Hopefully you read our reviews and saw our photos from both of Fitz and the Tantrums‘ shows at Sasquatch! this weekend (See Sunday coverage). We also caught up with lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick to talk about his band covering The Raconteurs, being part of the new “Big Three,” and that significance of his hair.
Randomville: The last time I saw you guys was last fall at your sold out show at The Crocodile in Seattle.
Michael Fitzpatrick: That was a real turning point for us. That’s when the momentum and our careers began to shift was at that show.
Rv: How are you handling that so far?
MF: It’s exciting and overwhelming. The touring is insane having to be in every city everyday. It’s crazy.
Rv: You’ve played some of the Late Night shows already.
MF: We’re going to do Letterman and we’ve been on Conan, Leno.
Rv: Were those guys cool?
MF: Oh yeah, they were super cool. Conan came up to us and said we were one of his favorite bands he’s had on the show. And you’re sitting there like “This is Conan, and he’s really tall.”
Rv: He’s taller than you? You’re really tall.
MF: Yeah and I’m 6’4”
Rv: Noelle (Scaggs) is really working hard and dancing her butt off up there on stage. Do you ever look over and think “Damn, I have to up the ante to keep up with her?”
MF: It’s interesting because we feed off of each other and inspire each other. Yeah, sometimes when she is moving a lot I feel like I have to raise my energy. We work each other up into a frenzy.
Rv: What do you two do to stay in shape on the road?
MF: (Smiles) You’re looking at it. When we do two or three shows a day, you get a workout.
Rv: Okay, the hair thing man: How much time a day do you spend on it? Do you have someone color it for you?
MF: I don’t, this is natural!
Rv: You’re kidding me.
MF: I swear. I got this premature, shocking gray when I was about 24 years old.
Rv: How old are you?
MF: I’m 35.
Rv: I’m 34 and I don’t have that much gray yet.
MF: Well if you’re going to go gray, it’s the way to go (Laughs)
Rv: I’m considering you guys, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings kind of like the newer, indie big three as far as funk and that genre.
MF: I love it. To be put into the same league as Sharon is an honor. We were lucky enough to be asked to go on tour with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Most of the new soul movement can be attributed to Sharon Jones. And what I like about this whole movement is that everyone is doing their own thing and pushing soul music forward. It’s pretty evident that people are hungry for it. They want movement, and real musicianship and no auto-tune. It’s like old school musicians working it out on stage.
Rv: You covered “Steady As She Goes” by the Raconteurs today. Have you been doing that a while?
MF: No, that’s actually one we just put into the set. I’ve always loved that song. We were walking around SXSW from gig to gig this year, and I was talking to the guys and thought “You know what, we should do Steady As She Goes.” The requirement for us though is that you have to Tantrumify anything. If it doesn’t sound natural and authentic to us, then we’re not going to do it.
Rv: You guys should send Jack White a link.
MF: Well we’re waiting for someone to make a good YouTube clip of it or something and send it to him.