Jack Antonoff swung by Late Night With Seth Meyers Thursday to perform a new Bleachers song and chat about making classics and hits with Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey.
For their performance, Bleachers performed “Alma Mater,” the recently-released single that moves between a hazy, torrid dreamscape and a noir-ish surge of late-night sax glory. Del Rey, unfortunately, was not on hand to provide backing vocals (as she does on the studio recording), but Antonoff did have a sample machine loaded up with some of her best lines to help make her presence known.
During his interview with Meyers, Antonoff spoke about his six Grammy nominations, most of which came from his work on Swift’s Midnights and Del Rey’s Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. Antonoff explained that he was particularly “proud” of those two records because of the way they pushed against typical music industry pressure to pivot.
“Lana and Taylor, we’ve just worked for a long period of time and found this space where it gets loonier and loonier, and more exciting,” Antonoff said, adding: “Making albums is hard enough on the mind and body that it seems like an embarrassment to introduce to dissonance in the actual process.”
Later in the interview, Antonoff spoke about performing and making music alongside Bruce Springsteen, and learning from him and other notable New Jersey legends. “Music comes from a landscape, I come from a place, New Jersey, that is very misunderstood,” he said, citing a bunch of artists who helped him learn the state’s unique musical vernacular, like Southside Johnny, Saves the Day, Lifetime, and Lauryn Hill.
“All things that came out of New Jersey and said, ‘This place that is so misunderstood has a voice.’ And specifically with Bruce and that writing the landscape, it’s like, yeah, this is what we do: We drive on highways and think. It gives you a lot of courage to write and not just drive into the City and pretend you’re from there.”
Bleachers are set to release their new self-titled album on March 8. After the album drops, they’ll embark on a North American tour, which will kick off May 18 in Salt Lake City and wrap June 15 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.