[lastfm]Fitz and the Tantrums[/lastfm]‘ front man Michael Fitzpatrick describes the group’s sound as “soul-influenced indie pop.” The seven-piece will hit the stage at this year’s South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. With two singers, a hefty horn section and no guitar, Fitz and the Tantrums deliver a unique Motown-inspired sound that you won’t hear anywhere else.
It all started when Fitz began composing soul songs on an old church organ he bought for 50 dollars. He’s worked in the L.A. music scene throughout most of his career, writing and producing for a number of big-name performers. “I’ve been writing for other people for so long that I started feeling that if I’m going to be spending 12 hours a day in the studio, it might as well be something for me,” says the Los Angeles native. “But, it took me a long time to find my voice.”
Fitz & The Tantrums – “MoneyGrabber” [DOWNLOAD]
Fitz finally got things rolling and recruited a college friend, saxophonist James King. To fill out vocals, they contacted Noelle Scaggs, front woman of L.A. soul band Rebirth. Bassist Joseph Karnes, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna, and drummer John Wicks, along with a revolving horns section, fill out the group’s unique, infectious sound. While heavily influenced by Motown, the group also draws from sounds from the ’80s, inspired by The [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Talking Heads[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Style Council[/lastfm]. When asked about the absence of a guitar, Fitz says “The guitar is so common, personally I’ve had enough of it. I wanted to challenge ourselves to create a full, rich sound without that mainstay of music.”
The group found success with their first album Pickin’ Up the Pieces, which reached #15 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in 2010. They went on to tour with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Maroon 5 [/lastfm]later that year, and have been filling venues since.”For me, the live show separates the men from the boys, the ladies from the girls. There’s no trickery on stage…Noelle and I are like Ike and Tina on stage. We leave drenched in sweat.”