Foster The People

Biography

Mark Foster's mission statement for Foster The People seems awfully simplistic on first glance, but it's striking how profound it is in its honesty and rarity. Too often, indie rock is every bit as exclusive and beholden to judgment as the jock culture to which it's supposed to serve as an alternative. So it's not surprising that the upbeat band of friends from Los Angeles still feel like outsiders for having such an all-inclusive philosophy - they don't want to be the hippest band out there, just your favorite. Luckily, their effortlessly cool soundtrack for your eternal summer is likely to accomplish that task.

As a teen approaching high school graduation in his hometown of Cleveland, OH, Foster had no idea where he wanted life to take him. It would be easy to say that he reached a crossroads, but that would imply a clearly dictated path one way or the other. Despite experimenting in a number of bands, none of these attempts pushed Foster to pursuing music seriously. It was a staggeringly honest piece of advice from Foster's father that set everything into motion. Having witnessed his six-year old son at his happiest after buying him a Beach Boys cassette as a gift, he realized all along where Mark's true passion lied. "Go out to Los Angeles," he said. "Try it for a year or so, and if it doesn't work out, you're still young and have options."

With only a few contacts and a high school diploma, the 18-year olds complete freedom inevitably led to total chaos. He'd stay at Hollywood flophouses where Armenian gangsters and a pimp named Pockets were frequent visitors. He'd work a slew of odd jobs so repetitive and thankless that his fondest memories are from delivering pizza. He'd subsist on a single 7-11 hot dog per day. Foster never lost sight of his original goal. A year later, to help transition from fan to songwriter, he relearned the piano after 15 years of dormancy and purchased rudimentary tools for self-production - a simple PC, Cubase software and a MIDI controller. For inspiration, he looked to New Order, Joy Division and David Bowie, legends of synth-pop and post-punk for inspiration.

Four and a half years later, he found himself much like he did in back in Cleveland - rudderless, burned out, and stuck in a situation where anything could happen, but nothing ever did. Though fiercely independent his whole life, he was also wise enough to realize his limitations, and sought collaborations to flesh out his vision: to bring clarity to songs that pulled from pop music in all its iterations. In a city as expansive as Los Angeles, where the musical community is incestuous and everyone is committed to more than one band, Foster was lucky enough to link up with bassist Cubbie Fink and drummer Mark Pontius. It was right about this time that Foster says "the vibe just felt right." This is probably because each member contributes a complimentary aspect clear to the outsider: Foster as the artistic engine, Fink the emotional glue, and Pontius as the logical and calculated steadying hand.

The addition of Fink and Pontius was crucial to the band's direction. Without them, Foster's artistic compass was spinning wildly, a bemused combination of all of his prior interests. Shortly after joining forces in October of 2009, the trio played their first show at the Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica for a crowd of about 30 friends. A humble beginning, but one that made each band member realize they had something real, something to focus on.

As magical as their first show was, it paled in comparison to the buzz garnered around their track, "Pumped Up Kicks", which was only offered on their website. Then, a friend working at NYLON Magazine asked to use the single in an internet campaign for fashion mogul Anna Sui. A mere month after it became available to the public, the February '10 issue of BlackBook made a bold statement, saying Foster The People had created "the song of next summer." Regardless of the season, the point was clear: Foster The People had a hit on their hands.

The band had the world's attention and they made the most of it. Word of their music spread in a manner that was shockingly quick even in the age of endless internet churn with everyone agreeing on one thing: this was a band on the cusp of an undeniable breakthrough.

Plenty of artists have buckled under the weight of such hype, but what keeps the band focused is the music itself, which Foster describes as "if Brian Wilson and Aphex Twin had a man baby." He's only sort of kidding, as it's precise to say that the complexity of the electronic trickery never overshadows the classicist and ecstatic pop songwriting.

Foster The People isn't just a pun on its singer's last name. It's a manifesto from a band that values the communal happiness of the listener over anything else.
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Foster The People - Best Friend [Live]

16th September 2014 -

 Video

'Best Friend' is the third single from Foster The People's sophomore album 'Supermodel', released earlier in 2014. The band perform a live rendition of the track at Open'er Festival 2014 to a delighted audience of...

Foster The People - Coming of Age [Live]

16th September 2014 -

 Video

Foster The People perform 'Coming Of Age', the first single off their second album 'Supermodel', in an energetic live show. The album was released in March 2014 and became their second to top the US...

