Chris Schmicker
for Valet.
Questions for:
Fitz &
The Tantrums

 Michael Fitzpatrick (that's "Fitz" to you) rocks a suit like he was born into it. At the helm of his six-person band, the French-born, LA-raised singer conjures up an infectious, modern soul sound that's equal parts Motown and Mark Ronson. Next week, the band hits Austin's South by Southwest. Just don't be surprised if you find tie bars instead of T-shirts for sale out front.


Plans for the drive to Austin?

We're all crazy collectors of old funk and soul B-cuts, so we have these, like, iPod duel-offs where people are battling to play their favorite tracks and top each other's finds.


You opened for Maroon 5 last fall. How'd you score that gig?

Adam Levine was getting tattooed by a guy who'd heard us on the radio in LA, and was like, "You gotta check these guys out." Apparently Adam never likes anything, but he flipped out when he heard us and called to invite us to tour. Suddenly we're standing on stage in front of thousands of people. It was awesome.


What inspired your on-stage look?

There's not a big gap between my style at home and on stage. Even in high school I was the weirdo wearing fitted slacks and wing tips. I wear a lot of J. Lindberg suits and I just had a half-tux, half-suit combo tailored at John Varvatos. It holds up even when I wear it four nights in a row without dry cleaning. You'll see us ironing and steaming backstage before a show 'cause our clothes have spent eight hours underneath the drum kit in the van.


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