The three brothers who make up the trio AJR are in their 20s, but their latest hit, “Way Less Sad,” is built around a sample of a song that came out before they were born. But the group says the legendary artist who wrote the song fully approves of what they did with it.
“Way Less Sad” includes a portion of the 1975 top-10 hit “My Little Town” by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Simon & Garfunkel. “That was one of our favorite songs growing up, we were huge fans of [Simon & Garfunkel],” AJR’s Jack Met tells ABC Audio.
“And in ‘My Little Town,’ the part that we sampled comes at the last three seconds of a song, which is the fadeout,” he explains. “So to even hear the melody that we sampled, you have to bump your phone up to, like, max volume!”
“We always felt like, ‘This is the catchiest part of the song. I’m not sure why Paul Simon didn’t kinda move it back to the beginning,'” Jack continues. “So we said, ‘What a great opportunity! We should do it for him!'”
Luckily, Paul Simon, who wrote “My Little Town,” didn’t have a problem with AJR rearranging his song.
“Paul Simon heard the song and gave it his approval,” confirms Jack. “That was a good moment!”
“Way Less Sad” is on AJR’s current album OK ORCHESTRA.