Jack Antonoff is 'breaking through to the other side' on new Bleachers record

'This album kind of goes further... it's a longer statement, there's a fuller story there.'
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By , Audacy

Singer, musician, songwriter, and producer Jack Antonoff jumped on Twitch with Audacy's Kevan Kenney to give us a look into his band Bleachers' first new music since 2019 which just arrived with their single "Stop Making This Hurt."

The new track is the first release off of Bleachers' forthcoming, third full-length Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night, scheduled for release on July 30. Check out the video below, shot on location at the historic Bendix Diner on Route 17 in New Jersey.

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Jack took us through the different phases he goes through when creating a finished album versus putting out singles. Writing is the first step, he says. "You could have a million songs and not have an album," he explained. "An album is a very specific thing... You're looking for an emotional and sonic thing that makes the album."

"Then when you actually start to get touchpoints, like 'oh f***, this is the thing.' You know, all that stuff sounds cool and is honest to my life," Jack admits, "but this thing [that] I'm saying is what I'm really going through and it's the sound I've been searching for. I could use all these concepts like 'New Jersey music,' or 'future New Jersey music,' or whatever the f*** I want to say, but until you actually hear it on tape is when you actually go, 'that's it,' and then you start to build a template."

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Jack continued, "for me, I try to find these through-lines... There's a lot going on in everyone's lives, but when you're making an album you're really trying to boil it down to document what you're going through in that moment."

"It always ends up fairly simple," Jack says. "So, what this album is about, it's about breaking through to the other side. Knocking at the door at the next phase of your life, and that's why the album is so dark and joyous. All the joy that is on the other side of that, and all the darkness of like, 'f*** can I even do this?'" It's a "pretty simple concept," he says, "but it took all this writing about my family and myself, and everything that I'm going through, and grief in the past to realize, 'oh, that's what I want to say here.' With that said, sometimes when you write you sing nonsense to get a melody going, and these things start coming out. I just kept singing 'take the sad out of Saturday night,' and I also kept singing 'stop making this hurt.' They just became mantras for the album."

Fans will notice a track missing on this new record; On the last two Bleachers releases, Strange Desire and Gone Now, Antonoff had included versions of the song "I'm Ready To Move On." Jack was happy to have been asked that question, as it was something that was close to his heart this time around. "In the past, I was writing records to get through something, so in the end I felt like it was this cathartic 'I'm ready to move on.'" he explains. "This album I felt like, if that's the middle where you're getting through something, this album was written from the beginning of something and the end of something; I sort of just tied those two pieces together. It was really written from this place of wanting to get through to another side, but then I kind of left out the middle and jumped."

"This album has a song called 'What Am I Gonna Do with All This Faith,' he says, "which is my version of that but it's a longer body of work. I guess on the album I actually move on, where the other albums ended with 'now I'm ready to move on.' This album kind of goes further... it's a longer statement, there's a fuller story there."

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Each of the past Bleachers records were also given alternate releases called Terrible Thrills, where female artists rework the songs in their own perspectives, and it's something you can likely expect again following the new release, says Jack.

"I think so. That's always something that I do later. It always feels sort of like a button at the end of a cycle. Writing the songs and producing them is one thing, releasing them and having them be born into the world is a whole other part of the process. And people change the songs for you... it changes how you feel about it. So, I always feel like I need to go through that before I can do this final phase of a reinterpretation album. But I'd like to. I've done that for a long time and it's always been a special process for me."

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Now not just a songwriter and band member but also a top-tier producer who has worked with some of the industry's biggest names, Jack is hyper-aware of the "algorithm era" of music that we're currently in, but continues to be optimistic about the way it will likely evolve. "I think the artists are going to determine whether or not that does or doesn't harm; it's up to us," Jack says. Thinking back to the similarities that can be seen in the past, he says "it's not inherently bad, it's how we use it. I think it's the job of artists to not let that come into the conversation when creating," he continued. "If you know, because some herb told you, that songs with shorter intros do better on streaming... I'm sure that's true, but you can't let that be part of your conversation in your head."

"You have to believe," Jack says, "that the best work that you can make that's the most honest, and sounds the most authentic to you is gonna be your most successful work. And if you believe anything else then there's a million booby traps all over the place."

Bleachers' Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night is scheduled to hit shelves July 30. Watch the full interview with Kevan Kenney and Jack Antonoff above, and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists right here on Audacy.

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