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“Bang!” is inspired by difficulty of adulting, says AJR

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Brother trio AJR have their biggest hit to date with “Bang!” The group says that the song — with lyrics about renting an apartment, playing your taxes and eating quinoa — is about how hard it is to leave your youth behind and start acting like a grown-up.

“I think ‘Bang!’ is about trying to fit in with the adults and trying to do all the things that your parents do, but it doesn’t quite feel natural yet,” says AJR’s Ryan Metzger, adding that because growing up is “inevitable at some point,” you might as well “go out with a bang.”

“Bang!” is a song AJR had written around the time of their 2019 top-10 album Neotheater, but they didn’t think it sounded right for that project.

“We knew something was cool about it,” Ryan tells ABC Audio. “[But] it felt probably a little too Broadway-ish back then…it was a little too musical theater, and it didn’t quite fit with the flavor of Neotheater.”

We waited until Neotheater came out and then we started working on it,” he adds. “[We] made it a little less Broadway and a little more trap feeling.”

The song, released in February, still sounds pretty theatrical though, and Ryan says that was the trio’s attempt to sort of ease their fans into the sound of musical theater.

“We love musical theater, but we also love hip-hop and we love…just alt and pop music, and I think we like to cook it all together into something that’s very digestible to kids our age,” Ryan explains.

“We love Broadway music, but most kids haven’t been exposed to that,” adds Jack Metzger. “So we thought, ‘How can we bring it to them…and slowly introduce them to that world they’re not quite adjusted to?'”

By Andrea Dresdale
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