Today fun. are releasing their debut, Aim and Ignite, on vinyl to the public stores for Record Store Day. Not stopping there, they're also releasing a live EP, fun. Presents Selected Selections From Their First Full-Length Album, Heretofore Known As, 'Aim And Ignite', Performed Acoustically Live At Fingerprints. Nate Ruess took the time to shoot back some questions we had about the releases and what Record Store Day and tangible mediums mean to him not only as an artist, but also a collector and listener.
How did you guys decide on this particular performance to release as a Record Store Day exclusive?
We had recorded it the week the album was released and we were just fully charged and excited. And the people at Fingerprints were so cool, and the crowd was so cool.
I think it's interesting that you guys chose a live performance over some new material or a collection of a few B-sides. There are arguments over whether bands bloom outside the studio shell live. For fun., and especially a debut that screams Broadway, do you think the essence of the band is captured more in that stage setting?
I think in a lot of cases, yes. But this started as some sort of recording project. So we really take that to heart as well. We all just like to take our time writing and recording so there aren't a lot of extra songs for us to release. Plus because it can be so Broadway and have complex arrangements, it's nice to present the songs more stripped down with the confidence that they can be great songs like that.
Were there any songs on Aim and Ignite that are harder to pull off live and that are rarely performed, and why?
"Be Calm" is really the only one because it is so all over the place. But we have rehearsed it so many times that I think we are getting the hang of it and what the live version should sound and feel like.
You're releasing this album on CD format instead of vinyl. Vinyl seems to be the cornerstone of Record Store Day though. Any particular reason you chose this format over the other?
We are still gearing up for the big vinyl pressing of Aim and Ignite so we want to keep that special. I love vinyl and I'd love to release anything on vinyl. Sometimes it can just be tricky and expensive.
What do you guys think of the idea of vinyl having sort of a mass resurgence as of the past few years? Do you think it was a necessary far left for those who still love tangible mediums to say, "Yes, still print my music in a physical form!"
Vinyl is amazing. As an artist and as a major music fan, as someone who depends on music to get me through my life, there is something special about the lack of instant gratification involved with vinyl. You have to sit with this big record. On tour you have to carry it around and try to find a way not to break it. And then you get to finally go home and sit around the record player and listen all the way through. The way the artist intended! That's special.
Let's just say, tomorrow the entire industry collapses. By way of finances, music would only be released in digital format from here on out. As a band, how would that make you feel? As a music lover, listener/buyer yourself, how would that make you feel to lose a tangible hold on that part of your life?
It would suck. But I suppose I'd adapt and find a way to make it just as special.
Where does fun. go now after Aim and Ignite? There was a definite Broadway theme; is there a new direction you guys would like to take the band with the next release? What ideas have been brewing?
We are still ways out. So many things change in our life and in our band. I'd love to asses the situation when the time comes that we have to write. I'm in such a manic state in my life, that while I'm full of inspiration and itching to write and get back in the studio, I also want to have a good idea of what I'm writing stylistically and lyrically where the dust is settling.