The fourth of July is the only time of year Andrew Dost requests off from his job. Each year with his family, Dost — the multi-instrumentalist for the pop trio fun. — celebrates the holiday with a multi-day event full of reunions, games, food and fun.
"Our manager knows that's off limits," Dost said.
He tried anyway. With some timidity in his voice, the manager approached Dost about a special gig: fun. had been asked to perform on the White House lawn. Dost's plans quickly changed.
"It overruled the family celebration," he said. "My parents and I got to take our picture with the president and first lady. We watched the fireworks from the White House lawn."
It's been that kind of year for fun., the New York City-based band that won two Grammys (Best New Artist, Song of the Year for "We Are Young") in February and whose 2012 album "Some Nights" was certified platinum months ago. With a handful of inescapable singles (including, most recently, Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason" featuring singer Nate Ruess) fun. — which headlines Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday — is now one of the biggest bands in the country.
Dost and his bandmates — Ruess and guitarist Jack Antonoff — have played in groups for years, but he says they've never experienced anything close to this. Dost says he's still learning to navigate new-found fame, and the expectations that come with it.
"It makes your head spin a bit. It's difficult to adapt to," Dost, 30, said. "You know people are kind of looking. I don't want to mess up any parts or blow a trumpet solo because that'll be on YouTube."
Still, Dost is aware that this is the moment he's worked his entire career toward. He wants to relish it a bit.
"We know this is something that never happens, and we're just trying to survive and also enjoy it a little bit," he said.
Fun.'s current "Most Nights" tour has the trio on the road until mid-October. Dost says it will be the final push for the current album. After the last date, the plan is to take it easy until the new year. Then, Dost says, the band will "sit down and really get into" the next album. The band discusses the next record a lot, he says, but members have been more focused on touring than writing new songs.
"It hasn't hugely been on our radar yet. We want to do these shows justice," Dost said. "We're constantly writing down scraps of ideas. We made one really brief live demo and a couple of other things were started. But it's skeletal."
The future of fun.'s sound has yet to be determined, but Dost seems confident in what path he doesn't want to follow.
"I know we'll have certain entities breathing down our necks in terms of what the album should sound like, but we need to ignore that," he said.
Anticipation, along with expectations, will build the longer fun. retreats from the spotlight. When you reach the level of success fun. has achieved, it all simply comes with the territory. The key, Dost says, is remaining true to the person he was before the fame.
He passed a test on Grammy night. At a loud after-party, amid A-list celebrities and industry types, Dost and his wife shot each other the time-to-go look. They slipped out the back, stopped for some burritos and headed home to watch "The Office" on NetFlix.
"It was nice to be able to do the things I always used to do," he said.
If you go
Fun. performs Saturday at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Tegan and Sara will also perform. Tickets are $35-$45. Call 877-435-9849 or go to merriweathermusic.com.