Michael Fitzpatrick also known as Fitz of the aptly named Fitz and the Tantrums sat down with us to have a conversation about family life, work balance, inspirations and more. Fitz spoke about the painstaking start of his career to now leading a platinum certified group, he also spoke with me of the downs and ups experienced through the music industry and a word of advice for budding artists.
Fitz and the Tantrums have cultivated a passionate following from their first release of the record Pickin’ Up The Pieces to last year’s self-titled record featuring the hit single “Handclap”. The catchy single “Handclap” can be heard as the backing track to many commercials, movies, and TV shows.
Read our interview below for an insightful look into the lead singer’s musical journey.
Into the Airwaves: How has the Honda Civic Tour been thus far?
Fitz: It’s been great. We’re deep in the middle and we’ve got five more weeks to go, so it’s been an endurance run. It’s been a great time and OneRepublic have been the sweetest guys, their crew is so nice. As openers, it’s not always that way so it’s been a really nice family vibe. With everyone touring across the US and Canada, and the response we’ve been getting every night has been stellar
Into the Airwaves: With the tour ranging from July to September, how do you balance commitments to each show and time for family & friends?
Fitz: It’s definitely a long one. Normally we go out for a few weeks on tour then go home to see our families. But this one was too amazing of an opportunity to pass on, we’re big fans of OneRepublic. So we went “alright, how are we going to put this together”, so we devised a scheme where we would get a family bus and everyone would be able to rotate their families, take turns and share the bus to bring their families out [on tour at different times]
Into the Airwaves: What does it mean to you to reach so many listeners after the band’s platinum certifications and accomplishing such achievements?
Fitz: For a guy that struggled for so many years and couldn’t get rested in the music industry and would have to guilt trip my 50 friends to come down to the local club, I did that for many years. This experience never falls on deaf ears, this is our dream come true. It’s not a modified version of our dream, it’s my exact dream come true
Read Melissa’s take of the Montreal Honda Civic Tour stop here, SHOW REVIEW: One Republic, Bell Centre, Montreal
Into the Airwaves: Would you consider creating an unplugged record similar to the Spotify Single or an acoustic album?
Fitz: The interesting thing is because we get played on the radio a lot we do acoustic sessions, sometimes we’ll do 2-3 shows before the concert at night performing for music listeners from radio stations and that’s been a cool experience. We get to break it down to piano and guitar, I also like it cause I get to sit on a stool, I don’t have to jump around and dance and shake my booty. It’s made me appreciate our music more because you take away all the bells and whistles, all the smoke and mirror, all the production, and you are left will all the essence of the song
Into the Airwaves: The upbeat single features elements of R&B, is this a new kind of sound you would like to explore?
Fitz: That song has a soul sound, which harkens back to our earlier record that includes “MoneyGrabber” on it, so it was almost full circle for us. Then the verses are more modern with a little bit of a trap beat. That has been the hallmark, the trademark of this band, which is to mix as many sounds that we are influenced by as a band. I think we will always try to find those new combinations
Into the Airwaves: Going back to reaching many listeners, if you could go back and give inspiration to yourselves as you began your musical journey, what piece of advice would you share?
Fitz: I would say that this band taught me to really trust my own intuition and my own instincts. As a vocalist, I have been a singer my whole life so I could sing any style I wanted to so the question was what is innately your style of singing and it took me many years to finally stop consciously or unconsciously like somebody else and to sing to my purest form, that’s finally when music started happening for me. I would say “trust yourself”, you have to have a great work ethic not everyone is going to be an overnight YouTube star and get million of plays. For the rest of us, it’s about grinding it out and having that uncompromising work ethic where you just work your butt off
Into the Airwaves: And what piece of advice would you share with listeners beginning out as musicians and artists?
Fitz: Don’t wait for someone to come give it to you