Passion Pit: The Electropop Band Is "Doing A Lot Better" After Drama Earlier This Year

Categories: Q&A, Show Preview

Passion Pit Main Band image 2 by Jason Nocito.jpg
Jason Nocito
Passion Pit

Massachusetts' electropop outfit Passion Pit got fans moving with its full-length debut, Manners, in 2009. The group followed it up this year, with Gossamer, full of the same catchy synth tones, but with much darker undertones. Songs like "I'll be Alright" provide a glimpse into songwriter Michael Angelakos' struggle, and reports surfaced of Angelakos' bipolar disorder making it impossible for the frontman to even get out of bed -- leading to a string of canceled dates -- made headlines.

But according to keyboardist and guitarist Ian Hultquist, Angelakos is doing much better now.

"Everyone is in pretty much good spirits," Hultquist says, "and we made it through a two-week around the world run and everyone came out alive and happy, so everyone's doing a lot better."

Up on the Sun: How have fans been responding to your new material?

Ian Hultquist: Really, really well, actually. It's kind of weird when we play new songs because they may not respond at all, but for the most part, people have been really into them. We've had everyone sing along to the choruses and stuff like that, which is all we could ever ask for.

Tell me about songwriting process for Gossamer.

I can't, because I didn't write the songs. Michael did.

What about the instrumentation?

It's been a long process for the past few months, trying to get these songs ready for the stage and I still feel like we have a lot of work to do. It took us a few years to arrange these songs. We knew what parts everyone was going to play ahead of time, so it would be like, this person is going to do loops, and this person is going to do chords and piano parts, and so on. With these new songs, I think we wanted to expand a little more and we've already started doing that with new members. There's six of us on stage now and I think we're going to continue to do that for the next few months and really trying out these songs live, so everyone is performing the best parts we can be.

passion pit confetti.jpg
Justin Borucki
Passion Pit

How does it typically work, do you start working on the instrumentation after Michael gives you the lyrics, or does it all come together at once?

It all comes from Michael, he comes up with everything in the studio. He goes in, he ends up playing all the instruments, writes the songs, and then he'll send us the mixes and we add the bits and parts and touches of instruments, then we get together and start rehearsing. We have somewhat of an idea of what we're about to do.

What can we expect from the visuals at your upcoming shows?

We're working on a new lighting design from Andi Watson, he's worked with Radiohead and the Arctic Monkeys. He designed the stage that we started using in Austin in June. It's really a crazy stage setup. We have this giant projector shining visuals at us, but it's not trippy or psychedelic visuals, usually it's really up close shots of fabric blowing in the wind and weird stuff like that. It blends in with the rest of the music. There's going to be a couple of lights that stand behind the screen that shine from the back and kind of all fade together. There's one shot of lightning that I think is my favorite. It looks like the stage is being electrocuted, it's pretty cool looking.

Location Info

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Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

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