DiscoverWild Card with Rachel MartinJack Antonoff doesn't believe in 'no regrets'
Jack Antonoff doesn't believe in 'no regrets'

Jack Antonoff doesn't believe in 'no regrets'

Update: 2024-05-30


In this episode of Wild Card, Rachel Martin plays a game with Jack Antonov, a renowned music producer known for his work with Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde. The game involves drawing cards with questions about memories, insights, and beliefs. Antonov reveals how grief has shaped his life, particularly the loss of his sister when he was 18. He discusses his unique rituals around cleanliness, his struggle with anxiety, and his belief in the order of the universe. Antonov also shares his appreciation for the slowness of his hometown and his regret about leaving his mother before she died. The episode concludes with Antonov winning the game and choosing to revisit a moment from his childhood spent with his family in New Milford, New Jersey.



This Chapter introduces the episode and mentions the Body Electric Study, which saw amazing effects in helping people change their sedentary lives. It also encourages listeners to try the Body Electric Challenge and listen to updated episodes wherever they get their podcasts.

Jack Antonov: A Conversation on Grief, Cleanliness, and Beliefs

This Chapter features a conversation with Jack Antonov, a renowned music producer. The conversation revolves around a game where Antonov answers questions about memories, insights, and beliefs. Antonov shares his experiences with grief, his unique rituals around cleanliness, his struggle with anxiety, and his belief in the order of the universe. He also discusses his appreciation for the slowness of his hometown and his regret about leaving his mother before she died.

Insights and Lessons Learned

This Chapter continues the conversation with Jack Antonov, focusing on insights and lessons learned. Antonov reveals his rituals around feeling clean, particularly his aversion to touching his face with unwashed hands. He also discusses his lifelong struggle with anxiety and how he has learned to manage it. Antonov shares his belief that productive things have come from his anxiety, but it remains a net negative in his life.

Beliefs and Worldview

This Chapter concludes the conversation with Jack Antonov, exploring his beliefs and worldview. Antonov shares how grief has shaped his life, seeing it as an emotional lens through which he views the world. He discusses his belief in the order of the universe and how he finds beauty in the world despite its challenges. Antonov also reflects on the optimistic nature of songwriting and the importance of sharing one's creativity.


Jack Antonov
Jack Antonov is an American music producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for his work with artists such as Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and St. Vincent. Antonov has won 10 Grammy Awards for his work in music production.

Wild Card
Wild Card is a podcast hosted by Rachel Martin, where guests answer questions drawn at random from a deck of cards. The questions explore memories, insights, and beliefs, providing a unique and intimate look into the lives of the guests.

Grief is a natural human response to loss. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including sadness, anger, guilt, and loneliness. Grief is a complex and individual experience, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and to seek support from others during this time.

Cleanliness is the state of being free from dirt, grime, and other impurities. It is important for maintaining good health and hygiene. Cleanliness can be achieved through various methods, such as washing, bathing, and disinfecting. Different cultures and individuals may have different standards of cleanliness.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It is a normal human emotion, but when it becomes excessive or persistent, it can interfere with daily life. Anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, genetics, and underlying medical conditions.

Order of the Universe
The order of the universe is a philosophical concept that refers to the belief that there is a underlying structure or pattern to the universe. This belief can be based on religious, scientific, or personal experiences. Some people believe that the order of the universe is evidence of a divine creator, while others believe that it is a product of natural laws. The concept of the order of the universe is a complex and multifaceted one, and there is no single definitive answer to the question of whether or not it exists.

New Milford, New Jersey
New Milford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. It is located in the northern part of the state, about 20 miles northwest of New York City. New Milford is known for its historic downtown area, its residential neighborhoods, and its proximity to the Ramapo Mountains. The borough is home to a variety of businesses, including restaurants, shops, and professional services. New Milford is also home to a number of parks and recreational facilities, including the New Milford Memorial Park and the New Milford Recreation Center.


  • How has grief shaped your life?

    Entirely. I almost see it as like an emotional lens, like a contact lens that goes over your eyes. It's not like a thing that happened that you sometimes feel, it's how you see things now.

  • What is proof that somebody really knows you?

    They understand my rituals around feeling clean. It's very specific to my definition of what is and isn't clean.

  • What feels unreachable to you?

    I always want to not have a certain amount of anxiety. It feels a little unreasonable, like it's just kind of baked in. I want to reach this pureness of no anxiety, but it's still one of the few things in my life that feels unreachable.

  • Do you think there is order to the universe, or is it all chaos?

    It's definitely order. I see it everywhere. Sometimes you got to look for it, but I see a lot of good things happening to people who deserve it. I see a lot of people finding each other in the most random experiences.

  • What is something about your hometown you've come to appreciate over time?

    The slowness of my hometown. I grew up in New Milford, New Jersey, and all I wanted to do was break out and go everywhere. But that slow boredom made my imagination run wild, and I can't recreate it or change it. I'm just happy I got to have it.

  • If you got to do over for one decision in your life, what would it be?

    I would have stayed with my mom when she was dying of cancer. I left before she died, telling myself that somebody needed to be with my dad on the other side. But in retrospect, it was because I couldn't handle it. I regret not being there for her.

  • What is your definition of cleanliness?

    My only concern with cleanliness is around my face. I haven't touched my eyes, nose, mouth, or ears with my hands unwashed in probably 20 years. It's very specific, but it's how I avoid getting sick.

  • How do you feel most connected to your sister?

    Probably through my family. I think when you have a great loss, people either run or go to each other. We definitely do the glue method.

  • What moment from your past would you choose to revisit in a time machine?

    I want to be hanging out on the lawn with my family in the house we grew up in New Milford. It was just a simple time before anything was too complicated.

Show Notes

Jack Antonoff has seemingly cracked the code for producing hit albums, winning multiple Grammys for his work with artists like Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. But for his own songwriting, he leans into the unknown. He studies his anxieties, regrets and grief, and shares those feelings in songs with his band Bleachers — as well as in this game of Wild Card.

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Jack Antonoff doesn't believe in 'no regrets'

Jack Antonoff doesn't believe in 'no regrets'