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MAR
21
2 YEARS

Fun.'s Jack Antonoff on Writing 'Super WHY!' Songs, Post-Grammy Plans

The PBS children's show's live tour will feature a number of Antonoff compositions.

Fun Jack Antonoff - P 2013
Getty Images
Jack Antonoff

Fun. may be on the road for the rest of the year, but fans looking for a follow-up to "Some Nights" have some "Super" new material to look forward to.

For its spring live tour, PBS children's show Super WHY! flashed the bat signal for the band's guitarist, Jack Antonoff, who'd previously shown his kid-song chops with the track "It's Fun to Dance" for Yo Gabba Gabba! His previous group, Steel Train, performed it as part of the Nick Jr. show's 2010 live incarnation.

"We played it on tour every night for thousands of little kids and it was a wonderful experience to do that," Antonoff told Billboard, making working with the same production team on Super WHY! Live an easy choice.

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One song turned into several, and before long, Antonoff wrote an album's worth of material for the tour, on the theme, "You've Got the Power!"

"I produced and recorded the whole thing, and I must have written at least 15 songs," he says.

He joins a number of musicians turning their attention to creating work for kids, from They Might Be Giants to Andrew Bird, who's developing a children's show, Professor Socks. But it's an older icon Antonoff credits with spurring his rock dreams.

"I grew up on Raffi," Antonoff says. "That was my first impression of what a rock star was."

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As for fun., Antonoff, just back from Malaysia, says the group's booked through October -- and he's happy to stay a touring musician.

"The heart of it is playing the record live," he says.

Though a new album from the recent Grammy winners, who picked up two awards at the February ceremony, seems out of the question for 2013, the band has a new track on HBO's Girls soundtrack, "Sight of the Sun." The song scored the credits of the show's Sunday night finale. Antonoff is dating the show's creator and star, Lena Dunham, making the placement more meaningful than just another TV sync.

"It's wonderful, you know?" he says. "What could be better than working with people you love?"