Fun. frontman Nate Ruess has told NME.comthat he believes the lyrics of most modern-day pop and rock acts have become "dumbed down," saying that his band is the first in a long time to pay attention to the words they're writing. Ruess explained, "Lyrics have become so dumbed down nowadays. People don't want to have to think about lyrics anymore, they just want to be told something. Until these great things started happening with us, I'd really given up on reaching people like that. Lyrics are so important, I hate every second of writing them, but it's something I take great pride in when it's finished."
Ruess at least partially blamed the decline of song lyrics on the nu-metal bands that emerged in the late '90s, saying, "I feel like the rap metal at the end of the 1990s destroyed rock music for everybody and suddenly everybody felt like they had to apologize for being in rock bands. People suddenly felt bad about wanting to reach massive audiences and the sense of theatre, that we have in our live show, became something to avoid."
Guitarist Jack Antonoff said on a recent conference call with reporters that the members of Fun. were into different music during that era: "Popular music in the '90s was incredible -- the Smashing Pumpkins, it was Nirvana, it was Pearl Jam. So if I saw someone who was my age, I knew right off the bat that we were friends because we liked the same art. That's obviously something that doesn't exist anymore. We are way more linked to the early '90s and the early '70s."
Ruess added, "I idolized bands like Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins, who wanted to reach as many people as they could. That's what we want from this band. We were the first rock band since Coldplay to get a Number One in the US and that tells you everything you need to know about the state of rock music in the charts."
Fun.'s track "We Are Young" hit Number One on the Modern Rock radio chart earlier this year and has been named the best-selling song so far of 2012.
The track, which features R&B singer Janelle Monae, is taken from Fun.'s second album, Some Nights, which arrived in February.