While he Set to release his third album with Bleachers, the musician and producer explores how his cultural staples intersect with his creative impulses.
To the outside observer, Jack Antonoff may seem like a workaholic.
Collaborator of confidence whose footprints are everywhere in contemporary pop, Antonoff has already worked on a number of notable releases this year.by Lana Del Rey , Clairo and Lord . "Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night ", the third studio album by the Antonoff Bleachers band, will be released on July 30, lest anyone forget he's making his own music, too.
But the portrayal of the ubiquitous workaholic Jack Antonoff is unfamiliar to Antonoff himself. "I can't see myself doing anything different from everyone I know," he said. “Over the past two years, I have given incredible importance to my free time and that of my family. And I reAlise that sitting in the studio all night is sort of a hoax. You might be better off going to dinner with your friends.
Antonoff, 37, divides his time between New York and his home state of New Jersey. Both pla These are incorporated into "Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night ", an album Antonoff wrote around the idea of falling in love and bringing home a new partner, "as a phor to show them your real me ". Promoting the record, Antonoff made this passage extremely literal, performing his new songs while crossing state lines on a moving bus ; while perched inside the Holland Tunnel ; and, in the case of the single "Chinatown in a car with one of his influences, Bruce Springsteen (who also voices the song).
Calling from his apartment in Brooklyn, Antonoff shared 10 of his much-loved cultural artifacts - and tried to be honest. "When people make these lists, it always seems like they hit a cut above what they actually feel. "he noted. " I just wrote down a bunch of things that I really like. "These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
1. “ Martha ” by Tom Waits
I 've never heard so much desire in a song. There are so many songs on it. love and regret, and there are lots of sad songs rds. And then every once in a while you hear something that is so much bigger than the sum of its parts. In high school I had this girlfriend , and she would put on "Foreign Affairs " and we were kissing. This song is not on this album, but I fell in love with her voice and when this relationship ended I took Tom Waits with me.
2. John F. Kennedy Memorabilia
I have a lot of them around my house. Growing up we had this JFK screw up; I don't know where my dad got it. Then I startede collectible J.F.K. busts, and all those great J.F.K. Speech compilation LP. There is just such a heavy cultural background that goes with it that makes you think of so many hopeful, tragic and bizarre elements of what it is to be an American. It has become a really interesting symbol for me, in its complication.
3. "The Ben Stiller Show
It was a skit on MTV with Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Bob Odenkirk and Janeane Garofalo that was so incredibly way ahead of its time. I see it as a kind of architecture for a lot of the weirder comedies that have become very popular over the past 10 years. And it's just not culturally recognized the same way you can start it up in a conversation the same way you can with "Kids in the Hall " or Upright Cit.izens Brigade or even "The State " - those things that people have context for.
4. Martin Ramirez
He was part of a group of foreign artists. There is a great book called “American Self-Taught” that highlights a lot of these things: Henry Darger, Bill Traylor, William Hawkins. All of these artists mean a lot to me because there is really something believable about seeing work that no one has asked anyone to do. It just comes from wanting to do it. Martin Ramirez had real mental health problems; I don't have much in common with him or his story, but when I look at the title his work , it really looks like inside his brain.
5. Magic: The Gathering
A few years ago my manager and I were walking around this comic book store. When I was young, everyone bought Magic cards - it was a big deal, at least in my corner of Jewish New Jersey. We walked in and started talking to this guy behind the counter, who was talking about Magic in a very nice way. So we bought cards and started playing and we got obsessed with it. There is such an art to putting your deck together. It's a crazy meditation on your life: you make these choices, and you put all these theories and roadmaps into them, but then you shuffle your deck and hope one of them plays out. It 's just a beautiful game that requires a lot of your intellect and soul. And I have only scratched the surface. But it's fun to be a part of something that you will never be able tois going all the way. This is kind of what I think of music: the goal is not to master this thing, the goal is to be a part of it.
6. Afghan Hounds
I am in love with them. I have never had any and have only met a few. But there is a version of my life where I just need to be. This one's a bit more of a free association: I thought I'd throw something that hasn't been reviewed and comes from a deep place. I'm just fantasizing about Afghan hounds are present.
7. @ NJGov on Twitter
There's this whole culture of brands having a sarcastic Twitter, and sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's a bit cooked, but it 's right at. If I go on social media and look around it doesn't necessarily feel like a comfortable place to be, but when I see the New Jersey government tweets, I feel joy and calm. It's just a job well done - it's not as common as we act like this. It is so contagious when someone has just killed him. Such a part of creating records is kind of like, "Why are we doing this?" We should only do this if we're all in it, not just to take up space. The New Jersey government Twitter is not taking up space.
8. Sam Dew
He 's an artist, someone I coHe elaborates a lot, a friend. He may have the best voice in the world. Every once in a while you are in the presence of someone who has just fallen to this earth with an ability that no one else has. It's not even something that I usually gravitate towards; sometimes I'm more interested in all the messy things people can put together that do something really beautiful in the end. But if you can ever be in a room and watch him sing, it's a life-changing experience.
9. Not to speak
This is how I feel about not speaking: I sometimes forget to think, and all that is good in my life came from the thought. The concept of being alone cannot be a catch-all for thinking. Everyone says, "Spend time alone, get to know each other" and, like, what the [expletive] means? Just because you are alone doesn't mean you are thinking. I like being in public or with people I know and not talking, because if you can get past that feeling of needing to be disturbing or maintain some kind of mood, you think about it. really when you're with people but not talking. one of the reasons I love the city is probably the ability to be there and not speak.
10. John Darnielle
This is our Dylan. It 's amazing when you hear a beautiful song [Mountain Goats] about loss or love, and it makes you think of the person you have lost or loved. It 's magique. But every once in a while you'll hear something that attracts a part of you that you don't even know where it's at, you just know it's there because it's pulled. This is the highest form of this work, when you connect in a way that is truly beyond words, beyond anecdotes, beyond "this song reminds me of this been with this person ". It's just on a whole different level. articlebody>