Before They Were fun.: Is This Year’s Best New Artist All That New? — VIDEO

Fun at the Grammy Awards

Boy, that Nate Ruess seemed sort of curmudgeon-y about that whole Best New Artist thing, eh? Emphasizing how not-young the bandmates are more than once during their Grammy Award acceptance speeches Sunday night. (A ridiculous thing for the 30-year old Ruess to say in a room filled with people well above the AARP entrance age.) Well that may or may not be because he hardly considers his band fun., a new artist. While we’re of the ilk to tell him to suck it up and check out the careers of some of the previous winners (who were far less new than his beloved fun.), we have to admit that their now-Grammy winning album Some Nights has not been the first LP the men have crafted. In fact, the men have put out countless albums with previous groups before they came to be fun.

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Besides the 2009 disc Aim and Ignite, the band’s founding members — the aforementioned Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff — all have previous musical attempts under their belts. So let’s take a waltz through their previous outfits and the songs that made those bands equally as interesting. After this post we promise you’ll sound super-informed and impressive amongst your friends.

Steel Train – “I Feel Weird”: Jack Antonoff’s other band Steel Train has been around since 2002. Besides having opened up for other famous bands such as Tegan and Sara, Ben Folds, The Fray, Silversun Pickups, Hanson, The Format, Gomez, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, and — of course — fun. Jersey born and bred, and friends since childhood, they put out three albums and three EPs as a band. Their most popular song is arguably the one above from their second album, 2007’s Trampoline.

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The Format – “The First Single”: Ruess’ first band, The Format, was a seeming staple for high schoolers in the early aughts. (The band formed in 2001.) Their oh-so-appropriately titled first single, “The First Single,” shows you a bit more of Ruess’ perma-need to be aware of the limits placed upon him as an artist in the music industry during a time where its future was very much unstable. Everybody needs a first single, eh?

Anathallo – “The River”: Perhaps the most experimental of all the previous projects, Andrew Dost’s band with friend Jamie Macleod, was formed in 2000. An ever-evolving outfit that often included an average of 8 people on stage during its performances, Anathallo put out four albums and three EPs before they closed up shop in 2009. Dost left the group in 2008.

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…and of course, there was the album fun. put out before Some Nights. 2009’s Aim and Ignite produced some songs you probably heard on a couple MTV promos a few years back. Case in point: “Walking The Dog.”

What do you think of fun.’s Grammy wins last night? Are you a fan? Let us know in the comments!

Follow Alicia on Twitter @AliciaLutes

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