Jack Antonoff Interview: ‘Love, Simon’ songwriter
“There’s an honesty to the film that is rare,” reveals Jack Antonoff regarding “Love Simon.” The songwriter and lead singer of Bleachers served as Executive Music Producer for the LGBT themed rom-com, curating the movie’s soundtrack and writing several original songs. The final tune, “Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song),” beautifully ties together the heart and themes of the film. Antonoff says the sense of honesty he felt resided in the movie was exactly what he wanted for the song.
“Love, Simon” had “John Hughes feelings to it” which immediately struck a chord with Antonoff. The musician immediately pulled out his phone to tinker with some of his own tracks during a screening of the film. The overall tone “felt connected to the way my music sounds,” says Antonoff. So as Simon gets the guy and finds his happy Hollywood ending, Antonoff knew he had to take “all the emotion of the movie and all the joy of the movie and put it into a song.”
Of course, like any great Hughes classic such as “The Breakfast Club” or “Sixteen Candles,” there can’t be joy without a strong sense of pathos. Antonoff actually wrote the lyrics with his young godson in mind. For as much humor and joy was found in the film, he grew “attached to this theme of how much being yourself and falling in love hurts.” It tells that story of joy and hurt to someone who hasn’t experienced love yet. These emotions that the song evokes are exactly why Antonoff loves movie soundtracks as a medium. Hearing the song after experiencing the film will “pull you back into the feeling of the movie.”
“Love, Simon” is the first film by a major Hollywood studio to focus on a gay love story and its impact in the mainstream isn’t lost on Antonoff. “It stands for something,” he says. “It means way more to people outside of just the content of the movie.”