Radar Band Of The Week – No 9: Foster The People

Foster The People – dust down the barbecue and join their eternal summer

Mark Foster, namesake and chief songwriter of Foster The People, lives in the same building as Spider-Man. Freddy Krueger used to live here too, but he recently moved to Las Vegas. Inside the weather-ravaged white walls of the former Brevoort Hotel, Foster sips a Sierra Nevada, puffs a Parliament and describes the faded glory of his current residence, a spot currently managed by former Andy Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro.

This is Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood, a run-down reprobate reality, the last place you’d expect to meet the affable 26-year-old who wrote the soon-to-be-summer-anthem ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. Los Angeles has always revolved around the light-dark dichotomy and few new bands embody that quite like Foster The People. Their lead single invokes the inflated insouçiance of youth, but their themes mine the complications of schoolyard days.

“It’s about a teenager who fights back against the hipster bullies at his school. I wrote it in three hours when I was bored at my day job—all my best songs are all written quickly,” Foster says.

Almost immediately upon forming last October, the band gained a critical mass among regulars of West Hollywood’s notorious Viper Room, National Public Radio subscribers and even, erm, Mark Ronson. Blessed with a knack for melody, boogie-time beats, and an ornate electronic detail, Foster The People craft a sound ideal for a fantasy backyard barbecue with The Strokes, Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Daft Punk as guests. Understandably, major labels have been pounding on Foster’s dilapidated door.

When asked if he’s finally going to quit his nine-to-five as a commercial music composer, Foster shrugs. “I actually haven’t been able to work for the last three months – I’ve been spending six hours a day fielding emails and dealing with band business. Everything came so fast that we initially didn’t even have proper contact information on our website.”

Needless to say, it’s a fair wager that there will be a vacancy next to Spider-Man sometime soon.