Interview with Fitz & The Tantrum’s Jeremy Ruzumna
The band Fitz And The Tantrums just released their second full length album, “More That Just A Dream.” I totally adored the first album, “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” (I am sure you have heard the song “Moneygrabber.“) But, I gotta say. I love the new album even more. That. hardly. ever. happens. So when Jeremy Ruzumna, keyboardist for Fitz And The Tantrums offered to get on the phone with me last week – to say I was stoked is an understatement.
Jeremy Ruzumna from Fitz & The Tantrums Interview
“More Than Just A Dream” feels a bit different than the first album – is that intentional?
Jeremy: It was more of a natural evolution of the first album than a change in direction. It was made at a different time, after we had a few years of touring. There’s definitely different sound and a lot of different keyboards, which is what I play. We still have that old organ of Fitz’s… [Note, there is an old story from the band that Michael Fitzpatrick bought a beat up church organ and wrote “Breakin The Chains of Love” that same evening.] But for example, the song 6AM (audio here) uses a keyboard from all decades… from the 60’s, 70’s to a 80’s synthesizer and a current laptop. (P.S. This is where Aimee gushes about how much she loves the song 6AM.)
Fitz & The Tantrums are known for a raucous live show, what can fans expect in Denver?
Jeremy: On stage is very high-energy with Fitz and Noelle. There’s a lot of interactivity with the audience and sweating. Our goal with very performance is to win the audience over. Fitz and Noelle will pull people in no matter how big or small the venue is. I found this clip recently from the Hotel Café, which is a very small venue, and my mom was there… and at the end of it, Fitz does this gigantic David Lee Roth jump. There were maybe 50 people there. We’ve been like that from the beginning and no matter what, that has not changed.
Are you all different in the studio?
Jeremy: In the studio, there’s a lot of creativity… we have sparks and excitement about what we are making. We can’t wait for people to hear what we’re recording. It’s almost like we’re chomping at the bit to get the album out for everyone to hear it. We’re excited that the album has been released.
How do you view technology in relation to the music business?
Jeremy: Technology and social media are so crucial, and technology definitely can be your friend. We almost take it for granted now that you can record a song in your home, on your computer, mix it… and a few hours later, people could be listening to it in Africa. The tech keeps getting better and better – frighteningly so – but, of course, the downside is that you cannot control it.
So many of the songs are fun, yet when you listen closely, there is a darkness to the lyrics.
Jeremy: Yes! Relationships tend to be on Fitz’s mind. Like the first batch of songs were about his famous break-up. And at that time, I was going through a similar thing, so I could really relate. It was fun to perform those songs.
You are on a major label now, how have things changed?
Jeremy: Production has gone up a notch since we’ve moved, but not much else. We’ve never really had roadies – we might have one guy on this tour. We’re very nose to the grindstone. All of us have been in various bands before, but we’ve never worked harder than at Fitz and the Tantrums. We definitely added more production to this album, but really, we are all about playing music well.
Any last words of advice?
Jeremy: Stay in school.
You heard it, kids.
My other advice is to go see Fitz And The Tantrums live. I will be photographing the June 14th show here in Denver but here is where else you can catch them in the next few months:
Fitz And The Tantrums 2013 Tour Dates
The 80s chick in me REALLY loves “More than Just a Dream”!!! So lucky to see them in Denver Aimee!
How cool! Love them so much.
Can’t wait to see your pics.
I have seen them play – so good! Will check out the new album, thanks!
Wish I could go. They are AWESOME.