Phew! Summer is always a big season for music fans. Between music festivals, your favorite bands going on tour and making time to relax in the sun, it can be a busy time of year. Come October, most people start to settle in for a long winter. Bands hibernate in their studios, making more hits for next summer’s tour. Fans hang up their sweaty wristbands like trophies and start saving money for more shows.
That is, unless you’re a fan of Passion Pit. For you, the best show of the year is still coming up. If you already know what I’m talking about, chances are you’ll be at the Greek Theater on Oct. 25.
The electro-pop-rock, feel-good dance group is coming through town as part of its fall tour. Following a long summer of playing the festival circuit, these shows are a chance to see the band in a more comprehensive performance.
In a recent interview with Campus Circle, bassist Jeff Apruzzese explained how the band is getting ready for its seven-week stretch on the road.
“We spent the better half of this year getting together a good production,” he said. “We’re kind of taking our current model, breaking it and adding on top of it.”
This “current model” refers to the structure Passion Pit uses for its summer festival shows. When adapting a performance to a full, headlining set, they have the chance to take a more candid approach when designing their set. The performance can have highs, lows and an overall arch. When dealing with a festival performance, on the other hand, the approach is entirely different.
Apruzzese explained that when playing at a festival, the band “usually like[s] to keep it as fast paced and up-tempo as possible.”
The idea is to keep people interested. As Apruzzese explained, “At festivals, there’s the ADD mindset. There’s always the anxiety of feeling like you’re missing out on something. You can only hold someone’s attention long enough before they go checkout DJ whoever across the field.”
One of the highlights of playing their own headlining show includes having a chance to perform the songs that normally don’t fit in their set. When discussing the band’s pre-production regimen, Apruzzese said that Passion Pit has been taking time to learn the “the songs that [they] have been wanting to play for the last three or four years but have never figured out how to play before.”
It may seem trivial, but learning how to play a song live is a big deal for a band like Passion Pit. Their songs require so many different sounds and layers; you can’t just post up on any stage with instruments and play them. You have to account for each of the individually recorded tracks on the record, and the musicians only have so many hands. The task is especially difficult for Passion Pit, because they do it the hard way.
Apruzzese explains how most bands do it: “A lot of bands use soft synth now. [They] take all the samples used in Ableton or Logic or whatever, and get a bunch of MIDI controllers, and then take all those samples, and then use that as a carbon copy of the exact track used on the record.”
But for a Passion Pit show, he said, “We do the exact opposite of that. Instead of taking the sounds that are on the record, we use hardware. We use analogue keyboards to remake and re-program all the sounds by ear that are on the record to make a new version of it…[it’s] something that we feel will stand better in a live setting versus on the record.”
Apruzzese claimed that Passion Pit takes these extra measures with their sound because the band truly relishes their performances. “This is fun for us,” he said. “The moment that any one of us stops having fun is when we’re not gonna wanna do it anymore. No one’s forcing us to be here.”
The bassist also mentioned that Passion Pit was “talking about doing a live album” this year. He said that the band plans on bringing a Pro Tools recording rig to each one of their performances; however, he didn’t say if they would be using select tracks from different cities, or if the live record would be from one straight performance.
It’s going to be a good show when they roll through town. It was a good show this time last year when they did the Hollywood Bowl, so it stands to reason that this month’s show at The Greek will be no different.
Be sure to get really loud, by the way. Maybe scream something obnoxious or bring a signature horn, something to stand out from the noise of the crowd. Bring your bells and whistles, and get yourself heard! I mean…you do have bells and whistles, right?
Passion Pit will be performing in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2013 at the Greek Theatre.