Fun.’s ‘We Are Young’ Tops Hot 100, Band Has NJ Roots
It’s been an amazing journey for the band Fun.
“We Are Young,” which appears on their album Some Nights, now tops the iTunes charts as well as the Billboard Hot 100. The band is the first act to make a Billboard debut at number one since Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.”
The single has also been certified double platinum.
What many may not know is that the band has deep roots in New Jersey’s independent music scene.
Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff first made a name for himself as a teenager playing guitar and writing songs for the melodic punk rock band Outline.
Outline was part of a burgeoning scene of young bands in the early 2000s that played venues like M+M Hall and The Birch Hill in Old Bridge, Club Bene (later Club Krome) in Sayreville and various Elks lodges, VFW halls and firehouses throughout North and Central New Jersey.
He later found more mainstream success as the main creative force behind the band Steel Train, who toured the globe after signing with Drive Thru Records/MCA, and even made appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Singer Nate Ruess, an Arizona native, was a member of the popular indie rock band The Format before forming Fun. Despite a major label contract and soundtrack appearances which included the television show Veronica Mars and the movie National Treasure, The Format never found crossover success.
Diehard fans may remember appearances by The Format at smaller New Jersey venues throughout the 2000s, including a memorably intimate performance at Red Bank’s now defunct Internet Cafe.
Fun. isn’t the only recent group to find pop success after starting out in New Jersey’s punk scene. Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship got his start in the bands Humble Beginnings and Midtown.