With the most fitting name in the music business, fun. hopes to bring a great time to the Majestic Theatre’s stage Wednesday night as it stops on its nationwide headlining tour.
The band is the combined brainchild of The Format’s Nate Ruess, Steel Train’s Jack Antonoff and Anathallo’s Andrew Dost. The group’s first album, titled Aim and Ignite, was released in 2009, and their sophomore album, Some Nights, is still fresh, having just hit shelves in February.
The tour is in support of the band’s new album. Dost, who provides various instrumentation as well as vocals, said he thinks Some Nights bridges the gap between the group’s past and future as musicians. While working on their new project, Dost said they “kind of fell in love with Kanye West’s albums and just a lot of the innovated production that’s happening in hip hop right now.” So, fun. took its talents to the man responsible for some of these innovations, a producer by the name of Jeff Bhasker. With Bhasker’s help in incorporating the current mainstream music trends, Dost believes, “You can hear those influences all over the album, but it also kind of retains some of the pop rock and theatricality of our last album.”
Along with the addition of Bhasker, Dost noted some other developments in the band’s music-making process.
“One big difference was that for Aim and Ignite, we camped out in one studio … and knew exactly how the album was going to fit together, and we did it over a block of like a two-month period,” Dost said. “And with this one, we had pretty skeletal versions of all the songs with vague general descriptions … and instead of staying in one studio, we kind of bounced all over the place.”
According to Dost, the change in scenery while putting together Some Nights allowed for new ideas and criticism with each step. “You don’t get time to get into another world and let your mind run away with ideas; you kind of get fresh perspective all the time, and I think that’s really helpful,” he said.
When it comes to perspectives, fun. already represents a range; each member brings something different to the table. For example, Dost comes from a background with classical musical training.
“Even with my old band, there were a lot of classical approaches to it. … We thought of it as an art project,” Dost explained. “With fun. I think, in terms of musicality, we all bring a lot of the same influence, but we also have different touches on it, too,” he said. “We all can agree on so many things, but we also have teeny little offshoots that we all have, too.”
The first single off Some Nights was “We Are Young,” which featured Janelle Mon?e and was released on iTunes in September 2011. The band gained a surge of public attention after the song was covered by the cast of “Glee” in December.
“It was very very surreal in the best way,” Dost said. After the cast’s version of the song hit iTunes, both the cover and single rocketed to the top of the charts. “It was like the first time I’ve had a lot of people from high school come out of the woodwork and say ‘That was really cool!’ and ‘Neat, you’re a musician!'”
Once “We Are Young” wet the palates of listeners everywhere, the release of Some Nights on Feb. 21 was a huge success. The single maintained the No. 1 spot on the iTunes chart and spent some time as No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album itself has not left the Top 25 on iTunes since its release.
Fun.’s popularity does not end with downloads. All but 10 cities have sold out on their three-month tour across North America.
The tour promises to deliver the same exciting energy and experience that fun. fans love.
“I just can’t wait to get back on the road,” Dost said. “I love being with the guys, I love playing music, and I love our album. I just can’t wait to play these songs live.”
Fun. plays at the Majestic Theatre tonight with opener Sleeper Agent. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30. Tickets are $17. For more information, visit www.majesticmadison.com.