On May 17th, 2017, Jack Antonoff posted a message to his 255K Instagram followers letting us know that we should be at 24th & Madison at promptly 5pm. This message was accompanied by an image of his childhood bedroom. As an avid Bleachers fan, I blindly obliged and found myself waiting in line, behind roughly 50 people, all sweating profusely in 90 degree weather. While everyone was playing a guessing game as to what was inside of a white trailer with a red dot on it (this was at the head of the line), I was checking my Instagram and happened to catch a video on Jack’s Instagram story of the inside of his childhood bedroom, followed by a video of him in a car letting everyone know that he’s excited for us to listen to his new album “where it’s meant to be heard”. Obviously this meant that his childhood bedroom was constructed inside of this trailer…
At exactly 5pm, heavily tattooed men in tank tops came down the line of people which was now sprawling all the way down 24th to let us know that Jack’s childhood bedroom was inside of this trailer (just as I suspected), and that we could touch whatever we wanted, “just don’t steal anything or we will hunt you down”. They were letting six people in at a time, at three minutes each. While waiting in line, Jack was striking up conversation with everyone, taking photos, and being the genuinely down-to-earth artist that his fans have come to love and admire. He told me that he legitimately had the walls cut out of his parents’ home, even the window trimmings. “They must’ve loved that, huh,” I said. He laughed and said, “Definitely not.”
The trailer was tiny, filled to the brim with the most random assortment of objects that you would probably not expect to be in the room of a teenager. I had to keep reminding myself that Jack lived at home until just a few years ago, meaning that these trinkets were from childhood into his late 20’s. Things like the soundtrack from Pretty Little Liars, a poster of John Lennon, photos of his friends, doodles on the walls, and CDs from the 90s were scattered amongst posters from his first successful band, Steel Train, along with various items from Fun. Myself and the five other people who were crammed in his bedroom had the pleasure of hearing a previously unheard single from his forthcoming album Gone Now.
The three minutes that we were allowed in the bedroom gave us a glimpse into his creative headspace; Jack has always spoken about his bedroom being a source of inspiration for him. Specifically, he has mentioned that creating albums where he lives is important to him in maintaining the authenticity of his life and inspiration. Jack is known for his amazing marketing ploys, from sending cakes with his Strange Desire album artwork on them to people with upcoming birthdays, to instructing fans to follow a moving red dot on a map which ended at Union Square where fans found a Jack-inspired piñata on a bench filled with USB drives that contained the first single off of Gone Now, Don’t Take The Money.
He will take his bedroom with him on his summer tour so fans across the country can listen to Gone Now where it came to fruition. Gone Now is out on June 2nd, 2017.
Also don’t miss our exclusive interview and photo shoot with Jack for The Untitled Magazine.