Music News

AJR explains ongoing success of "Bang!": It was "just different and quirky enough"

Shervin Lainez

Brother band AJR released their hit “Bang!” back in February of 2020, but it’s still going strong, having just topped Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs airplay chart last week.  So why does the song have such staying power? AJR member Jack Met says it’s because of two things: the pandemic, and being “just quirky enough” to catch people’s ears.

We wrote it, obviously, before the pandemic started,” Jack tells ABC Audio about the success of “Bang!”

“But it really sounded — and sounds — like the time that we were in when it was first starting to get played on the radio,” he explains. “It has this really apocalyptic feel, with the trumpets and the chorus coming in.  It sounds a little bit evil and a little darker than what you’re used to from us, or other stuff on the radio.”

“I think people were like, ‘Oh, that’s exactly how I’m feeling now. That’s how the world is. Let’s just turn that up!'” he adds. “Because that’s the best part of music, y’know?  Having it relate to your exact emotion.”

Related to its “evil, darker” sound, Jack says, is that “Bang!” doesn’t really sound like anything else.

I think it’s, like, just different and quirky enough for people to say, ‘Oh, what’s that?’…as soon as that piano comes in and the ‘bump dum dum,'” he explains.

“The production is just a little bit left of center stage, so, like, ‘OK, that sounds a little bit new,’ but not too new…to the point where it’s like, ‘Woah, this is experimental!'” he adds. “So I think that we hit that line pretty well there, in terms of, like, a single on the radio that people want to hear.”

AJR’s new album OK Orchestra is due March 26.

By Joshua Johnson & Andrea Dresdale
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