At 38 years old, Jack Antonoff has this physical status:
In 2002, Antonoff and friend, Scott Irby-Ranniar, formed the band Steel Train—Antonoff was the lead singer, and they recruited drummer Matthias Gruber. The band then convinced two of their friends from the band Random Task, Evan Winiker and Matthew Goldman, to drop out of college to join the new band. Steel Train secured a recording deal with Drive-Thru Records. The group was popular on the jamband festival circuit and Antonoff has said he has applied that grassroots mentality to his future projects.
In 2008, Nate Ruess (formerly the frontman of the Format) asked Antonoff to join him and Andrew Dost (formerly of Anathallo) in a new band, which became fun. Antonoff was already well acquainted with Ruess and Dost, as their former bands had all toured together. The new band released its debut album, Aim and Ignite, in 2009. Fun's second album, Some Nights (2012), produced the band's first number-one hit single, "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae). The song was co-written by Antonoff with Ruess, Dost, and Jeff Bhasker. Fun then played with their musical heroes Queen in September 2013 at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, which was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Antonoff played Brian May's guitar during the rehearsal, which he described as the "most surreal experience ever." The band then released a free six-song EP in December 2013, titled Before Shane Went to Bangkok: Fun Live in the USA.
Antonoff announced a solo project called Bleachers in February 2014. Antonoff stated in June 2014 that the project had been a consideration for around 10 years, and the name was inspired by the "disconnected, darker side" of suburban youth and John Hughes movies, which were "tied to a time when big songs were great songs." The songs for the debut Bleachers album were mostly written on Antonoff's laptop computer in hotel rooms during a Fun. world tour.
The Huffington Post published a positive review of Bleachers' first single, "I Wanna Get Better"—released on February 18—calling it the "catchiest song of 2014," while Time proclaimed, "[Bleachers] is more fun than Fun." Antonoff revealed the intent behind the debut single in a Rolling Stone interview:
Antonoff explained to Rolling Stone that, while the song might sound joyous, "it's very desperate" and, like many of the other songs on the album is about loss. Antonoff worked with producers John Hill and Vince Clarke on the Bleachers studio album, as he sought to create "massive, beautiful pop songs that sound fuckin' cool." The completed album, Strange Desire, was released in July 2014, and "I Wanna Get Better" peaked at number one on the U.S. Alternative charts during the same week. In regard to Strange Desire, Antonoff said:
"I Wanna Get Better" was eventually named number 18 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Songs of 2014, with the publication describing the song as "therapy rock" that is "as fun as it is cathartic". Antonoff released Bleachers' second album Gone Now on June 2, 2017. Its lead single "Don't Take the Money" peaked at number 2 on Alternative Radio.
"Sweeter than Fiction", a song Antonoff wrote and produced with American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for the 2013 film One Chance, was released. The song was written in Antonoff's New York City apartment after he and Swift shared a love of a particular snare drum sound from a Fine Young Cannibals song. They brainstormed ideas by email before starting the songwriting process.
Swift and Antonoff wrote and produced three songs together on Swift's fifth studio album 1989, including the single, "Out of the Woods", "I Wish You Would", and the bonus track "You Are In Love". 1989 was released in October 2014, and became the biggest-selling album in the U.S. in 2014. On the deluxe version of the album, Swift explains in a voice memo that the song "I Wish You Would" originated from a guitar track that Antonoff had recorded on his smartphone. After Swift first heard the track, she asked Antonoff if she could develop the idea further, and it eventually became an album track after both songwriters were satisfied with Swift's work. The album won Antonoff a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2016.
In 2016, Swift, Antonoff and Sam Dew wrote Swift and Zayn's song "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", the song produced by Antonoff, for the film Fifty Shades Darker. The song appears on the Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The duo wrote and produced the number one single "Look What You Made Me Do" as well, which was released on August 25, 2017. He was a key contributor to her sixth album Reputation. Aside from "Look What You Made Me Do", Swift and Antonoff also co-wrote and co-produced five other songs in Reputation—"Getaway Car", "Dress", "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things", "Call It What You Want", and "New Year's Day".
In 2019, Swift and Antonoff wrote eight songs and produced eleven songs together for Swift's seventh studio album Lover, including the promotional single "The Archer", and the title track, which served as the album's third single.
In 2020, Swift and Antonoff worked together on Swift's eighth studio album, Folklore. Along with Aaron Dessner and Swift, Antonoff serves as one of the songwriters and producers for the album, with Antonoff helping to co-produce six songs and co-write four songs on the album, including the third single "Betty". He continued to collaborate with her on Folklore's "sister record" and Swift's ninth studio album, Evermore, in which he co-wrote the tracks "Gold Rush" and "Ivy", and co-produced the former.
