Foster The People are “seriously thinking of retiring” ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ over controversial lyrics

The group have been accused of glamorising gun violence

Foster The People have revealed that they are “seriously thinking of retiring” their hit ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ due to the controversy surrounding its lyrics.

The modern indie classic, which was released in 2010, is about a young school student called Robert who imagines shooting his classmates.

Some of the lyrics include: “Yeah, he found a six-shooter gun/ In his dad’s closet, boy in a box of fun things/ I don’t even know what/ But he’s coming for you, yeah, he’s coming for you.”


In an interview with Billboard, frontman Mark Foster has now explained that ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ could be cut from the group’s future live shows.

“The thing that made that song special was the public,” he said, “and the fact that people thought it was special, and it resonated and it created a conversation. And I’m proud of the conversation that it created.

“But now I’ve been very seriously thinking of retiring the song forever.”

The musician went on to say that the track “has become almost a trigger of something painful [someone] might have experienced,” adding: “And that’s not why I make music.”

He continued: “At some points, I do make music to bring awareness to something, but I make music to connect with people, and I feel like the awareness that that song brought and the conversation that that song brought, that’s been fulfilled.


“We’re still talking about it 10 years later. It still gets brought up.”

Foster previously defended the hit by reasoning that he “wrote the song to bring awareness to the issue” of gun violence in the US.

Back in 2017, Foster The People removed the single from their setlist during a show in North Carolina, with the gig taking place just one day after the Las Vegas mass shooting.

“It felt wrong for us tonight to play ‘Pumped Up Kicks. It felt like it would’ve been irreverent, even though that song is about gun violence and stopping that,” Foster told the crowd that evening.

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