The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter played host for The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza during the festival's 20th anniversary installment from Aug. 5–7 in Chicago's Grant Park. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including neo-soul group Fitz And The Tantrums and electro-pop/folk artist Ellie Goulding.
Fitz And The Tantrums vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick discussed performing live, the band's songwriting process, putting their own twist on cover songs, album packaging, and future plans for recording, among other topics.
"We want the audience to be the seventh member of our show," said Fitzpatrick. "[We] give them permission to have fun and dance."
Initially formed by Fitzpatrick as a solo project, Fitz And The Tantrums grew to a Stax-inspired six-piece band featuring Joseph Karnes (bass), James King (saxophone/flute), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards), Noelle Scaggs (vocals), and John Wicks (drums). Following the release of their debut EP, 2009's Songs For A Break Up, Volume 1, the band released their first full-length album, Pickin' Up The Pieces, in 2010. The album, primarily recorded in Fitzpatrick's Los Angeles home, peaked at No. 18 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and features the single "MoneyGrabber," which cracked the Top 40 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. The band is currently on tour throughout the United States.
Goulding discussed receiving an invitation to perform at Prince William and Catherine Middleton's Royal Wedding, her musical influences, recording her debut album Lights, and advice for aspiring artists, among other topics.
"You should constantly write because your writing is always evolving and progressing," said Goulding on her advice for aspiring artists. "It's really important to start writing young."
With a sound that combines elements of electro-pop and indie folk, the British vocalist draws on influences such as Björk, Ani DiFranco, Imogen Heap, and Joni Mitchell. While living in London, Goulding met remixer/composer/musician Fin Dow-Smith aka Starsmith, and the duo began recording demos in 2009, landing Goulding a record deal with Polydor Records. That same year Goulding released her first single, "Under The Sheets," and the following year she garnered the Critics' Choice Award at the 2010 Brit Awards. Released in 2010, Lights peaked at No. 1 in the UK and spawned several hits in the artist's native country, including "Starry Eyed," which peaked at No. 4.
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow for more exclusive backstage interviews from The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza.
(The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza: Videography by Colleen Mares and Thomas Brankin; Interviews by Jackson Abbeduto, Kiana Basu, Liz Gassner, and Max O'Kane)
The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza 2011: Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, Black Cards, Haley Bonar, Cage The Elephant, Cults, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Deadmau5, Dani Deahl, Deluka, DJ Lady D, Fitz And The Tantrums, Foster The People, Gold Motel, Ellie Goulding, Skylar Grey, Mayer Hawthorne, Kids These Days, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, My Morning Jacket, Tab The Band, and Young The Giant
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