Jack Antonoff Defends New Jersey: 'Misunderstood, It's Like Europe'

Exploring Antonoff's Artistic Journey and Collaborative Genius

by Zain ul Abedin
Jack Antonoff Defends New Jersey: 'Misunderstood, It's Like Europe'
© Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In a candid conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Jack Antonoff, the acclaimed Bleachers frontman and a proud native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, offered a passionate defense of his often-misunderstood home state. Antonoff, aged 39, addressed the common misconceptions and stereotypes that plague New Jersey, asserting its unique charm and cultural richness.

"Jersey is frequently the butt of jokes, unjustifiably so," Antonoff remarked during his interview with the 50-year-old host. He emphasized New Jersey's unparalleled diversity, likening it to the multifaceted landscapes of Europe.

"It's a treasure trove of beauty, cuisine, and culture. If you're on the hunt for the finest Italian fare, forget New York City; New Jersey is your destination. I firmly believe that some of the things New York gets credit for are, in fact, done better in New Jersey.

Call it controversial, but I'll stand by the superiority of New Jersey's pizza and bagels any day." Antonoff also highlighted the distinctiveness of New Jersey residents, many of whom lead lives completely detached from the hustle and bustle of nearby New York City.

This, he suggests, adds to the state's unique character.

Antonoff's Creative Insights

Drawing inspiration from another New Jersey legend, Bruce Springsteen, Antonoff reflected on the powerful narrative of aspiration and escape that pervades Springsteen's songwriting.

"Springsteen masterfully captures the essence of dreaming big, of yearning for something beyond the familiar confines of home," Antonoff noted, admiring the rock icon's ability to inspire listeners. Beyond his musings on New Jersey, Antonoff delved into his collaborations with music industry titans like Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey.

He described these partnerships as magical, marked by an enduring creative spark that continues to surprise him. "With each new project, I find myself wondering if the magic will persist. Yet, it always does. Working with Taylor, Lana, and my band, I've realized that the true source of this creativity is a mystery - one that's better left unexplained to avoid the pitfall of burnout." As Bleachers prepare to release their self-titled album on March 8 through Dirty Hit, Antonoff's reflections serve as a reminder of the profound connections and inspirations that drive his music.

His spirited defense of New Jersey, coupled with insights into his collaborative process, underscore a deep commitment to authenticity and artistic exploration.