NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 5, 2014

Pushing the limits

Rockers Fitz and The Tantrums bring tour to Hampton Beach

(Continued)

“We had one rehearsal, and the chemistry was there from the first performance of the first song,” Fitzgerald said. “I left the rehearsal space and went and booked us a show because I could tell (we clicked).”

The rocking soul sound that Fitz and The Tantrums created on “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” connected with audiences. While not a huge hit on the charts, the single “MoneyGrabber” did reasonably well on the radio, going top 30 on “Billboard” magazine’s hot rock and adult pop charts.

With “More Than Just a Dream,” the group not only wanted to better capture its live energy (extensive touring behind “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” was also a major factor in building the band’s fan base), Fitzpatrick said they also wanted to push their sound further than on the debut album.

“We knew that we wanted to make a bold record,” he said. “It felt like if we had just gone and made ‘Picking Up the Pieces Part 2,’ it would have been a very safe thing and then people would have chastised us for just making the same record again.”

To help achieve that goal, Fitzpatrick said the band was determined not to set any limits on the kind of songs they could create.

“There was a rule that nobody was allowed to say, ‘That doesn’t sound like us,’ ‘We can’t do that,’” Fitzpatrick said. “Everything was on the table, and we literally wrote like 35 to 40 songs in a month and a half, two months, to let ourselves cross the spectrum between very safe songs to in the middle to super out-there. Then what happened was these 12 songs just sort of floated to the surface and showed themselves to be this cohesive theme, sonically, spiritually, all of it was just the right balance between everything we wanted to say on this record.”

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