He’s the lead guitarist for an explosively popular, chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning band. It’s hard to imagine how it could get any more Fun. than that. But Jack Antonoff has been squeezing even more excitement into his schedule with the recent launch of his first solo project, Bleachers.
His work on the endeavor began while touring with Fun. around the globe. Antonoff kept the project a secret for about a year until February 2014, when he launched the first single “I Wanna Get Better,” along with the Bleachers website, social media profiles, and tour dates.
“I spent the past year working on the music but not talking about it, and eventually it became this psychotic alter-ego situation, where it was second nature to have this part of me that no one knew about,” Antonoff confided. “Except for a small group of people, most of which happened to be members of my immediate family, no one was aware that this music, or this album even existed … even though it existed so deeply to me.”
He also described his solo efforts as “almost the exact opposite” of his work with Fun. “Being in a group, you’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other and working together to create something bigger than yourself. With this, it’s just me wrestling with the ideas in my head. It reads more like a diary or something. I like that.”
Bleachers’ first album, Strange Desire, just dropped this summer. Antonoff recently spoke of the anxiousness surrounding his first full-length solo release, explaining that “Making an album is just this intensive two-year period where you have all the control in the world. Then all of that control is given up and it’s a whirlwind—everyone has a way of redefining it.”
Despite any apprehension he may have had, Strange Desire has so far been a smash success in the world of indie pop. Variance Magazine described the new record as a “rollercoaster,” and a “brilliant summer anthem.” If you are worried about how this may affect his involvement with Fun., you can be calm. Antonoff has made it clear that Bleachers was never meant to be a departure from the group, and he fully intends to carry on with his current position.