Wow. This Is Really Jack Antonoff’s Childhood Bedroom
Bleachers and Fun were both born out of the same “hopeful darkness” of his early suburban years.
Jack Antonoff's childhood bedroom in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. photographed by Andrew Hetherington.
By Joe Levy
On a recent Sunday, Jack Antonoff mad...
On a recent Sunday, Jack Antonoff made the drive back to Jersey to show Billboard the wellspring of his creativity: the childhood bedroom he calls an art project. And also to clean up his stuff. His parents were redoing the floors and replacing the carpets.
“We’re in New Jersey but more imp...
“We’re in New Jersey but more importantly we’re in my room, which I grew up in and lived in until somewhat recently. I’ve pretty much written everything that I’ve done in this house. I started writing music in this room, and then I moved to my sister’s room, and then at one point I moved to my parents’ room, which was really contentious. I had all of my stuff there, and I told them they couldn’t be in their room during the day because I had to write. That didn’t work out well. Then I took over the living room, and the basement for a while. I was always trying to find a space within the house I grew up in that was my own to try to write in."
"You're in a world right now of Star ...
"You're in a world right now of Star Wars memorabilia. I don't even like the films that much. I just loved collecting. It started with stamps, then it was signed baseballs, and then it worked into Star Wars. Star Wars is like paradise for collectors -- Kellogg's would have a translucent Obi-Wan in only 1,000 boxes, and that would become really special."
“The Tower Records in Paramus was 1...
“The Tower Records in Paramus was 10 minutes away. I’d go there with my parents and they’d be like, ‘You get two CDs.’
It was a really incredible time. There was so much mystery, these things just popping out -- Nirvana and Pearl Jam and all these great bands. Things were great so you could just trust stuff. I remember someone being like, ‘Did you hear that new Weezer single “Buddy Holly”? It’s amazing!’ And we went to the roller rink that night and they played it twice, and that was how I heard it.”
"It all started with an endangered sp...
"It all started with an endangered species border, which was suggested to me by my mother, and I went with it. I was 9. It became and art project. I think I realized how cool it would be to just live in a space that was likea tornado of things that inspired me."
“I got into skateboarding and addin...
“I got into skateboarding and adding skateboarding collages, started buying CDs, so there were CDs everywhere. I started collaging and drawing on shit. Then I had my first band experience, which was at 13. I think we played [Weezer’s] ‘The Sweater Song,’ and I remember falling in love with it immediately and wanting to go to shows, and seeing bands live, and wanting to have my own songs.”
The songs for Bleachers' Strange Disa...
The songs for Bleachers' Strange Disaster are both grand and raw -- Depeche Mode and Bruce Springsteen were touchstones -- and they capture the “hopeful darkness” of growing up in the suburbs. “There was this darkness about being from New Jersey,” he says. “We’re in the shadow of the greatest place in the world, New York City.”