Foster the People: Slowly Fostering an audience

Visit us online at for the full interviews with Foster the People.

Foster the People are such a grassroots success that papers have been calling their song, “Pumped Up Kicks” the song of the summer since spring of last year. Originally released on the band’s own website, the song’s gradually increasing popularity led to a major label deal with Columbia Records and their recently released full length, “Torches.” The album hit No. 1 on  the Billboard charts in the Rock Albums and Alternative Albums categories. Of the band’s steady success singer Mark Foster jokes, “it’s going to be the song of every summer.”

I’d like to ask you about your influences — but I feel like I have to be cautious, because the lyrics of your song, “Call It What You Want” seem like such a critique of criticism, with the line about “You say, ‘What’s your style and who do you listen to?’ Who cares?”

You’re really perceptive if you got what that song was about. … I played a song for a girl one time, and she was like, “You remind me of Prince meets John Mayer meets Incubus.” And I was just  like, “Are you kidding me? It’s like none of those things!” It happens all the time, people compare stuff. We’ve got a lot of comparisons to MGMT, Peter Bjorn and John, Phoenix and whatever. And that doesn’t really frustrate me. I think it just comes with the territory, especially when you’re a new band.

At risk of you writing a song criticizing my observations, I got from “Torches” a 1980s sensibility, but it feels more like ’80s pop than the new-wave ’80s that other indie bands have embraced.

I grew up listening to all sorts of music. I’ve been working on the sound for Foster the People for seven years. … And really in the last year and a half to two years is when it started to click. I never set out to try to capture one moment in history, musically. It’s kind of everything all at once.


PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.


How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.


Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.


East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.


Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.


Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.


Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.


Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.


Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.


Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.


Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…


Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.


Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.


How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.


The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.