Lindsey Byrnes
Left to right: Andrew Dost, Nate Ruess and Jack Antonoff of fun.

Right on the heels of releasing 2012's most addicting singalong song,


"We Are Young" Stuck in your Head? Nate Ruess of Fun. Gives the Inside Scoop on Their New Record Store Day Release, "Carry On."

Lindsey Byrnes
Left to right: Andrew Dost, Nate Ruess and Jack Antonoff of fun.

Right on the heels of releasing 2012's most addicting singalong song, "We Are Young," fun.'s lead-singer Nate Ruess took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about one of the acoustic songs on the band's exclusive Record Store Day release of The Ghost That You Are To Me . With a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart already under his belt, Ruess delved into the the mystery magic behind "Carry On." The secret? Like most good things in life: vodka, cereal and Lost. Check out the song below the jump!

Song: "Carry On" (acoustic)

?Album: The Ghost That You Are To Me, 10" LP ?(Record Store Day exclusive release)

Release Date: April 21, 2012

I appreciate you taking some time out of your day to talk with me. I was fortunate enough to see you perform a few weeks ago in Atlanta, and it was quite the show. That was a fun show. That was right before everybody got sick.

Everybody got sick? Yeah, we need to have a meeting, amongst like everybody on the bus, about how we can be a little bit more preventative from sharing all these germs. We had doctors come today to check everybody out. It's hard. That's like the hardest thing about touring, like I've now had a cough for the last month.

That's got to be hard on your voice. Well, I am a smoker and I drink rather heavily, too, so I'm not helping myself at all ... It's all putting so much freaking pressure on my voice.

So was The Ghost That You Are To Me something the band put together special for Record Store Day, or did you already have the EP in the works? We put it together just for Record Store Day. Well what we wanted to do is, some people think Some Nights is such a massively produced album and in a lot of ways it is, but those songs started out like ... I believe that version of "Carry On" is the studio version of "Carry On" that we ended up choosing. Because what we did when we were making the album is we put together all these songs and we learned how to play them acoustic first, before we did anything else, and then were going to go into the studio with Jeff [Jeff Bhasker, producer] ... And I remember that we recorded them and thought they were so cool, and that eventually we should make an EP out of some of the songs. So I think that's the case for a couple of the songs that are on this EP. They were the originals. The acoustic and the piano tracks are the same exact ones that were on the album.

I'm glad you brought that up. I saw the acoustic version you did for Paste Magazine of "The Gambler" and it was stellar. Your full-sets are so powerful, but your acoustic sets also hit really hard. I was definitely curious if you wrote them acoustically and made them big, or went the other way. Yeah, and that's the way I've always done it. I've always worked with a small group of people, as far as the band prospective, we build everything in the studio. So I like come with these songs that are in my head and I'll sit down with Andrew and I'll say, "Ok, this is a song." For example, with "Carry On," I don't play an instrument so I sang it to Andrew. I kind of sang him the chord, I showed it to him, but then he plays it and kind of just tunes me out and I sing it, and from there we have something and just sort of build it from there.

Do you remember when you wrote the song? That was an interesting one. That was, I want to say, the third oldest song on the album. The only other songs I had was "Stars," which I didn't even think "Stars" would make the album because I had written it before we did the first album, and I always wanted it to be like Gnarles Barkley in outer space. I thought I had a cool theme for it, but it wasn't really where we were going. So that one kind of got left behind, but it was always a dear song to me, that I wanted to put on the album, and then "Why Am I The One" I had written, just the chorus, at some point when I was in London.

So, I felt like I had a lot of writing to do, and it was two summers ago, and I rented a place in Chinatown just for the summer. I sublet some really nice people's apartment, with the intention of pretty much writing the whole entire album. But like I said earlier, I'm a lazy person and I ended up ... that was at the time someone introduced me to Lost. The TV show. So instead of writing it, most of the day I was sitting on the couch drinking vodka, eating cereal and watching Lost. And so I started to feel pressured at some point, but I had no idea what the album was going to be like, what kind of direction it was going to take, and "Carry On" was the only song that came out of the three months that I lived in that apartment.

Do you have a favorite line from the song? That's a tough one. The last lines that were written, the bridge, "My head is on fire, but my legs are fine / After all they are mine / Lay your clothes on the floor / Close the door, hold the phone / Show me how no one's ever gonna stop us now," I think that's probably my favorite line of the song but lyrically it's easily one of my favorites.

So what exactly is the song about? Well I think were was a whole bunch of different things that were happening in my life that ended up turning into just one story. I had that "I like to think that I can cheat it all / To make up for the times I've been cheated on," that was a lyric of a different song I used to have called "I Always Went." I was always obsessed with the lyric, but I didn't love that song so much. So I kind of just re-worked it into that song and then the lyric about waking up on the Fourth of July or whatever, like that was all real. Real stuff that happened with friends, and at that apartment in Chinatown.

What would you say in an odd or interesting fact about this song that nobody would guess? That's a really good one. We ended up sending it, after Jeff had come up with this arrangement, we sent it to England so that the orchestral people could play it and one of the things that they did was put on this weird little hand percussion thing. And we all wanted to just scrap all the drums and just keep this little hand percussion thing, and I think somewhere at the end of the song you can hear it.

Do you have a favorite time that you've performed this song live? It's interesting because it's probably one of my top three to play so it really just depends on the mood, because it's uplifting. It lifts me up whenever we play it.

What's your favorite song to perform live? "Some Nights" is probably my favorite song to perform live, because it's a massive undertaking for the band and it's probably ... that's just a song where we feel like we're working really hard and everyone appreciates it.

There definitely seems to be a deeper, more heart-felt side to Some Nights as compared to Aim and Ignite. Where you do you feel you were at mentally and emotionally before the writing began for this album? Like I said, I had no idea the direction that we would end up taking for Some Nights, so all I was really doing was I wanted to write almost like a chant. I suppose it showed up in my head. I remember sneaking onto the back of the roof top and smoking a cigarette and song was just flooding into me. So that was really great, and I think it was maybe raining so there was something just about the thought of standing on top of this building with all of the turmoil I was having at the time, and just shouting from a rooftop while the rain is coming down and just me saying, "This weather is not going to stop me, nothing is going to stop me."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

comments powered by Disqus