Fitz and The Tantrums

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fitz and The Tantrums
Fitz and The Tantrums 2013.jpg
Fitz and The Tantrums in 2013
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 2008–present

Fitz and The Tantrums are an American indie pop and neo soul band from Los Angeles, formed in 2008. Their debut studio album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, released in August 2010 on indie label Dangerbird Records, received critical acclaim and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[1] They were heralded as a "band to watch" in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone.[2] They signed to current label Elektra Records In early 2013 and went on to release their sophomore LP More Than Just a Dream on May 7, 2013.

The band consists of Michael Fitzpatrick (lead vocals), Noelle Scaggs (co-lead vocals and percussion), James King (saxophone, flute, keyboard, percussion and guitar), Joseph Karnes (bass guitar), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards) and John Wicks (drums and percussion). Producer Chris Seefried was also a co-writer on the band's first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces. Their second album, 2013's More Than Just a Dream, was produced by Tony Hoffer. Their self-titled third album was released on June 10, 2016.


Fitz and The Tantrums was founded by Michael Fitzpatrick in 2008. Having purchased an old Conn electronic organ, he was inspired to write the song "Breakin' the Chains of Love" that same night.[3][4] He contacted his college friend, saxophonist James King, who recommended singer Noelle Scaggs and drummer John Wicks. In turn, Wicks brought in bassist Joseph Karnes and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna. According to Fitzpatrick, the band immediately clicked. He has said, "It was literally like five phone calls, one rehearsal, and we could have played a show that night."

The band performed their first show at Hotel Café in Hollywood, in December 2008, which Fitzpatrick booked one week after their first rehearsal.[5] In interviews, he has stated the importance of booking a date before the band was ready, in order to bring out the best in all performers. During the first half of 2009 they performed at several clubs in Los Angeles, including the Viper Room and Spaceland.

The band recorded their debut EP, Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1, during the first half of 2009 at Fitzpatrick's home in Los Angeles.[2] The EP was first released on August 11, 2009 through Canyon Productions.

In September 2009 they toured with Hepcat and Flogging Molly. In November 2009 the band opened eight concerts on the Maroon 5 Back to School Tour.[6][7][8] Their appearance was at short notice, after previously scheduled K'naan cancelled due to fatigue in late October.[9][10] According to Fitzpatrick, "Adam Levine from Maroon 5 was in New York to get a tattoo and his favorite tattoo artist had downloaded the record after hearing us on the radio. He told Adam, 'you gotta hear this band.' A week and a half later we're opening for Maroon 5 on their college tour."[2] In December 2009 the band shot the official music video for their first single "Breakin' The Chains of Love", directed by Joshua Leonard. It features Fitzpatrick and Scaggs in a moving and rotating bed.

Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs at a 2010 performance in San Diego
Fitz and the Tantrums in 2010

In March 2010, Fitz and The Tantrums played at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The festival is traditionally an important event for new groups to meet with representatives of the music industry. On April 15, 2010, Fitz and The Tantrums opened for ska legends The Specials on their North American reunion tour at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. On April 26, 2010, Dangerbird Records announced that they had signed Fitz and The Tantrums.[11][12] Their first full-length album, Pickin' Up the Pieces was released on August 24, 2010.

In October 2010, Daryl Hall invited the band to perform on his popular web-series Live From Daryl's House.[13] They played a seven-song set including four Tantrums songs, early Hall song "Girl I Love You", "Perkiomen", and finishing with "Sara Smile". "I walked back into the kitchen of his big old house in upstate New York and his mother was there," recalled Fitzpatrick. "She said, 'Fitz, come over here. You sound just like my son!'"[2]

Fitz and The Tantrums performed the songs "MoneyGrabber" and "Don't Gotta Work It Out" on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! in Los Angeles on January 12, 2011. On February 28, they performed "MoneyGrabber" on TBS' Conan and on April 5, on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In 2011, the band announced a U.S. and international tour with April Smith and the Great Picture Show. On Friday, February 3, 2012, Fitz and The Tantrums performed the song "Don't Gotta Work It Out" on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Episode 581, taped for broadcast at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis. They performed a free show at Thursday at the Square in Buffalo, New York on June 14, 2012 and at the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 7, 2012.

The band's sophomore LP, More Than Just a Dream, was released May 7, 2013 on Elektra Records.[14] The album features the lead single "Out of My League", which reached number one on Billboard's Alternative charts on September 30, 2013.[15]

"Out of My League (version française)" has also been released, and is being played on Canadian radio. This version has most of the verses sung in French, while the chorus remains in English.

In October 2014, Fitz and The Tantrums performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

In March 2016, the band released the lead single off their self-titled album, titled "HandClap". The album was released on June 10, 2016 and will be supported by the 2016 Get Right Back Summer Tour.

In July 2016, they performed at Slossfest in Birmingham, Alabama.

