Fun (stylized as fun.) is an American indie pop band based in New York City that was formed by Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format. After the breakup of The Format, Ruess formed Fun with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff, of Anathallo and Steel Train, respectively. Fun has released two albums: Aim and Ignite in August 2009 and Some Nights in February 2012.
The band is best known for three hit singles: 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.
On February 10, 2013, Fun won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for “We Are Young”. 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).
Fun in 2012
|Origin||New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie pop|
|Labels||Fueled by Ramen, Nettwerk, Paper + Plastick, Atlantic, Elektra|
The Format split in February 2008. Immediately afterward, Nate Ruess asked Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to join his new project. Dost had toured with The Format and provided various instrumentation. Ruess met Antonoff after The Format toured with Steel Train. The three began working together in New Jersey within a week. Ruess sang melodies while the other two provided music for them. 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. Fun 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.”
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. Aim and Ignite was released on August 25, 2009 and received positive reviews. AbsolutePunk.net’s Drew Beringer praised the album, stating it was “what a pop album ‘should’ sound like” and “the most essential pop album of 2009.” 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”. 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”. 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.” 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.” In reviewing the album, The Washington Post called some of the arrangements “theatrical, much like those on Panic at the Disco’s 2005 debut”. The album reached number 26 on Sputnikmusic’s top 50 albums of 2009. The album peaked at 71 on the US album charts.
Fun began its first North American tour on November 8, 2008 opening for Jack’s Mannequin., as well as opening for them again in February 2010, followed by their first UK appearances in March. In April 2010, Fun supported Paramore’s headline tour. The band then embarked on a full UK tour in May. On August 4, 2010, Fun announced that they had signed with label Fueled by Ramen.
In 2010 Fun’s single, “Walking the Dog”, was used in a commercial for the travel site Expedia.com. Will Noon (formerly of Straylight Run) played drums with Fun on tour, according to Noon’s Twitter page. To celebrate the Paramore UK tour and the band’s new single “Walking the Dog”, Hassle Records gave away a free download of an acoustic version of the track.
On May 17, 2011, the band released “C’mon” as a joint single with Panic! at the Disco, whom they opened for 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, 90210, Glee, and Chuck, commercials for Chevrolet and Apple, and in the trailer for Judd Apatow’s film This Is 40.
On December 12, 2011, the band’s song “One Foot” was available for instant streaming and free download on Nylon’s website. 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.” (It was released on February 21, 2012 through Fueled by Ramen). On February 17, 2012, Fun played to a room full of Music Industry executives, Radio Programmers and Music Supervisors at Sunset Sessions, held at the Rancho Bernardo inn, San Diego. On February 29, 2012 the band kicked off the start of their North American tour in support of Some Nights.
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” in December 2001/January 2002. On April 11, 2012, Billboard.com 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. The group performed “We Are Young” on the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards on November 11, 2012.
The song “We Are Young” made an early appearance during the 2011 Pacific-12 Football Championship Game. The chorus played underneath a montage of highlights featuring University of Oregon players.
Jimmy Fallon recalled the band performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on June 22, 2012: “They did Some Nights and just hit a homer, it was incredible. People who didn’t even really know them were like, ‘Oh, that’s those We Are Young guys? I love them!”
In September 2012, the song “Some Nights” was featured in the National Championship video for the 2011 University of Alabama football team. The video featured home videos of fans watching the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.
On April 1, 2012, “We Are Young” was used for WWE’s promotional video for The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII.
On October 24, 2012, the music video for the album’s third single, “Carry On”, was released. “Carry On” is the third song from Some Nights to enter the Billboard Hot 100.
On November 3, 2012 Fun performed the songs “Some Nights” and “Carry On” on Saturday Night Live.
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 the “Song of the Year” category. Fun also won the Grammy for “Best New Artist”. They were nominated for “Record of the Year”. Nate 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.”
On February 26, 2013 Fun released the music video for “Why Am I the One”, the fourth single from the album.
As of August 2013, there has been mention of Fun working on a new album in early 2014 after their Most Nights Tour ends.
|Band member||Duration||Related note(s)|
|Jack Antonoff||2008–present||Vocals, Lead guitar, Drums (since 2012)|
|Andrew Dost||2008–present||Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Vocals|
|Nate Ruess||2008–present||Lead vocalist, Sampler (since 2012)|
|Touring member||Duration||Related note(s)|
|Nate Harold||2009–present||Bass guitar, vocals,|
|Emily Moore||2009–present||Guitar, vocals, keyboard, saxophone, maracas|
|Ryan Mann Jr.||2009||Bass |
|Am Wheeldon||2008||Bass guitar|
|Ian Hare||2010||Bass guitar|
|Ryan Mann||2011||Bass guitar|
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”.