Antonoff went on working on Swift's re-recordings. In 2021, Swift and Antonoff produced four tracks of Fearless (Taylor's Version): "Mr. Perfectly Fine", "That's When", "Don't You" and "Bye Bye Baby". Swift and Antonoff produced three tracks of Red (Taylor's Version): "Babe (Taylor's Version)", "Forever Winter" and "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)".
Antonoff produced Swift's 2022 album Midnights and co-wrote 11 of the 13 tracks. He appeared in the music video for the ninth track, "Bejeweled".
In 2017, Antonoff co-wrote and produced Lorde's Melodrama which was released in June. USAToday described it as "the best pop album of 2017 so far". Rolling Stone's praises Jack's production specifically, noting that he uses "empty space to spectacular effect, [as] the arrangements veer from stark clarity to delirium." In support of the album, Antonoff appeared in the music video for its lead single, "Green Light". He then performed "Liability" alongside Lorde on Saturday Night Live. The album also received a nomination for the 2018 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Beginning from 2018 until 2021, Antonoff co-wrote, produced, and performed on Lorde's third album Solar Power.
In 2018, Antonoff produced the soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox romantic comedy-drama film Love, Simon. Bleachers also contributed four songs. On working on the ground-breaking film, the first major studio picture to focus on a gay teenager, Antonoff said "I believe Love, Simon is pivotal, a major step for a new generation" and added that he was "honored" that "genius" director Greg Berlanti asked him to work on the soundtrack. He also said he was "very lucky to be a part of [Love, Simon]" and "loved every moment of making this soundtrack" after stating he was "beyond blown away" by the response to the film and soundtrack.
On June 26, 2019, Antonoff previewed a new musical project with Sam Dew and Sounwave called Red Hearse. The project was teased with the release of two singles, "Red Hearse" and "Honey". On July 22, 2019, Red Hearse made their television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing "Half Love". Their debut self-titled studio album was released on August 16, 2019, via RCA Records.
He co-produced Lana Del Rey's sixth studio album Norman Fucking Rockwell!, which was released on August 30, 2019. He also co-wrote a majority of the songs on the album including the singles "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Venice Bitch". The album received critical praise with NME's Rhian Daly noting that the "bohemian folk" sound of the record was a departure from Antonoff's "brand of crystalline euphoria." Other critics noted the album's 60s inspired, psychedelic rock sound. The album was nominated for Grammy Album of the Year and won NME Album of the Year in 2020. He also produced her seventh studio album Chemtrails Over the Country Club, released on March 19, 2021.
In 2015, Antonoff started his own music festival called Shadow of the City. The festival takes place annually at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Shadow of the City is a one-day festival with only one stage, making it different from other music festivals. Money from each ticket sold is donated to The Ally Coalition, an organization founded by Antonoff and his sister Rachel. The 2018 and most recent lineup included Antonoff and his band Bleachers, Hayley Kiyoko, Julien Baker, Turnover, Beach Slang, Clams Casino, and Ex Reyes. Other past performers include Charli XCX, the 1975, Khalid, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bishop Briggs, BØRNS and more. In addition to musical performances, the festival conducts dunk tank and Mario Kart tournaments to benefit The Ally Coalition.
Antonoff co-wrote the 2013 song "Brave" with Sara Bareilles after the two were introduced by Sara Quin of the band Tegan and Sara. Bareilles said to Billboard: "We met for breakfast one day, and I was just so enamored with him and his personality ... The first day we sat down together was the day we wrote 'Brave.'" Antonoff wrote the song about a friend's struggle to speak openly about his sexuality. The quickly written song was released on April 23, and by the end of June, "Brave" had sold 160,000 digital copies and peaked at number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video for the song was viewed 1.1 million times on YouTube within a month of its release in May 2013, and by the start of 2015, had received nearly 39 million views. "Brave" was used by Microsoft to advertise its Windows tablet technology device.
In 2015, he created a Google Play docuseries titled Thank You and Sorry, which combined scripted scenes and footage from Bleachers shows. It was released in six 15-minute episodes and included cameos from Lena Dunham, Rosie Perez, Olivia Wilde, Colin Quinn, and Jason Mantzoukas. Also in 2015, Antonoff portrayed the character Baby Goya in the comedy-drama film Hello, My Name Is Doris.
In 2017, he also contributed to the production of Pink's seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma, and produced St. Vincent's fifth studio album, Masseduction.
In early 2019, he handled production on Brockhampton frontman Kevin Abstract's solo album, Arizona Baby.
