"This is my first time actually seeing the final cut," said Nate Ruess, the lead singer of Fun., when we broke open the laptop for him and his bandmates to watch and talk about what went on behind the scenes to make the Anthony Mandler-directed video for their second single, "Some Nights." The track, off their album of the same name, features the kind of soaring, anthemic chorus the band seems to have down to a science.
The clip is a tragic love story during the Civil War, and as multi-instrumentalist Jack Antonoff pointed out, "Probably about 90 percent of [the extras] are actual, real Civil War re-enactors, which I think is really important when you watch the video, 'cause they're not acting. This is what they do; this is who they are."
Bandmate Andrew Dost said the soldiers — who shoot, charge over mountains and ultimately proclaim victory on a very dark evening — were "really very, very informed and enthusiastic."
But, like any shoot, there was something bigger than anything the crew could plan that affected the set: "We look like we're having a grand old time and pounding away at the song, but those takes were few and far between this horrible lightning, crazy monsoon storm," Antonoff explained.
"So, we're basically in a big field — I guess technically on somewhat of a mountain in upstate New York — during a lightning storm, which arguably could be the worst scenario you could possibly be in a lightning storm." He took a pause, concluding, "I think in a weird way it added to the intensity of the video. ... Let's go on record saying it was life or death."
By the ecstatic looks on their faces at video's end, the experience seemed all too worthwhile.
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