Chatting with Fitz
by Cat Johnson
Through a combination of coincidence, mutual indie admiration and a handful of emails, I found myself on the phone with Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums. The conversation was set up by the band’s label as a way to do a bit of outreach to indie stores. Over the course of an hour, three representatives from three different indie record stores would be on the phone having a loose chat with Fitz, who was on the road in Phoenix. Turns out that he’s a funny, interesting fellow with high regard for vinyl and record stores. Here are a few more tidbits I picked up from our conversation.
- Although the band’s current tour was slated as their last round of shows to promote Pickin’ Up the Pieces, that’s not going to be the case. They were recently announced for Coachella and some other festivals and are playing a handful of dates in Mexico.
- After this tour, the band members are, according to Fitz, “going to lock ourselves at home and take some time to write some new songs.”
- Fitz was “so excited” when [indie label] Dangerbird said they were going to put Pickin’ Up the Pieces on vinyl. “You work so hard on the album artwork,” he says, “then it gets reduced to the size of a postage stamp. For us to get to see the artwork in full format on the scale of vinyl is incredible.”
- The record of Pickin’ Up the Pieces is the “number one, best selling thing” the band sells on tour. “It’s really something that people can feel like they walked away with a piece of the show,” says Fitz. “Vinyl has been making such a comeback, it’s pretty incredible to see it making such a strong statement.”
- Fitz and the band love independent record stores. “This last year it’s been really important for us to do in-stores and support all the indie stores that have been so kind and supportive of us,” Fitz says. “The indie spirit and indie market is so important.”
- They played and had an “incredible experience” at last year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. “We had not been to San Francisco in quite some time, so we were excited to get back up there,” says Fitz. “I love the idea of this free festival. It really fits the spirit of San Francisco.”