Band broke through to the big time in 2011 with ‘Pumped Up Kicks.’
By James Montgomery, with reporting by Matt Elias
Foster the People were one of 2011’s biggest breakouts, first scoring a massive crossover hit with “Pumped Up Kicks,” then nabbing a pair of Grammy nominations and finally, landing current single “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” in a high-profile ad campaign (and accompanying it with a really excellent video, starring Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe).
So, as the year comes to a close, we asked the guys in Foster to try and sum up the past 12 months, which saw them rocket from little-known L.A. rock outfit to internationally famous buzz band. And, as you can probably expect, for a band that’s basically lived on the road in 2011, most of their milestones have to do with the size of the stages they’ve played on … and the audiences they’ve played for.
“It’s funny, in January we started a residency at the Echo, which is this club in L.A., and we played every week for about a month, and that kind of kicked it off. The first week, it was half full … it only holds 300 people, I think there was like 125 people there,” frontman Mark Foster laughed. “And then cut to four months later, doing Coachella in front of 15,000 people, and then cut to three months after that, playing Lollapalooza in front of 50,000 people. It’s just been wild man, seeing the world and seeing the progression of things. … It’s crazy to think about. I feel like we have 10 years of memories packed into this one year.”
While they’ll continue to tour in earnest in 2012, most of the year will be dedicated to writing and recording the follow-up to their Torches debut. Not surprisingly, Foster said the band’s new stuff has been heavily influenced by their time away from home.
“We’ve gotten to write some stuff on the road so far, but haven’t really gotten to dive into it too much yet,” he said. “We’ve just been kind of throwing everything against the wall, idea-wise, like, ‘We should try this and we should try this,’ all these different boundaries to work within, because sometimes it can be really daunting I think, if you don’t have certain boundaries when writing a song.
“There’s definitely musical elements that we’ve talked about — you know, really leaning on the percussive nature of what our live show has turned into this year, and bringing that more out into the second record — just kind of experimenting, doing some different, weird studio tricks; just having fun with it. But you never really know until you get under the hood, so we’ll see what happens when we start.”
Are you looking forward to the next FTP album? Tell us in the comments!