Though they’re in the running for Best New Artist at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, it turns out Fun. are actually old pros when it comes to the awards-show circuit — and we’re not just talking about their appearance at the MTV Movie Awards .
As it turns out, they were well-represented at the 1997 VMAs, in the form of (then) 14-year-old guitarist Jack Antonoff, who scored tickets through a family friend and got to sit near Rebecca Lobo and the Spice Girls . But, as it turns out, that wasn’t his only memory from the show, as he told MTV News backstage at Lollapalooza.
“I was in that age where it was very cool to ask everyone for pictures. Blackstreet, Meredith Brooks — this was the year we’re talking here,” he said. “I go up to Fiona Apple, and this is like 10 minutes before she gives her iconic [Best New Artist acceptance] speech — some people think it was crazy, some think it was inspiring, I’m not saying either one. I ask her for a picture, and right as the camera snaps, she gives me this wet, like almost a little bit of tongue and full-lip kiss on the cheek. I swear to God. That picture exists — I’ll send it to you.”
It bears mention that, at press time, we’ve yet to actually receive photographic proof of the kiss from Antonoff (c’mon man!), and while that VMA moment may be impossible to top, that doesn’t mean Fun. won’t try their best when the 2012 show airs live Thursday, September 6, from Los Angeles.
“I want to kiss a child,” frontman Nate Ruess laughed. “I want to kiss a child right before we go up and give a big, big angry speech.”
Of course, in order to give a speech, Fun. are going to have to win a VMA , which is no sure bet, considering they’re up against the likes of Frank Ocean, One Direction and the Wanted for Best New Artist (and Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 in the Best Pop Video category ). Still, they remain optimistic about their chances, mostly because winners are determined by fan votes (“Our fans have surprised us many times before,” Antonoff smiled) but also because they’re not above employing a little psychology to get the job done.
“I mean, no, I don’t think we have a shot … so maybe I’ll work the reverse-psychology angle: We stand a chance,” Ruess said. “Not. Also it’s opposite day. So maybe it’s triple-reverse psychology.”