Although they are fairly new to the game, Michael Fitzpatrick and company, otherwise know as Fitz and the Tantrums, have been on the soul circuit since 2008. The Los Angeles collective will be playing Central Park on June 25 as a part of Summer Stage. The modern mix of music the sextuplet has been noted for sees '80s synths meshed a twist Motown-style soul.
Now, the band, whose album Pickin’ Up the Pieces was released in August of last year on L.A. indie Dangerbird Records, but it's just now picking up steam. Its first single “MoneyGrabber” will go down as one of most memorable songs of summer 2011, and help people recognize that Fitz and the Tantrums is a force to be reckoned with.
It all started with an organ and a break-up, as Fitzpatrick says. “I went through a bad break-up and music lifts me out of any funk I’m in and saves my ass.” After Fitz came into possession of an old church organ he wrote one of his first songs, “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” all thanks to an ex-girlfriend. “In that moment I always wanted to find my true voice and finally found myself as a vocalist.”
With just that song, Fitzpatrick knew what he wanted in the band: saxophones, no guitars, and a female vocalist. the end product was Fitz and the Tantrums. “That was really the catalyst that started the band. I made a few phone calls and it was people who knew people, really, that started this non-stop onslaught first rehearsal of the band.” Noelle Scaggs, Joseph Karnes, James King, Jeremy Ruzumna, and John Wicks completed the band and their resume and history speaks for itself -- they've served as musicians, writers, and back up singers to De La Soul, Macy Gray, and Black Eyed Peas, to name a few.
Fast forward to May 2011. The band has made several late night television show performances, featured by VH1 as a band "You Oughta Know"
in April, and their album is peaking across three Billboard charts. “We have played shows in front of 40 to 80 people and now our single is finally getting some heat and it is just a great feeling,” stated Fitz.
Pickin’ Up The Pieces, the band’s debut LP, is driven by the group's best-known song to date, lead single "MoneyGrabber". “The song was born out of a relationship that had other agendas that was important to my girlfriend at the time. Let’s put it this way -- I’ve never made the best choices when it came to relationships,” jokes Fitzpatrick. He was surprised when the song morphed into something more universal. “'Grabber’ just started taking on its own meaning in the post-wall street, post-corporate era.”
The band road-tested much of the new material and based on word of mouth and some radio airplay, they became a hit straight out of the box. They have much to be thankful for, including the L.A. clubs they came from. “Personally, I love to play a small, sweaty basement club. Our performances are high energy and we just want people to come out dance and celebrate, but," adds Fitzpatrick, "we cannot wait to play the festivals either -- especially New York, where we will play Summer Stage and we hope everyone comes out to dance with us then too."
For more information on Fitz & the Tantrums visit their web site: