also, in the same league as that you can do it if you really love the new Broken Bells or Tegan and Sara or Vampire Weekend and you obsess over it there’s no reason that you can’t write a record that good, or even like the Beatles. Everyone is looking somewhere else thinking they could never be like that but the truth is that we all can you just have to try for it.

Nate: I think that it is also crucial to remain true to what you want to do in an artistic sample.

Andrew: Just because you write a song that doesn’t sound like the first song off Funeral that’s not a bad thing, it’s the first song of your record and that’s what really matters.