Jack Antonoff on Channeling '80s Rom-Com Songbook for 'Love, Simon'

Antonoff executive produced the film's soundtrack.

When Jack Antonoff was approached to executive produce the soundtrack for the film Love, Simon, he wanted to create a record that resonated with listeners the way music from classic teenage rom-coms in the ‘80s and ‘90s did with him.

"I believe so much in soundtracks. My generation, Reality Bites was really big, which I still hear any of those songs and I go right to the film. I love John Hughes, He’s a big part of my life growing up," he told The Hollywood Reporter Songwriter Roundtable

Antonoff grew up in a suburban New Jersey town and "had to dream about a lot of things, not really experience them."

"There wasn’t a lot of drugs or sex or anything. It was sort of in your room thinking about it and I always felt that John Hughes and those songs spoke to that," he said.

So when the idea to work on the Love, Simon soundtrack presented itself, Antonoff knew that it "could go so wrong or so right."

"The concept to work on a soundtrack is they mean a lot to me and when I saw the film — because even the film, just the idea of an LGBT love story rocketing to the mainstream, it could go so wrong or so right. It could really be this gross corporate spin on a group of people or it could be beautiful" 

Antonoff also spoke on how the current political climate is affecting his work and the industry, saying, "You turn on the TV and every commercial is so absurdly woke and on one hand, it’s incredible. But on the other, there’s a part of me that’s like, ‘You guys didn’t give a shit until it became part of a money-making machine.' "

He added: "I think we’re living in this weird time right now where to be politicized has become mainstream. It’s almost like artists can’t afford to not be politicized, which sort of bastardizes the concept.