NYC-based indie-pop outfit, fun., has conquered the almighty Google search and busted through musical genres with their Billboard chart-topping tune, “We Are Young.”
Despite their popularity, the band has stayed humble, still paying homage to the bands that have inspired them. Before a recent performance, fun. and frontman Nate Ruess listed some of their first shows as being Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins.
In an interview with Spin, Ruess went into detail and said that he enjoys talking about his musical influences because it’s the “coolest part about writing music” and that so much of his own music is “derived from some amalgamation of all these different songs” that he loves.
Ruess then continued to lavish admiration on some of his favorite “inspirations,” including Weezer, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Kanye West.
On Smashing Pumpkins:
“When I was a freshman in high school, Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness had been out for a year or two, but there was one song I put on repeat all winter. I was longing for this girl and I’d listen to it over and over again, and be like, that’s it. I was so inspired by that feeling, and feeling if I can make music and someone else has that winter song to lament someone about, yeah, this is a cool job, I want to do that.”
On Weezer’s Pinkerton:
“My dad dragged me to a Bruce Springsteen concert as a kid. It was my first concert, but I fell asleep in the middle. My second concert was Weezer on the Pinkerton tour, and Pinkerton is the reason why I’m doing this. I never feel like I fit in anywhere and I discovered Pinkerton, and that is just an album about feeling like you don’t belong. My freshman year, I get to high school and everyone fits in these tight-knit groups. I don’t belong to anyone, and I go see Weezer and everybody was me. ‘El Scorcho’ to this day is my favorite song of all time. That made me think, OK, I’m going to be in a band, because I can find other people that don’t fit in the same way I do.”
On Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy:
“I was like, oh my gosh, if Kanye West can borrow these horns and theatrical elements that we already have in our music — what’s this thing he’s playing, what are these sounds? Because they sound so incredible! It sounds like the future. So I was thinking, what if Elton John and Kanye West were around in the same genre at their peak. I’m sure they’d be completely influenced by one another. Suddenly I was inspired and I fell into it hard.”