In popular culture[edit]

Professional skateboarder Mike Mo Capaldi used "MoneyGrabber" as his song choice for the Girl/Chocolate skateboard video "Pretty Sweet". Another band's song featured in a skateboard video, "L.O.V." was chosen for Trent McClung/Trevor McClung's part in Bones (TV series) "New Ground". "MoneyGrabber" is also featured in the 2013 commercial for New Amsterdam vodka

The band's song "News 4 U" was chosen for the promo of Desperate Housewives seventh season in mid-March 2011. Their song "MoneyGrabber" was featured in the "How 'bout that?" segment of the April 23, 2011 episode of "This Week in Baseball", and was featured in the first episode of 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic in the Flyers' clubhouse. "MoneyGrabber" was also prominently featured at the beginning of the Criminal Minds episode "Safe Haven" (6.5).

Their song "Spark" is featured as soundtrack in EA Sports game, FIFA 13 as well as being used in the Argos adverts from 2013-16. Their song "The Walker" was featured at the beginning of Suits (Season 3, Episode 9) as well as the 2013 film Identity Thief. "The Walker" was also featured as the backdrop to Ellen DeGeneres' one-take Oscar trailer, released on December 19, 2013. It was also featured in Season 5, Episode 6 of The Vampire Diaries, is currently used in Reebok's Z-Jet commercials and Wal-Mart commercials, and is the theme for the MLB Network series "High Heat." "Spark" is also the goal song of the Rochester Americans.

The instrumental version of their song "Dear Mr. President" was used in a Wells Fargo Bank Commercial.

The song "Roll Up" was used in Madden NFL 17.

The song "HandClap" was used in "Forza Horizon 3"

HandClap was used by The CW to promote their new acquired and returning shows for the 2016-2017 Television Season.

Musical style[edit]

Fitzpatrick has said that the band's musical style can be fairly described as "soul-influenced indie pop." He noted that while the band is influenced by the classic songs of the Motown and Stax record labels, the band is not trying to create an exact replica of that music.[16] In another interview, Fitzpatrick talked about his decision to not use guitars in the band. "I did want to try and make a big sounding record without guitars," he said. "For me, I just feel like in any music that has a band, the guitar is always there, it's always featured, it's always prevalent. I'm just sick of hearing it."[17]

Critical reception[edit]

Los Angeles Times music critic Ann Powers wrote, "Fitz & the Tantrums is the kind of band that communicates best in concert, but this album serves as a fine proxy and party-starter."[18] Aly Comingore of the Santa Barbara Independent wrote that the band members craft "soulful, nostalgia pop that's not only infectious, but just fresh enough to make it stand apart from its predecessors."[19]

In June 2011, Vogue Daily named Fitz and The Tantrums the "Hardest-Working Band" of the 2011 summer festival circuit.[20] "Not only do L.A.–based six-piece Fitz and the Tantrums share James Brown’s penchant for snazzy-dressed brass bands and feel-good retro ballads, they also have the late godfather of soul’s tireless work ethic."

Band members[edit]


Studio albums


  1. ^ Fitz & the Tantrums at
  2. ^ a b c d "Band to Watch: Fitz and the Tantrums Put a Modern Spin on Motown". Rolling Stone. April 12, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ Fitz & the Tantrums at Allmusic
  4. ^ "Fitz & the Tantrums: Finding plenty of soul mates". Buzz Bands. Los Angeles. June 17, 2010. Retrieved Jun 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Korina Lopez (February 13, 2011). "On the verge: Fitz & the Tantrums channel the Motown spirit". USA Today. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Fitz and the Tantrums". Alternative Press 267 (October 2010), p. 58.
  7. ^ "Event archive 2009". Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Maroon 5 Fleet Of Buses!". November 8, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "News Archives Oct. 2009". October 30, 2009. Retrieved Jun 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Fitz and The Tantrums open for Maroon 5". The Shorthorn. November 3, 2009. Retrieved Jun 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ Martens,Todd (April 26, 2010). "Dangerbird inks neo-soul act Fitz & the Tantrums". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  12. ^ Martins, Chris (April 27, 2010). "Fitz and the Tantrums Sign to Dangerbird, Tour with Dap-Kings, Plan Spaceland Residency". LA Weekly. 
  13. ^ "Live from Daryl's house – Episode 35, Fitz and the Tantrums". October 15, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Fitz and The Tantrums broaden their sound on new album". The Rolling Stone. 
  15. ^ "Fitz & the Tantrums - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ Jansen Seymour, Jane (June 1, 2010). "Fitz & the Tantrums Keep Busy Over the Holiday Weekend". PopMatters. 
  17. ^ Johnson, Alexandra (January 17, 2011). "More Soul Than the Devil Could Buy: The Pockets of Sound with Michael Fitzpatrick". 
  18. ^ Powers, Ann (August 9, 2010). "Album review: Fitz & the Tantrums' 'Pickin' Up the Pieces'". Los Angeles Times. 
  19. ^ Comingore, Aly (August 30, 2010). "Fitz & the Tantrums – Pickin' Up the Pieces". Santa Barbara Independent. 
  20. ^ Campion, Freddie (June 7, 2011). "Music: Best of Summer 2011 Festivals". Vogue Daily. 

External links[edit]