You’re always learning from everyone around you. Lana taught me that sometimes that thing that just comes out of thin air is the thing, and you don’t even touch it. Ella [Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde], on the other hand, teaches me what can happen if you keep chipping away at something over and over. The idea of the process is these big egos and big attitudes [colliding], but once you get into that very vulnerable place of working and writing, everyone’s just a half-broken sponge. There’s so much being passed around, and there’s so much information and so much emotion, and that’s why I love it so much. It’s really this rarefied space.
How Jack Works, According To... Lorde
“Much has been said of Jack’s ability to be an empathetic, sensitive and respectful collaborator to women, and while that’s certainly true, I’d put his success down to another of his more underrated qualities: how fast he is. I’ve never heard anyone beat up the keyboard like Jack making a beat in 30 seconds on Pro Tools. The dude can jump from instrument to instrument to build you a canvas upon which to write in minutes. It’s an invaluable creative tool for me, how easily he can pick up the thread and go wherever. When the two of us are racing to capture an idea, it’s like actual alchemy. We’re also just really close — he drives me crazy, pushes me to examine myself more carefully, and gives me s--t like no one else can. I’m team Jack forever.”
III. You can’t create in a vacuum.
Compared with the ornate pop anthems of the first two Bleachers albums, the songs on Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night are shaggier and more dizzying. That’s by design: Antonoff and co-producer Patrik Berger (Robyn, Charli XCX) recorded the tracks in 2020 with a five-piece band while the pandemic had halted touring, and Antonoff says the sessions’ euphoric energy changed the context of the songs — and, ultimately, made them better.
The pandemic had a massive effect on the music. Not because it was necessarily written about the time period, but because you write, record and produce differently based on the pace of your life, based on what’s going on in the world. The pandemic felt like a culmination of a lot of things. We’ve all been talking so much about human experience, what it means, the conversation about the end of our planet. It leads me and the people I know to the most honest, tactile things. Vinyl sales had been going through the roof way before the pandemic. There was a reaction to where we were headed, and I think the pandemic lit that on fire.
There’s always this phase of me working, and then at some point I see the album and then really start zeroing in on it. This album was always about breaking out, knocking at the door of the next phase of your life. What I didn’t realize is how much the quarantine would cause me to want to be with the band in a room. At first it was like, “I can’t play, so I want to have my guys around.” And now it’s like, “Oh, they became the characters pushing me through that door.”