Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff steps out on his own Tuesday with Strange Desire, a solo album which he's releasing under the name Bleachers. While he's technically the only member of Bleachers, Jack made the album with a variety of collaborators, including one who's quite unexpected: Yoko Ono, the 81-year-old widow of late Beatles legend John Lennon.
In addition to being Lennon's widow, Ono is also a recording artist and a fine artist in her own right, and has a reputation for being pretty avant-garde, which is exactly how Jack says she acted when she showed up to record her part on the album.
"I get freaked out when people aren't what you imagine them to be, and Yoko is very much what I imagined, in the sense that she's wild," Jack tells ABC News Radio. "You know, she came in, there were all these cookies on the desk, she ate a bunch of cookies, she listened to the track, she stopped it halfway through, she was like, 'I'm going in.'"
"She goes into the booth, first thing she does is screams so loud into the mike that the engineers in the studio were like, freaking out, turning the compressors down," Jack laughs. "And she proceeded to do, like, primal noises, singing, spoken word...and I spent 10 hours in bed that night going through everything she did."
Another off-kilter aspect of Bleachers is the way that Jack chose to reveal the album's title and release date: instead of jumping on Twitter or Instagram, he did it via an ad on Craigslist, of all things.
"I think that everyone is obsessed with how social media works. And I think that we're at a time when it's actually cool to take a step backwards," he says, explaining why he went so low-fi and old-school. "I also have a hotline where I debut new music. I just think it's just more exciting to have to wait for stuff...I'm not gonna do the whole, like, 'Big announcement Thursday on Twitter,' and then, like, blast it out that way. I just wanna put it in places where people can find it, and be excited."
Now that the Bleachers album is out, Jack is ready to hit the road: he'll be performing at a slew of festivals in the coming months. But even though he won't have the guys in fun. backing him up, he's not exactly stepping onstage alone with just a guitar.
"There's two drummers and then there's two other guys playing, like, worlds of synths and guitars," he tells ABC News Radio about his live show. "It's a big production. I didn't think about live when I made the album, and so there's a lot to tackle."
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