With the release of their debut album in 2010, Los Angeles indie pop outfit Fitz and The Tantrums made some big moves. “Moneygrabber,” the outfit’s first single caught on with radio and their energetic live shows has won them many new fans They’ve made appearances on late night programs like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Recently, the band performed at Outside Lands and we caught up with singer Noelle Scaggs and bassist Joseph Karnes to chat about all things Fitz and The Tantrums. Here’s what happened.
DK: Do you prefer to perform in the hot or cold weather?
JK: I grew up in Los Angeles, but I actually love the rainy days.
NS: I’m a spoiled little brat and don’t like the rainy days. I don’t mind one day if it’s at night when I’m sleeping and it’s better for me because you wake up and it’s clear.
DK: A lot of people showed up for your set. How did it feel to play in front of many people?
NS: It was fun. We love San Francisco. It’s actually really cool when we come out here. It’s been quite a while since we were here for a public show, which we did two nights at the Regency Ballroom. So to come here at a festival and to see that many people out here is great.
DK: Who are the fans you feed off: the loyalists in the front or the potential new ones standing in the back?
NS: We play to everybody. We play to the person we cannot see. We want them to get crazy.
JK: We try to send the energy out to the farthest people out there.
DK: Do you find it easier or tougher to play at a festival?
NS: It’s easy because it doesn’t matter how big the show is, we always put in 110-120 percent. It could be a private event for 100 people and it would be the same amount of energy. It’s always really fun because you’re playing with all of these incredible bands on the same stage. We’re on the same stage as Beck, the Foo Fighters and Neil Young. Sometimes, like today, we’re on the stage with legends and it’s insane! A band like ours, which has been together for three years and with one record out, to have this opportunity to play at an event like this near our hometown with all of these amazing musicians is always so much fun.
DK: Have you had a chance to chat with any of the aforementioned rockers backstage?
NS: It’s funny. I was talking to Dave Grohl before we went on-stage because the last time we saw each other was at SXSW. We played at Rachael Ray’s event. He watched us from the sidestage, and ended up watching us again today. He’s a fan of our band; his wife loves us. He’s such a nice guy.
DK: What did he say to you?
NS: He loves us! We played Google the other day and he asked if we’d ever played at Apple headquarters and I said no. We were talking about that event when they played there and we started laughing. It was really cool.
DK: How’s the new album coming along?
NS: We are putting the finishing touches on it now. We’re looking at a winter release. We’re trying to figure it out and make sure that everything is good for the sophomore album. It’s been a real cool experience.
JK: We’re very excited for it, to say the least. It will be great to get some new music out. Hopefully we’ve got something that all of our fans will appreciate.
DK: Any changes in your sound?
NS: We didn’t want to something that would keep us in a retro pocket. There’s still remnants of what we had on the first record, but we definitely are moving in a more progressive direction. We’re expanding on that ‘80s look that we had and a lot of anthem songs.
JK: We’re trying to open up the sonic palate with organ, piano, bass, sax, drums and vocals. We enjoy the challenge of making as big of a sound as we can with the limitations self imposed on ourselves.
DK: How’s the rest of 2012 looking?
NS: We’re going to take a break and come back guns blazing.JK: We’re getting ready to ramp up and do the press and promo thing and whatever we have to do.