Los Angeles Band, Fitz and The Tantrums have had a seriously busy year. They released their new album, More Than Just A Dream, played at multiple festivals, now they’re on tour with Bruno Mars, and soon they’ll hit the road with Capital Cities. If you haven’t given More Than Just A Dream a listen then we urge you to do so now! Thus far, this retro sounding album is one of our 2013 favorites!
Fitz and The Tantrums open for Bruno Mars Thursday, August 22nd at Philips Arena! We caught up with Joe (Bass Guitar) and discussed the tour, writing, and advice for local musicians. See what he had to say:
You guys have had a busy year between releasing the new album and touring, what have you enjoyed the most?
The thing I’ve enjoyed most is watching the crowds get excited about the new material. We took a lot of chances with this album and pushed our sound in some new directions. You never know how people will react to change, and we were really hoping our fans would come along with us on the musical journey we’re taking. But you never know until you actually get in a room with people. It’s incredibly gratifying to see how much people have embraced this new album and to see them sing along to all the songs from it.
We’re huge fans of More Than Just a Dream, these pop tracks sound so fun, but they definitely have deeper lyrics and meaning (Last Raindrop, Out of my League, Fools Gold)-What was the writing process like on your latest album? Did you go into it with a theme in mind or did your mood at the time cultivate the feeling on the album?
The writing process for this record took on every possible permutation. We gave ourselves an impossible deadline to write the bulk of this record and we had written 30-40 songs in basically a month and a half. The only rule was that no one in the band could say an idea didn’t sound like us. Some songs began as jams and some began as ideas that one or two individuals would bring to the table. As for a theme or a mood for the album, we knew we wanted to incorporate a wider range of stylistic influences than the last album, since everyone in the band has such diverse musical tastes. We wanted this album to reflect that. Also, knowing what the energy of our live show has become, we definitely had that in the back of our minds as well. Wanting to make sure we had moments for crowd participation, since our audience is truly the 7th member of the band to us. In the end though, it came down to which songs were the best songs.
We know that you just announced your Fall Tour with Capital Cities- that seems like a great fit. What other artists would you love to tour with?
We’ve loved touring with the bands that have been opening for us over the past few months (Hunter Hunted, Ivy Levan, The Colourist, Saints of Valory and Haerts). Discovering new bands and helping introduce them to a wider audience is something we really enjoy. I think opening for Bruno Mars has also been a dream pairing for us that we have been able to realize. As for other artists to tour with, I’d loved to tour with Imagine Dragons, Haim, Beck, Foster the People or fun.
What bands are you currently listening to?
Lately it’s been a lot of Daft Punk, both new and old. Tame Impala, Haim, D’Angelo, James Brown and Phoenix have all made the rotation as well this week.
What advice would you give to local musicians, here in Atlanta, that really want to get to the next level?
I think the most important thing is songs. If you don’t have good songs that connect with people on some level, the rest doesn’t matter. I’s all about trusting yourself and finding your own authentic voice, what feels true to you. If you believe in what you’re doing, people can feel that. Other than that its just practice and constantly work to hone your craft. Take it seriously. Also, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, especially in the beginning. You never know when or where a big break is going to come from.
What venue or festival is on your dream list?
Luckily we’ve had an opportunity to play most of the venues and festivals we’ve always wanted to play nationally. I know the Big Day Out in Australia is a dream gig as well as the Reading Festival and Glastonbury in the UK. And I know we’d all love to get down to South America soon.