Wednesday, February 25

Words with... Passion Pit

. Wednesday, February 25

Originally for

Passion Pit started the year as one of the most hyped bands around. Their euphoric blend of Flaming Lips style optimism, Hot Chip esque cute electronics and inventiveness akin to The Avalanches pricked numerous critics and taste makers ears and caused them to salivate profusely. The band, hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts, arrived in the UK last week for their first ever shows outside their native America and were pleased at the level of interest being shown in them. “We played in Brighton last night with Bear Hands” says drummer Nate Donomoyer, “and it reminded us of our early shows in New York. People were dancing and moving even though they didn’t really know the songs too well, it was great.”

Dancing and causing peoples hearts to swell comes naturally to Passion Pit though as anybody who has heard the ‘Chunk Of Change’ EP can testify, “Mike (Angelakos, Passion Pit’s singer) wrote and recorded it all by himself as a Valentine’s gift to his girlfriend two years ago. Mike’s girlfriend started telling her friends about what he did and they all wanted to hear it. So it got passed around the campus (Emerson College, Boston) and the word spread like that.” This led to Frenchkiss Records, home to Les Savy Fav, to contact Angelakos about releasing the EP. Agreeing to the release a band was quickly gathered and the Passion Pit we have now was born.

Having recorded the bands only EP over two years ago Passion Pit were able to sign a record deal with an album already written and waiting to be recorded. How though does a man who has written, performed, recorded and produced his debut EP give up creative control to his band mates and hired hands? “The album is very different in many ways to the EP; we all contributed in different ways to it. The trade off in control was working with a professional producer and an engineer. Mike still has lots of crazy ideas though, in one of the last weeks of recording he was talking about getting a kids choir singing on the album but it kind of came down to the last minute and we thought it wasn’t going to work out. Chris the producer though had seen this choir perform a Tori Amos cover a Capella and contacted the people that look after them, the next thing we knew there were all these kids in the studio singing the parts so it was pretty cool.” The album titled ‘Manners’ is due for release in mid May sometime and will only feature a remixed version of the single ‘Sleepyhead’ from the previous EP. “Passion Pit is an entirely different band right now to what it was even less than a year ago. Things have moved very quickly for us. As long as Michael’s voice stays the same we will always be the same Passion Pit people fell in love with but the band is a lot more organic than it was before, I play live drums on every song and there are guitars and drums on every song whereas the EP is entirely synthesised.”

Talk soon turns to last night’s show in Brighton (“I don’t know if it’s just people don’t know us here yet but nobody was moving very much, but then in Boston they fall over each other at our shows”) As Nate says Passion Pit are currently on the road with fellow hot new things Hockey and Bear Hands and when Gigwise catches up with him he is backstage at Camden’s Koko about to play with Esser and Black Kids, which begs the question what is the Passion Pit live show like? “There is something like six keyboards on stage and live drums so there are a lot of sound waves coming at you. It’s really about us getting involved in the music and expressing it physically. Hopefully people like it and can get into it.”

Following Nate’s thoughts on the hype surrounding Passion Pit (“We use it as a motivator, to try to be as good as the band we are expected to be) he goes on his way too play the bands first London date. Something tells us it will be the first of many.

Passion Pit@ Myspace

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Anonymous said...

That was a good read. I was a little sceptical about these guys to begin with but I must admit they are growing on me

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