Fun (band)

Last updated

Fun. band.jpg
Fun. in 2012
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2008–2015 (on hiatus)
Associated acts

Fun (stylized as fun.) is an American indie pop group based in New York City. The band was formed by Nate Ruess (former lead singer of The Format), with Andrew Dost (of Anathallo), and Jack Antonoff (of Steel Train and Bleachers). [3] To date, Fun has released two albums: Aim and Ignite in August 2009 and Some Nights in February 2012.

Indie pop is a music genre and subculture that combines guitar pop with DIY ethic in opposition to the style and tone of mainstream pop music. It originated from British post-punk in the late 1970s and subsequently generated a thriving fanzine, label, and club and gig circuit. Compared to its counterpart, indie rock, the genre is more melodic, less abrasive, and relatively angst-free. In later years, the definition of indie pop has bifurcated to also mean bands from unrelated DIY scenes/movements with pop leanings. Subgenres include chamber pop and twee pop.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Nate Ruess American singer-songwriter

Nathaniel Joseph Ruess is an American singer-songwriter. He is the lead singer of the indie pop band Fun, and previously of The Format. As of 2015, he also performs as a solo musician.


The band is best known for three hit singles from Some Nights : Grammy Award-winning "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monáe), "Some Nights", and "Carry On". "We Are Young" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts. It also peaked at number one in the United Kingdom. "Some Nights" was released as the album's second single in June 2012, peaking at number three on the Hot 100 chart and becoming Fun's second Top 10 single, as well as the band's second song to reach platinum status in the United States.

<i>Some Nights</i> (album) 2012 studio album by fun.

Some Nights is the second studio album by American pop rock group Fun. It was released on February 21, 2012 through Fueled by Ramen, a subsidiary of major label Warner Music Group. It was recorded in 2011 and produced by Jeff Bhasker. After signing to a new label, the band began to work on Some Nights for over nine months throughout 2011.

We Are Young 2011 single by fun. featuring Janelle Monáe

"We Are Young" is a song recorded by American band Fun featuring American singer Janelle Monáe, for their second studio album, Some Nights (2012). It was released on September 20, 2011, as the lead single from the album. The song received acclaim from music critics, with many noting the song as a breakthrough for the indie genre and praising the song's catchiness. "We Are Young" has attained commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in several countries.

Janelle Monáe American singer, songwriter, rapper, model, actress, and producer

Janelle Monáe Robinson is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer who is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society.

Fun's song "We Are Young" won the Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Song of the Year in 2013. Additionally, Fun was a nominee for four other Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo or Group Performance (both for "We Are Young") along with Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album (both for Some Nights ). [4]

The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has been awarded since 1959. Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for records released in the previous year. The award was not presented in 1967. The official guidelines are as follows: "For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist." Note that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist.

The Grammy Award for Song of the Year is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. The Song of the Year award is one of the four most prestigious categories at the awards presented annually since the 1st Grammy Awards in 1959. According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is presented:

to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.


2008: Career beginnings and formation

In February 2008, Nate Ruess's former band The Format split up. Immediately afterwards, Nate Ruess asked Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to join his new project. Dost had toured with The Format and provided various instrumentation, and Ruess met Antonoff after The Format toured with Steel Train. [5] The three began working together in New Jersey within a week. Ruess sang melodies while the other two provided music for them. [6] The first demo song the band recorded was "Benson Hedges", which was made available free in Spin's August 20, 2008 article on the band. [7] In November 2008, fun embarked on their first tour opening for Jack's Mannequin. Their first show was played in Denver, Colorado on November 5, 2008. [8] A couple of early demos and covers from other bands were performed. Fun then approached Steven McDonald, who produced The Format's album Dog Problems with Ruess, to produce their debut album. McDonald was enthusiastic about the project and stated, "I can’t believe what we’re working on here. This crushes anything I’ve ever done." [6]

The Format American indie rock band

The Format was an American indie rock band formed by Nate Ruess and Sam Means. The band announced a hiatus on February 4, 2008. Their style can be considered a mixture of indie, alternative, punk and folk music, with elements of 1960s and 1970s pop music. Though Means and Ruess were the foremost members of the band, they have played, toured, and recorded with Mike Schey, Mark Buzard, Don Raymond, and for the DVD recording and summer 2007 tour, The Honorary Title's drummer Adam Boyd. The Format chose their name to make fun of the music industry's inclination towards a cookie-cutter "format" for a hit.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Jacks Mannequin

Jack's Mannequin was an American rock band formed in 2004, hailing from Orange County, California. The band originally began as a solo project for Andrew McMahon, the frontman of Something Corporate.

