If you were alive in 2009, you were very likely rocking out to the glorious electro-pop song “Pumped Up Kicks” like the rest of the world. But the band Foster the People is so much more than just its biggest hit song. After their debut album went platinum in multiple countries including the US, the band would continue the road to becoming the best band they could be with their second album. But just because you can sing their famous tune without the song, doesn’t mean you know Foster the People.
Their Hit Song Isn’t About What You Think It is
Almost everyone loves the song “Pumped Up Kicks” as a glorious pop song, a fun-loving summer anthem. What most people don’t realize is that the lyrics are meant to have a more serious message: the tune was written about gun control. The song is written from the POV of a suicidal teen reeling from the effects of gun violence.
The Band’s Name Was Born of Confusion
The group’s original name was Foster & the People, named after frontman Mark Foster and his backing band known as “the People.” Even though the name seems relatively straightforward, listeners continually mispronounced the band name. Very soon the group started to like the sound of the bungled name more than the real one, so they decided to keep it, feeling that the new name fit more with their message of loving their fans.
Foster the People Was a Matter of Chance
The group wouldn’t exist if band mates Cubbie Fink, the bassist, and Mark Pontius, the drummer, hadn’t joined Mark Foster after they moved away from L.A. together. But it wasn’t their original intention to join a band. The friends moved away from Los Angeles so they could go to film school – it was there that they met Foster and formed their band.
Mark Foster Didn’t Always Write Music for Foster the People
All great songwriters have their beginnings somewhere, and Mark Foster’s is far more regular than you might think. In 2008, Foster joined the company Morphonics to write commercial jingles. The Foster the People frontman credited the job not only with helping him rediscover his love of music but also with helping him find the band’s real sound.
He Shares a Great Source of Inspiration With Many Others
There are a handful of truly great bands and musicians from across time and around the world that always seem to find their way into the hearts of artists in every genre. But Foster the People wouldn’t be able to consider themselves true Californians unless they allied themselves as a lover of the Beach Boys and the songwriting genius of Brian Wilson. Mark Foster says he believes that “God Only Knows” is the greatest pop song ever written and admits that he gets all welled up just thinking about the song.