Ruess at a radio show in August 2012
|Birth name||Nathaniel Joseph Ruess|
February 26, 1982 |
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
|Origin||Glendale, Arizona, U.S.|
|Genres||Indie rock, indie pop, alternative rock, power pop|
|Labels||Fueled By Ramen|
|Associated acts||The Format, Fun, Straylight Run, P!nk, Eminem, Panic! at the Disco, Anthony Green, Ke$ha,|
Ruess was born on February 26, 1982, in Iowa City, Iowa. He is the younger of two children of Bess Zinger and Larry Ruess. His sister, Elizabeth, is one year older. His uncle, John Ruess, was a performer on Broadway.
In 1986, his family moved to a farm in Glendale, Arizona, due to repeated bouts of pneumonia Ruess faced as a child. This is alluded to in Fun.'s song "The Gambler" from their debut album, Aim and Ignite. Ruess remained in Arizona throughout his childhood. He attended Deer Valley High School and graduated in 2000. He joined punk bands in high school (Nevergonnascore, This Past Year) and upon graduation chose to pursue music. In an interview with American Songwriter Nate states, "I'm not one to take lessons, so I decided that the only way I was going to learn how to sing, if what they were saying was true, was to go in my car and put on any sort of music from a vocalist that might be really hard to mimic, turn it on as loud as possible and try to hit all those notes". He took a job in a law firm as a way to support himself while he pursued his musical ambitions.
Circa 1998, Ruess was the vocalist for Nevergonnascore, releasing an EP, The Byron Sessions. The band played regularly at the Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona. In 2001, at the age of 19, he launched the band The Format with his longtime best friend, Sam Means. The Format was his first musical endeavor to gain widespread attention.
2001–2008: The Format
After forming in 2001, The Format released a demo, titled EP, which generated local interest and led to the band's being signed to Elektra Records in 2002. They released their first studio album, Interventions + Lullabies, on October 21, 2003, leading to more local mainstream success. The band's fanbase began to grow. The Format released their second EP, Snails, with Atlantic Records in April 2005. However, while working on their second album, Dog Problems, they were dropped from Atlantic. They eventually created their own label, The Vanity Label, and released the album on July 11, 2006. On February 4, 2008, Ruess announced through the band's blog that The Format would not be making another album.
We have just put out word that we will not be making a new Format album. Please understand this was a tough decision and we're both upset about it. While we accept there will be false speculation as to why, understand that Sam and I remain extremely close and in fact are still passing the Twin Peaks box set back and forth in an attempt to figure out who REALLY killed Laura Palmer.
We also want to thank everyone with and within the Format, particularly Mike, Don, and Marko, whom without, none of this would have ever even been fully realized. We both suggest you support their musical talents and whatever they decide to do. And lastly we want to thank the fans who made this the best 5 years of our lives.
Immediately after the split of The Format, Nate contacted Jack Antonoff of Steel Train and Andrew Dost, formerly of Anathallo, to form a new band called Fun. They released their first demo, "Benson Hedges", through Spin's September 20, 2009, article. Four months after releasing their first single, "At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)", through Myspace on April 6, 2009, Fun. released their first studio album, entitled Aim and Ignite. Despite receiving generally positive reviews, the album was not a commercial success, peaking at 71 on the Billboard 200.
On May 17, 2011, the band was featured on Panic! at the Disco's single "C'mon". They also opened for Panic! at the Disco during their 2011 Vices & Virtues Tour. Nate Ruess co-wrote and sang (uncredited) on the Gym Class Heroes song "Holy Horsesh*t, Batman", on the November 2011, album The Papercut Chronicles II.
Their second album, Some Nights, was released on February 21, 2012, and featured production by Jeff Bhasker. The album's first single, "We Are Young", which features guest singer Janelle Monáe, was released September 20, 2011. The song was covered on Glee in December 2011 and featured in Spanish on a Taco Bell commercial during the Super Bowl in February 2012, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 8, 2012. The album has become a success throughout the world, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. The album's title song, "Some Nights", reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number 1 on the Alternative Songs chart.
On June 10, 2012, Fun played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
November 3, 2012, Fun performed "Carry On" and "Some Nights" on Saturday Night Live in New York City.
On July 20, 2013, Fun played to their largest crowd (over 50,000) at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
On February 10, 2013, the band won a Grammy for their song "We Are Young". Upon receiving the Grammy, Ruess commented, "I don't know what I was thinking writing the chorus for this song. If this is in HD, everyone can see our faces and we are not very young. We've been doing this for 12 years and I just got to say we could not do this without the help of all the fans that we've had keeping us afloat for the last 12 years." Fun also won the Grammy for Best New Artist.
Nate is also featured on Pink's album, The Truth About Love, in the song "Just Give Me a Reason". The song began as a simple songwriting session with Pink. She decided the song needed another side to it and subsequently a male part was written. While at first reluctant, with Pink encouraging him, he decided to participate in the duet. The song eventually topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first number-one single as a solo artist and his second overall.
See also: Fun discography
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
(Anthony Green featuring Nate Ruess)
|"Just Give Me a Reason"
(Pink featuring Nate Ruess)
|2013||1||1||1||1||4||1||1||1||1||2||The Truth About Love|
(Eminem featuring Nate Ruess)
|105||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Marshall Mathers LP 2|
|"—" denotes songs which were not released in that country or failed to chart.|
- Eliscu, Jenny (2012). "Fun". Rolling Stone: 30.
- "On This Day: February 26". The Learning Network. The New York Times. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Escudero, Nicki (June 16, 2011). "Former Format Singer Nate Ruess Wants to Have fun. in Arizona". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Masley, Ed (February 9, 2013). "How Nate Ruess of Fun. went from Glendale to Grammys", The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- Lawler, Joe. "fun. having fun at the top", Des Moines Register, Iowa, 7 April 2012. Retrieved on 5 March 2013.
- O'Connor, Christopher. "Adjusting to Format". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "fun.:Everyday Anthems". fun.:Everyday Anthems. American Songwriter. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Interview & Show Preview: fun. @ Showbox SoDo Friday, 6/24, Back Beat Seattle, 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- News post, titled "Important." The Format's official website. Accessed February 4, 2008.
- "Members of the Format, Steel Train, Anathallo unite as Fun", Spin, 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- "Fun. Take Song Of The Year Grammy For 'We Are Young'".
- "Best New Artist Winner at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards". http://www.grammy.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Just Give Me A Reason".
- "The Truth About Love - Track by Track Commentary".
- "Ke$ha 'Die Young' Hits Airwaves, Party Anthem Boasts Stripped, 'Hippie Rock' Sound". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Kaufman, Gil. "Ke$ha's Down-And-Dirty Party Anthem 'Die Young' Leaks". Viacom. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Cameron Matthews (January 11, 2012). "Anthony Green Is in the Collaborative Spirit on 'Only Love' -- Song Premiere". Spinner. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Australian Singles Chart: 01/07/2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Gold & Platin" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- "Music Canada: Pink (Just Give Me a Reason)". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Pink)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- "NZ Top 40: Singles Chart - 10 June 2013". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Media related to Nate Ruess at Wikimedia Commons