The last eight years have certainly been more than just a dream for Michael Fitzpatrick and his six-piece neo-soul indie pop group Fitz and the Tantrums. In that time, the band has grown from a festival favorite to bona fide superstars. But even with all their successes, their dynamic frontman, known to the world simply as Fitz, always finds time to be grateful for everything they have accomplished.
“What I try to do is every night on stage, as cardio-heavy and intense of a moment as every show is, I try to stand still and really appreciate what has happened to us,” Fitzpatrick says. “It’s still shocking to this day that we can go play a show and 2,000 people will come see us. It’s centering to live in the gratitude of what happens instead of chasing the dragon.”
However, the Los Angeles-based singer’s view of his band’s success didn’t just come from feelings of gratitude for their massive shows and frequent radio play. Fitzpatrick is now a father, a perspective that has offered him fresh insights into his career.
“I love what I do, but I love being a dad even more, and I love to show my son that I chased my dreams long enough to do something I really love,” Fitzpatrick says. “At the end of the day, when the band’s star fades, I’ll still be a dad and I will still be raising a good human being in the world, and that’s what really matters.”
With their tour in support of their self-titled album on its way into Phoenix for their July 27 date at the Marquee Theatre, Fitzpatrick’s focus on his family is going into overdrive, the reason being that the last time Fitzpatrick, Noelle Scaggs, Joe Karnes, James King, Jeremy Ruzumna, and John Wicks headlined the Valley of the Sun, he popped a pretty big question in the green room at Crescent Ballroom.
“I loved the Crescent; it’s such a great ballroom, because to me, I love a small, intimate club, and to me that is such a great small room where you and the audience are living it together, and that’s also where I asked my father-in-law if I could have his daughter’s hand in marriage. He said yes, so it worked out nice,” says Fitzpatrick. “My wife is from Arizona, and her whole family lives in Phoenix, so for us it’s a big family affair every time we come to town.”
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It will undoubtedly be more than just Fitzpatrick’s extended family in the crowd at the Marquee for their late July appearance, but even if it weren’t, the ever-reflective Fitzpatrick thinks he would be content no matter what. He and his bandmates have hit just about every high note that a band can in this industry.
“Our accomplishments have been enough for a long a time, and whether it’s this record, the next record, or three records down the line, no band continues at the same level forever,” Fitzpatrick says. “The U2s of the world don’t exist anymore, and even those bands will have a moment when the world doesn’t care about their latest record, and that moment will come for us, and at that point, like I said, it’s a trippy thing in life when you have a dream and you don’t get a modified version of that dream — everything you wanted comes true. If it all ended tomorrow, I could just walk away and be like, ‘I got to do everything I wanted, and now I have a kid and that’s what’s really important,” says Fitzpatrick.
Fitz and the Tantrums are scheduled to play Marquee Theatre on Wednesday, July 27.