Nate Ruess has no plans.
This plan-free idea applies to his recent Saturday night in St. Louis following our chat. (“I will probably just stay in the hotel and watch basketball,” he says.) It extends to his foreseeable future.
“I’m excited about not knowing what’s next,” says the fun. frontman, who is wrapping up the American tour for his solo album “Grand Romantic” (Fueled by Ramen) with a show at The Paramount in Huntington on Monday night. “I’m just at a different point in my life now. This is not everything to me anymore.”
Ruess has a short Asian tour set for January and then the slate is blank for a while. He says that about a month ago he realized he was “overly exhausted,” though he has since bounced back.
Considering Ruess’ last few years, a break is understandable. Before working on “Grand Romantic,” Ruess teamed up with P!nk for “Just Give Me a Reason” while he was still touring with fun. following their massive “Some Nights” smash, which landed them a Grammy for best new artist and song of the year for “We Are Young.”
Is it weird for you playing fun. songs without the band?
I enjoy playing songs that I write, like I play the P!nk song in the show. I never really thought about not doing it.
Is the crowd different for your solo shows than they were with your previous bands?
It’s the same type of crowd, obviously a little more controlled. I have always been a fan of playing smaller types of venues. Of my 15 years of touring, three of my top five shows have been in the last six months. It’s been great.
So what makes a show great for you?
I think crowd participation. Maybe I’m lazy or I’m getting old and I don’t want to sing but I like it when I can step back and hear everybody else singing. . . . One of the best shows was the first show in New York. We played Webster Hall and it was just insane seeing all these people sing every word to every song. It wasn’t just fun. songs or even songs off the new album, which had just been released — and they knew every word to that — they also knew every word to songs from my old band The Format.
The writing on “Grand Romantic” is so much more personal. Is that the direction you’re heading?
I don’t really think about it when I’m writing a song. When I was working on “Some Nights” I did use “we” just a little bit more and I use “I” more now. But every album is so completely different. It’s just my journey. I can’t really plan the way it goes.