2009–2010: Aim and Ignite

Recording took place in the fall of 2008. The band's first single, "At Least I'm Not as Sad As I Used to Be" was made available as a free download on the band's Myspace page on April 6, 2009. [9] Aim and Ignite was released on August 25, 2009 and received positive reviews.'s Drew Beringer praised the album, stating it was "what a pop album 'should' sound like" and "the most essential pop album of 2009." [10] Allmusic called the album "progressive, but in the best possible way" and admired Ruess's lyrics for "investigating the larger truths of life...with a witty approach that keeps the songs bubbling merrily along on a positive note". [11] Dave de Sylvia of Sputnikmusic wrote, "Aim and Ignite isn’t the most consistent pop album around," but he ultimately commended the album as "a superbly mixed and arranged album made by musicians who clearly understand the limits and potential of pop music". [12] Estella Hung of PopMatters was less impressed with the album. She praised songs "Be Calm" and "The Gambler", but criticized the lyrics and production of the album's early tracks. Hung concluded that while Aim and Ignite is "pretty original to say the least", it "fails to live up to the Format’s last outing." [13] Popdose's Ken Shane called the album "an interesting and unusual listen." Shane applauded the album's songwriting and said "many of the songs are really good," but he objected to the "cute" production, desiring to hear the band "in a more stripped-down form." He ended his review with: "I have a similar problem with Dr. Dog, a band that was recommended to me by a number of people. I think much of their recorded work is too fussed over, but when I saw them live and their sound was more stripped down out of necessity, emphasizing their powerful songwriting, I thought they were wonderful. Perhaps the same fate awaits me with Fun." [14] In reviewing the album, The Washington Post called some of the arrangements "theatrical, much like those on Panic! at the Disco's 2005 debut". [15] The album reached number 26 on Sputnikmusic's top 50 albums of 2009. The album peaked at 71 on the U.S. album charts.

Myspace social network

Myspace is an American social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos. Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world from 2005 to 2008. It is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.

Sputnikmusic is a music community website offering music criticism and music news alongside features commonly associated with wiki-style websites. The format of the website is unusual in that it includes both professional and amateur content, distinguishing it from professionally written music websites such as Pitchfork Media and Tiny Mix Tapes, as well as collecting and presenting a wiki-style metadata database in a manner comparable to Rate Your Music and Discogs.

PopMatters is an international online magazine of cultural criticism that covers many aspects of popular culture. PopMatters publishes reviews, interviews, and detailed essays on most cultural products and expressions in areas such as music, television, films, books, video games, comics, sports, theater, visual arts, travel, and the Internet.

Fun began its first North American tour on November 8, 2008, opening for Jack's Mannequin [16] as well as opening for them again in February 2010, followed by their first U.K. appearances in March. In April 2010, Fun supported Paramore's headline tour. [17] The band then embarked on a full U.K. tour in May. On August 4, 2010, Fun announced that they had signed with label Fueled by Ramen. [18] In 2010, Fun's single "Walking the Dog" was used in a commercial for the travel site [19] Will Noon (formerly of Straylight Run) played drums with Fun on tour, according to Noon's Twitter page. [20] To celebrate the Paramore U.K. tour and the band's new single "Walking the Dog", Hassle Records gave away a free download of an acoustic version of the track. [21]

Paramore American pop punk band

Paramore is an American rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. Williams and Farro are founding members of the group, while York, a high school friend of the original lineup, joined in 2007. Williams is the only member listed on the band's recording contract with Warner Music Group's Fueled by Ramen sublabel and the only member to appear on all five of Paramore's studio albums.

