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Joe Leary

By Joe Leary

Fitz and the Tantrums hail from Los Angeles.
(PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Fitz and the Tantrums hail from Los Angeles. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

A soul-pop sextet from Los Angeles, Fitz and the Tantrums stormed the charts with one of the year’s biggest hits, The Walker. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with vocalists Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs

24: Do you have any routines or rituals you follow when you’re on the road?

MF: It’s always about finding the best cup of coffee each morning.

NS: Mine is actually looking for restaurants and eating at great places. That’s what I do. It’s my travel blog thing that I do and there are so many good restaurants in Vancouver?

24: Do you try and maintain some degree of a healthy lifestyle while travelling?

NS: Yes, absolutely. It’s definitely a good thing for your mental stability to not eat crappy food everywhere you go, but some cities it’s kind of hard to get anything healthy. We have a Vita-Mix on the bus so we try to keep it kale and carrots.

24: Have you found certain regional similarities between audiences — say like the Pacific Northwest versus the Southeast?

MF: More than region it’s like city to city. Each city has its own energy. Some cities are just wild and rambunctious from the downbeat and some are a little more reserved. For us, our live show is all about having a good time, dancing your butt off, and clapping and singing along. Some cities take a little bit of warming up and just need to be given permission to go a little crazy. We’ve played Vancouver quite a few times and have always had good shows here.

24: When you put the band together, I read that it was automatic. You didn’t have to conduct an extensive search. The chemistry was immediate.

MF: It really was. It can take a long time to find the right pairing of people, but this band has always had this magic and serendipity and stars aligning. It was five phone calls, we got in a room, we played one song and it sounded as good as the record does. I walked out of the room and booked us a show for a week later and we kind of have never stopped since.

24: You were obviously always called Fitz — did you decide early on in life that if you ever formed a band you would call it Fitz and the somethings?

MF: When your first name is Michael, everybody goes by your last name. All my friends, all my life called me Fitz or Fitzy. We have this amazing painter friend in L.A. and she threw out the name, we thought it was great and kind of captured what we were doing energetically onstage — always giving it our 110%. Naming a band is one of my least favorite endeavors.

NS: We thought it was great and just go with it. But that and naming the record (are) always the two hardest things to do.

24: The Walker was a massive song for the group. Did that surpass expectations or do you even have expectations for songs?

NS: It’s interesting because when you’re working and doing everything you can to get the music as far and wide as possible, you have certain opportunities like having Ellen lip-synch the song for the Oscars or getting something licensed for television. It’s always a surprise because you hear about it, but you don’t realize how far it’s gotten until it’s in front of you.

MF: We’ve road-tested a lot of these songs. We knew that some songs have a magic about them. With this record, people were just going crazy for The Walker. You really get that on the ground temperature of what people are feeling.

 

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