“The heart and soul of pop is newness, excitement, innovation,” said Mr. Antonoff, a spirited, zealous talker who rarely stops fidgeting. “The music industry is built on chasing that ambulance — ‘someone did it, let’s go that way.’ I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to be away from it.”
After bringing artists into his modest space, he likes to start with a simple question: “What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”
In contrast with the cold, near-scientific approach to songwriting favored by titans like Max Martin and Dr. Luke, Mr. Antonoff strives for a gut-level, emotionally probing therapy experience — “excavating,” he calls it. “If someone could do it without me, then I don’t want to be there,” he said, recalling an unsuccessful experience trying to write for Rihanna, who often pulls from large pools of competitive talent.
In this review in the New York Times, Jack Antonoff shares some of his past, how he goes about working with other artists and how Gone Now differs from the first Bleachers album.