Fueled By Ramen LLC is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and distributed by Elektra Records. The label, founded in Gainesville, Florida, is now based in New York City.

Straylight Run band that plays alternative rock

Straylight Run is an emo band based in Baldwin, New York. The band has released two albums, Straylight Run and The Needles the Space, as well as three EPs, Prepare to Be Wrong, About Time, and Un Mas Dos. In 2010, the band announced that they would be going on indefinite hiatus, but might reunite in the future. Two of the members, John Nolan and Shaun Cooper, are currently in Taking Back Sunday.

2011–present: Some Nights and hiatus

On May 17, 2011, the band released "C'mon" as a joint single with Panic! at the Disco, for whom they opened on their 2011 Vices & Virtues Tour. On November 7, 2011, the band announced that their next album would be titled Some Nights . Its first single, called "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monáe, has since been used in several other media, including television series Gossip Girl , [22] 90210 , [23] Glee , and Chuck ; [24] commercials for Chevrolet [25] and Apple; [26] and in the trailer for Judd Apatow's film This Is 40 . [27] On December 12, 2011, the band's song "One Foot" was available for instant streaming and free download on Nylon's website. [28]

On February 13, 2012, the band released an album stream of Some Nights on their website along with a note from Ruess thanking fans for their ongoing support. Ruess states he is "over the moon about what you're about to hear and falling asleep knowing that as soon as I wake up, this will no longer be a dream." [29] It was released on February 21, 2012 through Fueled by Ramen. [30] The band kicked off the start of their North American tour in support of Some Nights on February 29. [31]

On March 7, 2012, Fun's single "We Are Young" reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This makes Fun the first multi-member rock band to have a No. 1 Billboard debut on the Hot 100 since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me". [32] On April 11, 2012, announced that Fun's "We Are Young" also made Digital Sales history. As the song was at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth consecutive week, it has become the first, and at this time only, song that has ever gained 300,000+ downloads for seven weeks straight. [33] The music video for the album's third single, "Carry On", was released in October 2012 [34] and was the third song from Some Nights to enter the Billboard Hot 100.[ citation needed ] The group performed "Some Nights" and "Carry On" on Saturday Night Live on November 3, [35] and then performed "We Are Young" on the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards on November 11. [36]

The group performed at the 55th Grammy Awards, held February 10, 2013. Entertainment Weekly predicted that "We Are Young" would bring home the Grammy in the categories Record of the Year and Song of the Year (writing, of the latter, "'We Are Young' is the kind of anthem this category is made for"), and that Some Nights would win for Best Pop Vocal Album. "We Are Young" won the Grammy for Song of the Year and was nominated for Record of the Year. Fun also won the Grammy for Best New Artist. [37] Ruess, after winning for "We Are Young", jokingly said, "I don't know what I was thinking, writing the chorus for this song. If this is in HD, everybody can see our faces, and we are not very young." [38] On February 26, 2013, Fun released the music video for "Why Am I the One", the fourth single from the album.[ citation needed ]

In September 2013, the band joined British rock legends Queen for a special version of Queen's hit "Somebody to Love" then as a duet with the more modern version of the band in the form of Queen + Adam Lambert for "Fat Bottomed Girls" at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. [39] In December 2013, Fun digitally released Before Shane Went To Bangkok: Live in The USA , a live EP with songs from both Aim and Ignite and Some Nights, as well as a recording of "What the Fuck", previously unreleased by the band. A vinyl release of the EP was released in March 2014. [40]

In 2014, the band announced they are working on writing new material for an upcoming and unnamed album, however there was no time frame. On June 18, 2014, Fun performed a new song "Harsh Light" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon . This song was later released on Nate Ruess' solo album, Grand Romantic .

