What happens when three musicians that formerly belonged to well known bands join forces? The result is one of my favorite bands at the moment: fun. After parting ways with The Format, singer and songwriter Nate Ruess enlisted help from Andrew Dost of Anathallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train to join him on a side project. After supporting Jack’s Mannequin in the fall of 2008, fun released their highly acclaimed debut album “Aim and Ignite” last summer. 2010 promises to be a good year for fun. They are currently wrapping up another tour in support of Jack’s Mannequin and have opening slots on both Motion City Soundtrack’s and Paramore’s spring tours. I chatted with Nate to learn more about this up-and-coming band.
Cristina: How would you describe fun?
Nate: I think it’s good. I think it’s a bunch of friends making music together. It’s just fun. At least for me.
CC: What are some of the influences behind fun? I know within “Aim and Ignite” showcases a variety of sounds.
NR: Um, I think pop music definitely had an influence there. A lot of 60’s pop music – The Beatles are a big one. Sometimes we’re even inspired by Broadway musicals.
CC: I know the three of you were previously parts of separate bands. How has that influenced the sound fun has? Were you trying to take it in a completely new direction or building on each other’s experiences?
NR: I think what I do as far as songwriting is a reflection of who I am personally. But I do think it is very different depending on the people that are in the equation. I always hope that with every record, or every song I write, I grow as a songwriter. So in fun you can definitely see both of those aspects.
CC: fun’s debut record “Aim and Ignite” was released last August. How has the reaction to it been so far?
NR: It’s awesome. We didn’t really know what to expect. We were really confident in the songs we had written and recorded. We were having a great time doing. But we had no idea how people were going to react to it. But it definitely exceeded our expectations. Just from people purchasing it. I think we were confident that people were going to like it but people actually taking the time to buy our record and come to our shows has been good.
CC: Right now, you’re on the Sing for Your Supper tour with Jack’s Mannequin. How is that going so far? I know before “Aim and Ignite” was released you guys also toured with them.
NR: Yeah, they’re friends of ours. It’s awesome that they really like our music and decided to take us out. They took us on our first tour ever. We didn’t really know if we were going to tour again at that point because we didn’t know what to expect from fun.
CC: And how has the reaction to fun been so far on the tour?
NR: It’s been amazing. It’s definitely the most fun I’ve had on tour.
CC: After this you guys are going overseas and doing some shows in London before heading out with Motion City Soundtrack and Paramore.
NR: Yep. I’m so shocked that we have such cool tours lined up. I’m excited to go to the UK. I’ve only done it once before, and I’ve never headlined there. It’s definitely going to be an experience. I think at this point we’re all really excited, whether it goes greatly or poorly.
CC: What are your expectations for fun in the future? Is this a one album deal or do you hope to build on it?
NR: Hopefully we’ll just continue to build on what we’ve been doing so far. I love playing headlining shows so hopefully in the summer we can do something after the Paramore tour. I hope a lot of people can be exposed to us and come to that. Fun is definitely not a one-time record thing. But for now, we’ll take it from there.