I find it annoying when people are like, ‘You’re SO busy…’”
Jack Antonoff is sitting in front of a huge mixing desk at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, repping a T-shirt emblazoned with the legendary establishment’s logo. ”It’s like, maybe you only just know about these three records that are coming out this summer! And maybe you have no idea how long they took!”
The three records he’s talking about include Lorde’s eye-wateringly-anticipated new album ‘Solar Power’, Clairo’s recently-released second LP ‘Sling’, and his own, just-released Bleachers record, ‘Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night’. And that’s not even the half of it.
As frontman of Bleachers, the 37-year-old writes anthemic songs about sadness and trauma. As Jack Antonoff the producer, however, he is somewhat ubiquitous, having worked on some of the most successful and critically acclaimed alt-pop albums of the last five years: Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’, Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore’, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell!’ and ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’, and St Vincent’s ‘MASSEDUCTION’ and ‘Daddy’s Home’. They are the type of albums that, put simply, change lives, swathed in raw emotion, beautiful storytelling and unexpectedly personal self-analysis from some of the most noted women on the planet.
Jack meanwhile is no stranger to a little introspection of his own. ‘Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night’ is a record about framing life through the lens of the bad things that happen to you - and the danger of doing that for too long.
“My work is never comfortable,” he says, prodding at the bridge of his glasses. “That’s the best way I can describe songwriting or production - you’re grabbing at things you don’t know, which is very uncomfortable. You don’t write songs about things you know, because that would be boring, right? So you write songs about the quiet voices, the ones you can hear shouting in the distance, the ones that make you go: ‘What is that?’”
As featured in the August 2021 issue of DIY, out now.