On February 4, 2015, the band announced on its Facebook page and their official website that they are not splitting up, but are taking some time off to pursue other projects:

First and foremost, to answer the question that has been raised most often: Fun is not breaking up. Fun was founded by the 3 of us at a time when we were coming out of our own bands. One thing that has always been so special about Fun is that we exist as 3 individuals in music who come together to do something collaborative. We make Fun records when we are super inspired to do so. Currently, Nate is working on his first solo album, Andrew is scoring films, and Jack is on tour and working on Bleachers music. The 3 of us have always followed inspiration wherever it leads us. Sometimes that inspiration leads to Fun music, sometimes it leads to musical endeavors outside of Fun. We see all of it as part of the ecosystem that makes Fun, fun. [41]

Ruess' debut solo album, Grand Romantic, was released on June 15, 2015.

Band members

Band membersYears activeInstruments
Jack Antonoff 2008–presentvocals, lead guitar, drums, percussion, piano
Andrew Dost 2008–presentpiano, guitar, keyboards, flugelhorn, trumpet, glockenspiel, vocals, drums, bass guitar
Nate Ruess 2008–presentlead vocals, sampler
Touring musiciansYears activeInstruments
Nate Harold2009–2015bass guitar
Emily Moore2009–2015guitar, vocals, keyboards, saxophone, maracas, violin
Will Noon2011–2015drums
Jonathan Goldstein2008–2010drums
Jessica Martins2008guitar, vocals, keyboards
David Lizmi2008bass
Maggie Malyn2008violin
Will Yates2009bass guitar
Am Wheeldon2008bass guitar
Ryan Mann Jr.2009bass guitar
Lee Wilkinson2009guitar
Alex Townley2010–2011guitar
Ian Hare2010bass guitar [42]
Liam O'Keefe2010guitar
Mike Schey2010guitar
George Roth2011bass guitar


Awards and nominations

Fun is the winner of two Grammy Awards, two Teen Choice Awards, and one Billboard Music Award.

In 2010, they won Best Pop/Rock Song at the Independent Music Awards for "All the Pretty Girls". [43]

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Jeffrey Nath Bhasker is an American record producer, songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He collaborated with rapper and producer Kanye West on the albums 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Watch the Throne. He has won Grammy Awards for the songs "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, "All of the Lights" by Kanye West, "We Are Young" by Fun., and "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson. Bhasker received the 2016 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for co-producing Mark Ronson's album Uptown Special and producing Nate Ruess's album Grand Romantic among other records.

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Carry On (Fun song) Fun song

"Carry On" is a song by American indie pop band fun. It was released on 23 October 2012 as the third single off their second album, Some Nights. The song was written by the band members, Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, alongside the album's producer, Jeff Bhasker. It is also featured in the HGTV 2013 #LoveHome commercial and in the pilot episode of FX series Legit. The song is also featured in the 2013 documentary Bridegroom.

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Andrew Dost musician

Andrew Paul Dost is an American musician, singer and current member of the indie rock band Fun., in which he plays several instruments, mainly the piano. He was formerly a member of the indie rock band Anathallo from 2003 to 2007.

Jack Antonoff American singer, musician, songwriter and record producer

Jack Michael Antonoff is an American singer, musician, songwriter and record producer. Antonoff is the lead singer of indie pop band Bleachers, and a guitarist and drummer in the indie rock band Fun. He was previously the lead singer of the indie rock band Steel Train. Aside from his work with Bleachers and Fun, Antonoff has worked as a songwriter and record producer with various artists, including Taylor Swift, Lorde, St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Troye Sivan. Antonoff has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won four Grammy Awards: two for his work with Fun, one for production on Taylor Swift's album 1989, and one with St. Vincent for writing the title track on Masseduction. He also started his own music festival, Shadow of The City, which takes place annually in New Jersey.

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"Nothing Without Love" is the debut single by American singer Nate Ruess from his debut solo studio album Grand Romantic. The song was released on February 23, 2015 via Fueled By Ramen. The song impacted modern rock radio on March 3, 2015.

<i>Grand Romantic</i> 2015 studio album by Nate Ruess

Grand Romantic is the debut studio album of Nate Ruess, lead vocalist from The Format and Fun. It was released on June 16, 2015, by Fueled by Ramen. The album was produced by Some Nights producer Jeff Bhasker. Following the hiatus of Fun, Ruess announced that he would be working on material for a solo project.

Sam Means is an American singer, songwriter and musician, previously songwriter of indie pop band The Format.


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