Foster The People - Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) [Live]

16th September 2014 -

 Video

Foster The People performed their single 'Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)' in their set at Open'er Festival 2014. The track, which was certified gold, appeared on their platinum debut album 'Torches' in May 2011.

Foster The People - Are You What You Want to Be?

5th August 2014 -

 Video

Foster The People are currently on their world tour which will see them perform across the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico promoting their second album release 'Supermodel'. The band now drop an audio for...

Foster The People - Pseudologia Fantastica

24th June 2014 -

 Video

Foster The People go psychedelic on us with the animated video for their single 'Pseudologia Fantastica'. The song appears on their second album 'Supermodel', which they released earlier this year topping the US Alternative chart.

Fitz And The Tantrums And Foster The People Rocked Up A Treat At Sweetlife 2014

12th May 2014 -

 News

Sweetlife festival proved its worth with a fantastic day of quality music and incredible food at the weekend, with Foster the People and Fitz & the Tantrums among the clear highlights of the Maryland event.We're...

Foster The People Spotted Arriving At 'Letterman' Studios

8th May 2014 -

 Footage

LA band Foster The People were seen dashing into a New York studio where they played a live set on 'The Late Show with David Letterman'.The band released their second album 'Supermodel' earlier this year...

Lana Del Rey And Foster The People Headline Sweetlife 2014 This Weekend!

7th May 2014 -

 News

Billed as 'a music and food festival', Sweetlife 2014 is set to offer the best of both with their single day event this weekend (May 10th 2014) at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.With...

Betty Who, Tegan And Sara And Foster The People - Big Guava Music Festival 2014 Is Definitely Worth A Visit

2nd May 2014 -

 News

Arguably what could be Florida's most fun-packed 3-day event of the year, Big Guava Music Festival makes its debut today (May 2nd 2014) with an impressive line-up headlined by Outkast, Vampire Weekend and Foster The...

Outkast Were Back In Georgia For CounterPoint Festival 2014, With A Few Special Guests

29th April 2014 -

 News

Outkast returned home to Georgia for their stint at CounterPoint Festival 2014 - and fans were a lot more pleased this time round than they were at their comeback gig at Coachella.Nothing was going to...

It's That Time Of Year Again! New Orleans Jazz Festival Returns With Another Two Weekends Of Music Mythology

24th April 2014 -

 News

It's that time of year again where New Orleans go all out to prove they are one of the most culturally rich cities in North America with their annual two-weekend event, the New Orleans Jazz...

Much Like 'Torches', Foster The People's Second Album 'Supermodel' Divides Critics

20th March 2014 -

 News

When Foster The People made their name with ‘Pumped up Kicks’, many thought they might be a flash in the pan; a one hit wonder with little more to offer than the undeniably toe-tapping summer...

Governors Ball Music Festival 2014 Lineup Feat. Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes And More

16th January 2014 -

 Press

The 4th Annual Governors Ball Music FestivalAnnounces 2014 LineupFeaturing...Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Phoenix, Skrillex, Interpol, Axwell & Ingrosso, Tv On The Radio, Foster The People, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Neko Case, J. Cole,...

OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire To Headline Coachella 2014

9th January 2014 -

 News

Coachella 2014 will be returning to Indio, California, this spring for a two-weekend spectacular that will see some of the world's biggest performers gather in one polo field in the middle of the desert. This...

Sony Music Announce 'BBC Top Gear Driving Anthems' Released November 18th 2013

8th November 2013 -

 Press

Sony Music & BBC Worldwide have announced the release of 'Top Gear Driving Anthems', a triple CD album boasting 50 full throttle tracks of rock and indie anthems straight from the Top Gear playlist, including...

Near Naked David Beckham Sprints Through L.A. In Guy Ritchie's H&M Ad (Video)

6th February 2013 -

 News

It's a big day for fans of David Beckham. It's a huge day for fans of David Beckham's body. Hot on the heels of the confirmation that the British footballer will sign for French side...

Kesha Claims She Was Forced To Sing 'Die Young' Lyrics As Stations Pull Track

19th December 2012 -

 News

Several radio stations have pulled Ke$ha's popular tune 'Die Young' following the tragic school shooting in Connecticut last Friday. The song concerns making the most of a night out "like we're gonna die young," which...

Foster The People Houdini

28th April 2012 -

 Video

Foster The People Houdini (Live on SNL)

15th October 2011 -

 Video

Foster The People - Torches

16th June 2011 -

 Review

When I look back, I've no real idea how I stumbled across Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People, sometime last year. At that point there was no official video, in fact it probably hadn't...

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