Amazing. Off of P!nk’s latest album, The Truth About Love.
Archives For Fun.
Amazing. Off of P!nk’s latest album, The Truth About Love.
Some credit Foster The People with leading indie rock’s movement in to mainstream radio, with acts such as fun. and Gotye now reaping the benefits. FTP lead singer Mark Foster is honored that people might credit him with changing the spectrum of pop music.
“Recently I’ve had a lot of people, like old friends in the music industry and people in different bands, say that to me,” Foster said recently during a phone interview from New York. “I’ve never really thought about it before. That’s like one of the biggest compliments.”
In an era where electronic dance music seems to rule the airwaves, “Pumped Up Kicks” broke the mold and became 2011’s breakout hit. Over a year later, Foster is still quite busy due to the song’s popularity. The band is currently on tour and set to push its fourth single from Torches, the up-tempo “Houdini” to the masses.
“I’m such a different person than I was a year and a half ago,” the singer said as he reflected on the band’s journey. “Not just personally, but musically.”
Although in addition to the personal and musical growth, Foster and his band have received a solid professional education as well during the wave of success.
“When [‘Pumped Up Kicks’] first started, this was our first tour, this was our first a lot of things for us,” Foster said. “It’s a different pace of life man, in terms of like, ‘touring feels like this,’ ‘this is how to stay rested on tour,’ ‘this is what you should eat.’”
Foster feels like he’s lived “10 years worth of memories in a year.” He believes all of those experiences will play in to the band’s next album, which he hopes to begin writing and recording later in 2012. Although the front man is focused on “Houdini,” he left open the possibility for a new single before the year’s end. The band will be busy on the road and tackling other projects that pop up over the summer. Recently Foster co-wrote a track with Taylor Swift for the songstress’ forthcoming album.
“We wrote a song together, and then I’ve been working on this song with K’Naan,” Foster revealed. “Love that guy, and he’s doing some really cool things.”
Yet despite changes that he and the band have gone through over the past 18 months, one thing will stay the same: Foster said he will be “doing his own thing” on the band’s next LP. He never thought pop radio would play “Pumped Up Kicks,” and so Foster is not about to tailor his writing and recording method to the outlet. And now that indie rock is even more accepted by Top 40 radio, there certainly isn’t a need to fix something that is not broken.
Fun. front man Nate Ruess placed one condition on the sold-out crowd Saturday night inside New York’s Terminal 5 concert venue.
(L to R) Jack Antonoff, Nate Ruess, and Andrew Dost of fun. after Saturday’s show inside Terminal 5
“Don’t tell Arizona, but it feels good to call New York a hometown show,” Ruess said, eliciting one of many deafening screams of approval from the audience throughout the night. “What do they say; you have to live in New York for five years before you can call yourself ‘a New Yorker’?”
Performing the first of two consecutive sold out shows at the hall, you would’ve thought by the crowd’s reaction that the band grew up in the Empire State. Surrounded by fans, friends, and family alike, Fun. powered through a set that lasted just over an hour and fifteen minutes and included a healthy mix of both 2009’s Aim and Ignite and 2012’s Some Nights. The latter produced Fun.’s global anthem, “We Are Young,” which naturally was the highlight of the evening.
After the show, the band met with local radio station winners and record label staff. Ruess told me that the band already has the third single from Some Nights set (the second is the title track). Keyboardist Andrew Dost joked that there is virtually no chance my favorite track, the seven minute-long “Stars,” will be released as a single to radio for obvious length reasons, although I did unsuccessfully argue that an edit could be made.
On WBRE’s “PA Live!” for this week’s “The Ralphie Report,” I played Donnie Wahlberg’s response to the new surge of boy bands, talked about Fun.’s stance for LGBT rights, and highlighted the amazing efforts of students at Riverside High School, who started an online campaign surrounding a senior at the school who is battling cancer for his second time.
Despite their meteoric success, the members of the band Fun. find themselves staying true to their roots in multiple ways.
The first is the tour the band is currently on. Fun. sold out most of the shows scheduled before June before “We Are Young” became a huge anthem. Especially in a touring market that is struggling to find both stars and success stories, the business-savvy decision might have been to move the dates to larger venues. You lose the intimacy of the small set-ups but you can sell more tickets and put more money on the books.
Keyboardist Andrew Dost told me Fun. wasn’t having any of it.
“They’ve supported us for years, without the success of ‘We Are Young,’ Dost said of Fun.’s fan base during a recent call in to “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “This tour we figured, let’s not move these venues up. Let’s leave it where it is. Let’s go have a party with all the people that have been singing along for years, and then in the summer we’ll meet some new friends along the way.”
Truth be told, I’m sure Fun. is meeting plenty of new friends at the moment. Dost called in to pre-tape our conversation last week – amidst a sound check with radio station winners, two meet-and-greets, seven phone interviews, and the second of a two night, sold out stand of shows at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.
Essentially this is the result of “We Are Young” appearing on “Glee,” in a Super Bowl commercial, and being spun on radio stations from Los Angeles to the Empire State. But for Dost, the beauty of the new-found stardom is the opportunity to use the band’s platform for a greater good. Fun. is an advocate for equal rights and treatment of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender community. All three of the band members, including lead singer Nate Ruess and guitarist Jack Antonoff, are straight. But inspired by Lady GaGa, Fun. feels compelled to speak out against what it feels are injustices to the LGBT community.
“Any rights that are denied to anyone, should offend everybody,” Dost said, the interview taped before but airing after North Carolina’s vote to ban same-sex marriages. “[Lady GaGa] is not only an amazing artist, but she uses the fact that people are listening to her to say important things that need to be said.”
Fun. hopes that this new addition to its fan base will continue to listen, as the band just wrapped filming the music video for “Some Nights,” the title track and second single from its sophomore LP.
“Glee.” Super Bowl commercial. Anthem. Boom.