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Fitz and the Tantrums interview

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American neo-soul act Fitz and the Tantrums will play the Academy in Dublin on March 3rd in support of their latest album More Than Just A Dream. Vocalist Noelle Scaggs spoke to TheLastMixedTape’s Stephen White recently about the group’s formation and growth as musicians.

How did you first join meet Michael Fitzpatrick and join Fitz & the Tantrums?

Fitz was making the first record with James King, following his break-up with his girlfriend. He found this old beat-up organ and wrote ‘Breakin’ the Chains of Love’, and was looking for a singer. I had just been on tour with James and recommended me, cause he thought I would suit the style they were going for.

When came in for the first rehearsal I instantly fell in love with the sound and the music the guys were making., and I knew most of the musicians that were playing on the record from touring or just through their reputations. There’s such a cool synergy on the record due to all of the people involved and because of that Fitz booked the first shows as Fitz & the Tantrums.

As a songwriter yourself how did you find working as part of the group?

It’s really interesting because I just seem to luck out with the great musicians that cross my path, there’s a kind of destiny to it. Fitz and the guys had this new wave edge to their sound that really gelled together with the soul that myself and some of the other musicians brought to it. It’s a lot of fun, and we experiment with it. We’re all able to make it our own and develop our craft as musicians and songwriters.

How do you feel Fitz & The Tantrums have developed this approach in your second album, More Than Just A Dream?

We had 3 and a half years on the road, touring and playing together since the first record. That experience of playing in front of fans has taught us to minimize our sound when playing live. When we got around to making this album there was a definite change in our abilities as a band, we had grown stronger as a group and were working more closely together.

We wanted to show that development. The first record was really about Fitz’ break-up while this time around we could introduce more up-beat, sing-a-long elements to the sound. We didn’t want to pigeon-hole the music to any one genre. You could feel the growth in the band, and having Tony Hoffer in to produce the album was just amazing, he gave an outside view on our sound, and helped to really expand it and stretch us as artists.

Coming out of that studio experience of growth and expansion, how has Fitz & The Tantrums taken that into the live shows?

It’s been a really comfortable experience. We just get each other so well, we’re like a family this time around. It can be difficult for some of the band to leave their families to go on tour but we have such a good support system for each other. We really care for one another and because we have had success with this record there’s an ease and fun to playing these tracks live. It’s more cohesive this time around, and we’re just having so much fun playing together on stage.

Fitz and the Tantrums will play the Academy in Dublin on March 3rd. Tickets are priced at €26 and are on sale now via ticketmaster.ie.

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