A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with Mark Foster from Foster the People for Time Out New York.
At first listen, Torches is a collection of light indie pop with obligatory hand claps and the occasional laser beam pyew. Listen more carefully and you’ll hear a mille-feuille pastry. “I love countermelodies, I love hooks and melodies that stick in your head,” says Foster. “If I could put 20 melodies in a song and they would all work together, I would. Actually, I’ve got to work on that. Simplify my shit. I’ve got so much stuff going on you can’t even hear what’s happening.”
Foster’s background as a jingle writer, and the band’s willingness to license its songs, prompts the inevitable question about selling out. What troubles him is not the usual complaint about being under the thumb of evil corporate overlords, but rather artists who are disingenuous in order to make a buck. “When I see artists that are trying to put something on, it’s such horseshit to me,” says Foster. “There’s not a lot of artists that are truly being who they are that are really that freaking weird.”
There wasn’t room for it in the final piece, but it turns out Mark was in the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus and took piano lessons from age three until the drums wooed him away at age 10.
Read the whole thing ici.