Fun.’s ubiquitous hit “We Are Young” was an obvious call for a Record of the Year nomination at the Grammys. However, the trio’s Album of the Year nod for Some Nights – for which they’ll go head-to-head with Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, the Black Keys and Jack White – was a more surprising accolade for the band.
“We were happy the album was recognized. That was the big thing for us,” guitarist Jack Antonoff tells Rolling Stone. “To have the album recognized and have songs other than ‘We Are Young’ recognized makes us feel like we pushed past what we wanted to and became so much more than just a big song. That was, for me at least, the last affirming moment [to say] ‘Okay, fuck it, I can stop worrying about being a one-hit wonder, because we just got nominated for Album of the Year!'”
After the immediate success of “We Are Young,” Fun. has been careful to continue releasing the album’s biggest pop anthems as singles. The second, “Some Nights,” and the third, “Carry On,” eased the band’s concerns by charting well, too. “[‘Some Nights’] was a really important moment for us; [it helped] to push past the obvious worries that happen when you have a big song,” Antonoff says. “People start to realize this is an entire body of work; this isn’t a couple of cool songs.”
With nominations in all four major Grammys categories – Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist – Fun. seem like a lock to be asked to perform at the awards show on February 10th. However, they aren’t taking anything for granted. “Fingers crossed that we’ll get asked to play,” Antonoff says. The band does have a firm idea of which other artist they’d like to collaborate with, however, but will not disclose that yet. “We’ve got something in our back pocket if we were to get asked that we’ve sort of always dreamed about.”
Antonoff is much less reticent about which other artists he’d like to see duet. “Jack White and Tom Waits would be my favorite collaboration. There are unbelievable complimentary artistic elements there,” he says enthusiastically, adding that the band hopes to meet White at the ceremony. “I just thought of the two of them, singing the way they sing, their frustrated guitar styles. To me, Jack White is our current generation’s Tom Waits in the sense you can’t really pin down. He cares not at all about making a record sound like the before or after.” With a Grammy or two under their belts come February, Fun. may find themselves enjoying a similar freedom.