Fitz and the Tantrums are one of those bands you hear several times before learning their name. That’s because television producers love to use their music. You’ve probably heard Fitz and the Tantrums’ songs on Bones, Desperate Housewives, Suits, Vampire Diaries, Criminal Minds, and various professional sports productions. They’ve also had their songs featured in commercials for Reebok, New Amsterdam Vodka, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Fitz and the Tantrums play a style of music generally described as "soul-influenced indie pop." You can also call it “indie soul.” Lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick has a big booming voice that fits perfectly with the band’s Motown and Stax Records influenced sound. While their music contains a bit of nostalgia their songs are far meatier than your average retro faire. Their music uses more fresh and infectious ideas than borrowed ones.
Another interesting element of Fitz and the Tantrums’ music is their infrequent use of guitars. The electric guitar is a mainstay instrument for most popular music bands. Fitz and the Tantrums build their music around other instruments. This is done on purpose. Lead singer Fitzpatrick has publically stated that he’s sick of hearing guitar music.
Fitz and the Tantrums are comprised of the aforementioned Fitzpatrick, co-lead vocalist Noelle Scaggs, bass guitarist Joseph Karnes, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna, drummer John Wicks, and multi-instrumentalist James King.
The band released their first album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, in August of 2010. The album contains the single “Money Grabber.” The band’s sophomore effort, More Than Just A Dream, hit store shelves in May of 2013. The album also produced the hit singles “Out of My League” and “The Walker.”
In many ways, Fitz and The Tantrums caught lightning in a bottle. The band was formed after Fitzpatrick purchased an electronic organ and on the same day wrote “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” (the group’s third single). Fitzpatrick contacted King about forming a band. Then King brought in Scaggs and Wicks. Then Wicks drafted Karnes and Ruzumna.
The six musicians immediately gelled. They played their first gig just one week after their first rehearsal. They formed in late 2008. In 2009, they played the famous Viper Room in Los Angeles, recorded an EP, toured with Flogging Molly, and opened a handful of concerts for Maroon 5.