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Interview:
Success has been more than just a dream for Fitz & the Tantrums
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Fitz & the Tantrums is an "ecstatic" bunch these days, according to frontman Michael "Fitz" Fitzpatrick.

And why wouldn't they be? The Los Angeles sextet's sophomore album, "More Than Just a Dream," debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 in May of 2013 -- 114 points higher than its 2013 debut "Pickin' Up the Pieces" -- and more importantly has sent two singles, "Out of My League" and "The Walker," to No. 1 on the Top Alternative Songs chart.

It is, Fitzpatrick says, more than the group even dreamed for at this juncture.

"It's jsut incredible to see, and to see the growth in the shows and see people losing their minds over all the new songs as well as the old songs," Fitzpatrick, 44, notes. "I always thought that the new record could have a chance in that (Alternative) world. We feel really blessed just to have that opportunity."

Singer Noelle Scaggs, meanwhile, says the group is particularly gratified that not only has it drawn a new audience but that fans of "Pickin' Up the Pieces" have stayed on board even though the group's sound changed perceptibly between the two.

"We were trying to show people that we weren't just this pigeonholed, retro trend act, which is something we started to notice along the way," explains Scaggs, 35, who was with Dilated Peoples before joining the Tantrum. "So I think we were just trying to make the best record possible and a record we could feel proud of, but I think that (change) was in the back of our minds, too.

"And it's been really fun to see how far the music has spread since the first record. The fact that people are accepting the change and the shift and our growth as a band, especially on a sophomore record, is really pretty fortunate."

Fitz & the Tantrums are working at third single, "Fool's Gold," from the album, and Scaggs says there's some talk about a fourth. The group is also chomping at the bit to start working on new material, though she says it's also "just trying to get through this year" and a last blast of touring before focusing on that. Nevertheless, the group members are still tight and managing to enjoy "More Than Just a Dream's" success together even if they're cooped up in a tour bus much of the time.

"Y'know, everybody has their days; you miss your home, you miss your family, all of that," Scaggs says. "I think we're very fortunate in this band to have had this amazing synergy since the beginning, and we really value and respect each other and our craft and how much work we've each put into this.

"And I think having that respect and that admiration for each other really helps us bond, 'cause at the end of the day we are the ones on the road and seeing each other every single day, so we are each other's family. I think that positive energy is really important to have when you do what we do."

Fitz & the Tantrums and Big Data at 93.9 The River's Fall Ball

Tuesday, Nov. 18. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $27.50-$45.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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