When indie rock band The Format announced their hiatus in early 2008, thousands of fans were devastated by the news. Luckily for them, frontman Nate Ruess had a new project up his sleeve. Teaming up with members of Anthallo and Steel Train, Ruess hit the studio a few months later to record the first fun. record, Aim and Ignite. In anticipation of the record release, the band hit the road, opening for pop rock powerhouses Jack’s Mannequin and Paramore.
The eclectic and whimsical Aim and Ignite received fantastic reviews across the board and left fans in eager anticipation of what’s next to come. As the band rounds out a few UK dates with Paramore and 2010’s hottest new rapper, B.o.B., we caught up with Nate to find out more about the story behind fun., touring and plans for a new release.
OS: You’re well known as the former lead vocalist and lyricist of The Format. For those who haven’t heard fun.’s music yet, how does it differ from The Format’s?
NR: Just different songwriters. Different approaches to writing songs. Different songs. Different band. Same vocals.
OS: Rounding out the fun.’s lineup are Jack Antonoff of Steel Train and Andrew Dost, formerly of Anthallo. How did the three of you come to collaborate on this project?
NR: It’s something we all had talked about in the past. And the time window opened up when The Format broke up. So we flew to Jersey and got to work.
OS: Your debut album Aim and Ignite is very eclectic, at times sounding like indie pop and other times sounding like a Broadway musical. Which artists were the biggest influences on that record?
NR: The Xanadu soundtrack. Really that was all we collectively listened to at the time. Otherwise, we all bring different influences to each song. I like how unique that is.
OS: Your song “Walking the Dog” was used in an ad for Expedia.com. What was it like to see your music in a national television commercial?
NR: I didn’t see it for a long time and then one day I was walking through the airport and saw it. I wanted to grab some random person, shake them, and say, “Hear that? That’s me. So stop judging how I look.”
OS: You’ve toured multiple times with Paramore and Jack’s Mannequin. What do you enjoy most about touring with those bands?
NR: The music, the members, their crew and their fans. All great things.
OS: Speaking of Paramore, you’ve embarked on three straight months of touring, including some dates in the UK playing stadium shows with them and B.o.B. How did you prepare for those dates?
NR: I built a mock stadium in my bathroom and I just practice my arena moves.
OS: You were recently signed to Fueled By Ramen. Why did you decide to choose to sign with them and how has it changed things for fun.?
NR: The ink is still really fresh. So nothing has changed yet. Hope it eventually does though. We went with them because we’ve known them for a long time and thought they could supply us a nice balance of artistic creativity and sheer power.
OS: What can fun.’s fans expect in terms of a new record? Any release plans for 2011?
NR: Working on it now. Plan on really digging deep into the new songs once we get home from tour. Not sure what it’s going to be stylistically. I do know these are my favorite lyrics I’ve written so far. Hopefully it will be out summer 2011.
11/18 – Newcastle, UK @ Metro Radio Arena with Paramore & B.o.B.
11/19 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena with Paramore & B.o.B.
11/20 – Aberdeen, SCT @ AECC Arena with Paramore & B.o.B.
11/27 – New York, NY @Webster Hall with Steel Train and The Postelles
11/29 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa with Steel Train and The Postelles
11/30 – Toronto, ON @The Mod Club Theatre with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/2 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/3 – Boston, MA @ Royale Night Club with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/4 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/5 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/7 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/8 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/9 – Orlando, FL @ The Social with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft with Steel Train and The Postelles
12/13 – Ashland, KY @ Paramount Arts Center with Steel Train and The Postelles