October 17 2015
WTSR: You just had a second release of your album, Strange Desire, where each of your songs was covered by a different female artist. What inspired you to make that decision?
Jack Antonoff: A lot of times, when i write songs, I kind of hear them more in a female voice. I actually sing them way higher in my head and lower the key from there. I like any project that calls back to how a song is made, the steps, and the information on how you make the records. So, I wanted to do a project in a full circle way, like re-representing the songs covered by the people who inspired me to write them in the first place. For me, that’s a really cool concept. And then also I like the idea of bookends of cycles. Music changes so much when it’s out in the world. People change it by the way they interpret it, so this felt like a perfect time, as the last moment of the record cycle. I released it in the way that I heard it early on.
WTSR: Alright, last question about the Strange Desire Re-Release. I noticed that Take Me Away was covered by both Brooke Candy and your sister, Rachel. Was is strange to have your sister cover your song?
Jack Antonoff: I just wanted her to be involved in the process. People inspire me for different reasons, and she’s a big inspiration in a lot of the music. And it was just something about putting her and Brooke together that seemed kind of wacky and great. It just kind of occurred to me.
WTSR: Does performing in NJ give you a little more nostalgia, instead of performing someplace far in the Midwest?
Jack Antonoff: It gives me… performing in New Jersey…. there’s different perks in performing anywhere. What’s so amazing about performing where you’re from is also what’s so amazing about performing in a random place because you’re able to reinvent yourself however you like. Where you’re in the place where you do know people, it’s….you can’t really be anyone but a really specific version of yourself. And that’s really exciting too. Especially for this band and these songs, where a lot of them are written and referenced in Jersey. It feels special to talk about that. It’s not an experience we get a lot, as we don’t play in Jersey a lot. It’s not like California, where I’ve played tons and tons of shows, where you understand that vibe. It’s still new, even though it’s a hometown.
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Photo by Kim Ilkowski