Antonoff appeared as himself in the 2021 Edgar Wright-directed film The Sparks Brothers, talking about his admiration for the band Sparks. That same year he contributed to St. Vincent's sixth studio album, Daddy's Home, and Clairo's sophomore record, Sling.
Welcome to New Retro Week, a celebration of the biggest artists, hits, and cultural moments that made 2013 a seminal year in pop. MTV News is looking back to see what lies ahead: These essays showcase how today’s blueprint was laid a decade ago. Step into our time machine.
Lorde’s breakout hit relies on a thud. Critics raved about the finger snaps that course through “Royals,” the delicate crackle over skittering instrumental, but it’s the downbeat that propels the track — an insistent, deadening thwack. The track stays anchored in your headphones. It demands your attention. “Royals” bludgeons you, more than any other song that shimmied its way to the top of pop radio in the 2010s. When the song slammed into the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, it dethroned “Wrecking Ball,” at a time when Miley Cyrus churned out elegies to glossy, sweat-sheened parties and winks at dancing with molly. Ke$ha dunked herself in glitter and sang about dying young. Fun, the once-ubiquitous band that included Lorde’s future producer Jack Antonoff, howled at anthems — Toni-i-i-i-ight, we are young. And then there was Lorde, who knew that those who are actually mired in youth don’t walk around announcing it, and who seemed to beam in from New Zealand and scowl at the neon baubles of American excess.
Lena Dunham has always been an open book. But in her latest essay, the book is dealing with some VERY serious adult chapters, both personal and political. Not only does the Girls creator tackle a tricky subject of rough sex in her latest essay, living up to the provocative title “Can a Good Man Mistreat You During Sex — If That’s What You Desire?” She also may give her deepest insight into her personal life yet. Related: Lena Admits She Lied For Friend Accused Of Misconduct Previously she wrote about the loneliness after her big breakup; now she’s moved on to “rebound romance” and… it isn’t going well. But maybe it’s informative? She describes a man slightly older than she sliding into her DMs after she posted “a thirst-trap picture in some plus-size panties.” Maybe this one? / (c) Instagram She writes:
“It was a modern non-love story, the only kind I’d ever really known. But this was my first time at the rodeo in my 30s, a decade so far remarkable for my first gray hair, my first time showing up for jury duty, and my first real heartbreak, stemming from the public dissolution of a six-year relationship I had believed to be permanent.”
Ah, social media — where all your exes can see everything you do. Sometimes it’s a nightmare, sometimes… a doorway? Super early Monday morning Lena Dunham posted a pic with her cat on Instagram, which is about the most single thing a person can do. But it was the banter that came next with ex Jack Antonoff that made us go “Hmmm…” Related: Lena Reveals The Actual Moment She & Jack Split In Brutal Essay Ch-ch-check out the post and the convo that followed (below)!
I have two cats but only one sleeps on my face and sits on my lap while I pee. The positive effect Gia Maria Carangi has had on my mental health cannot be overestimated #giamariecarangi #sphynxlife sphynxlove #sphynxofinstagramA post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Jun 11, 2018 at 5:29am PDT
Lena Dunham is opening up more than ever about her split from Jack Antonoff (which happened back in December of last year). In a lengthy essay for Vogue that serves double duty as both an intellectual rumination on loneliness and also a massive cry for help, the Girls creator begins:
“‘I’m going to die alone.’ …even said jokingly, the words are possessed of a horrible tyranny, as though aloneness is an island on which, as punishment for failing to successfully adapt yourself to romantic love, you are marooned.”
i love you, and i love YOU. you know who you are cause we been on a pretty intense ride together. sometimes we keep it bit heavy, that’s what you have to do when it’s so harsh at the core. my closest ones have always been that way. i remember being in a car driving to the funeral of a family member and my sister and parents and i could not stop laughing about something incredibly stupid. it’s the most natural thing to just roast each other as a means of keeping things moving. like stirring something you’re cooking so it doesn’t stick. we have that in common - us. keep stirring and moving so we don’t become stuck. the more we knock it all around the more we can handle. and the more we can handle the more can celebrate all that darkness not pulling us down. i love you very much and you’ve given me, my band mates and crew a big, big life. time is the final currency - happy anniversary you filthy herbs xx jack 🍅
however you found your way here …. first show or 50th …. love you feral herbs to the moon …. every last one of you bleachers at red rocks 6.20.22 pic 3 - my dad playing with us. he’s seen me play many times in colorado to 20 people my mother as well but has yet to bring the flute on stage pic 7 - approved nice drone use pics by sweetheart shane_timm resting now … west coast this week. vancouver, seattle, portland, san jose and LA comes the how dare you want tour.