Interviews

Fitz and The Tantrums Is More Than Just a Dream

Page 3 of 3

And it's cool that you say that, because I do catch a little bit of the old sounds in the most recent album, but there are significant differences.And to be honest I was impressed, but stunned at first as to how much musical ground Fitz and the Tantrums covered from Pickin' Up The Pieces to More Than Just a Dream. I'm glad to hear you say that. We did get a lot of flack from some people on this album. But at the same time we got a lot of appreciation and praise for this album.

It's interesting to hear that you're influenced by disco and new wave music, and yet you're involved with a wide range of genres. It is funny. And here's the thing, I grew up playing drums in a jazz context. Like, I was a full-on jazz musician, like jazz Nazi or snob. In college, I had this roommate who was a trumpet player. And I went to college in Central Washington. He and I would make these trips out to Seattle, and he knew of all of these gay dance clubs. I thought at first that he was freakin' crazy.

But he convinced me that I had to experience this. And through that, I kind of got rid of that jazz Nazi personality. I realized that -- first and foremost -- that the drums are all about having fun and getting people to dance. And the exposure to that world, the dance music world, really put my priorities back where they initially were, when I started to play drums. Which was that this was supposed to be fun. It's not an athletic event; it's just about having fun.

Needless to say, I got heavy, heavy into electronic music. I was trying to figure out how to make the acoustic drums sound more like the beats and melodic tunes that you typically hear in house music. I love it.

Of course with all the music festivals nowadays bringing in more electronic artists, Fitz and The Tantrums are on the same lineup with many DJs and producers from the electronic side of things. Yeah. I think when you start closing yourself off to certain things without really giving [them] a shot, you're just stunting your own growth. You're not doing any service to yourself. Now don't get me wrong -- there's music that drives me nuts, but I'll listen to anything. But it doesn't do me any good to say whatever sucks. It doesn't do anyone any good.

But we were getting a lot of backlash, actually, on this recent record. People wanted that basic sound, and they wanted to hear and know what was familiar. Basically Pickin' Up The Pieces part two. We got a lot of people saying they don't like it, but for every one of those people we've got at least 30 to 40 people who loved it. It's all about not closing your mind off.

Exactly. My rule is either you're going to like it or not like it, but at least give it a chance. But usually if I'm iffy about some particular music, I try to go experience it live.

I love Fitz and the Tantrums, and I won't lie -- I had that question of whether or not y'all would be able to harness that same sound you hit in the studio in a live setting. And y'all sounded exactly the same or, heck, even better.

Awesome. That's cool to hear you say that. And that was really the goal. The first record -- I think the only thing that maybe slightly was lacking was because we weren't a band yet when the majority of that record was made, we weren't able to capture that energy of a live set. And I think we really captured that this time around.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Taylor Moon
Contact: Taylor Moon