Fitz and The Tantrums are an American neo soul/indie pop band from Los Angeles, formed in 2008. Their debut studio album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, released in August 2010, has received critical acclaim and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. They were heralded as a “band to watch” in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone. They are currently signed to Elektra Records.
The band consists of Michael Fitzpatrick (lead vocals and keyboards), Noelle Scaggs (vocals and percussion), James King (saxophone, flute, keyboard, percussion and guitar), Joseph Karnes (bass guitar), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards) and John Wicks (drums and percussion). They are produced by Chris Seefried, who is also a co-writer.
Fitz and The Tantrums were founded by Michael Fitzpatrick in 2008. Having purchased an old Conn electronic organ, he was inspired to write the song “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” that same night. He contacted his college friend, saxophonist James King, who recommended singer Noelle Scaggs and drummer John Wicks. In turn, Wicks brought in bassist Joseph Karnes and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna. According to Fitzpatrick, the band immediately clicked. He has said, “It was literally like five phone calls, one rehearsal, and we could have played a show that night.”
The band performed their first show at Hollywood’s Hotel Café in December 2008, which Fitzpatrick booked one week after their first rehearsal. In interviews, he has stated the importance of booking a date before the band was ready, in order to bring out the best in all performers. During the first half of 2009 they performed at several clubs in Los Angeles, including the Viper Room and Spaceland.
The band recorded their debut EP, Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1, during the first half of 2009 at Fitzpatrick’s home in Los Angeles. The EP was first released on August 11, 2009 through Canyon Productions.
In September 2009 they toured with Hepcat and Flogging Molly. In November 2009 the band opened eight concerts on the Maroon 5 Back to School Tour. Their appearance was at short notice, after previously scheduled K’naan canceled due to fatigue in late October. According to Fitzpatrick, “Adam Levine from Maroon 5 was in New York to get a tattoo and his favorite tattoo artist had downloaded the record after hearing us on the radio. He told Adam, ‘you gotta hear this band.’ A week and a half later we’re opening for Maroon 5 on their college tour.” In December 2009 the band shot the official music video for their first single “Breakin’ The Chains of Love”, directed by Joshua Leonard. It features Fitzpatrick and Scaggs in a moving and rotating bed.