The success of the surprise 2011 hit “Pumped Up Kicks” and its corresponding album “Torches” instantly propelled Foster The People into the mainstream spotlight. That momentum was something the band had to really work hard to catch up to, according to drummer Mark Pontius.
“We had our work cut out for us,” said Pontius during a phone interview. “For two or three years, we were taking everything we could.”
Foster The People -- co-headlining the Saturday in the Park music festival this weekend -- was constantly on the road. As such, there was very little time off for the band members to catch their breath and let it all sink in. A lot people, Pontius said, think “that once you become successful at anything, it becomes easier.” So far it has been the opposite.
“Once you’ve started to find success in something, you keep that success or move onto the next thing and work even harder,” he said. “You step up to the plate for what you worked for. For us, I think we’ve embraced that. We like doing what we’re doing.”
And the musicians are ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to keeping moving and growing as a band. Releasing a follow-up album to the highly successful “Torches” was Foster The People’s next step. Pontius said although the band did feel a little bit of pressure, its members weren’t trying to outdo the first record or make one that sounded similar.
The result was “Supermodel,” released about one year ago. Musically, the album “is a little heavier” than the electronic tones prevalently found in “Torches.”
“We kind of wanted to explore different territories,” said Pontius, “which I think is what we want to do in every record.”
Pontius said he and fellow Foster The People band members Mark Foster and Cubbie Fink all wanted “to try something different” with the second album and “follow where [their] hearts were going musically.”
“I think that was the only strict guideline we gave ourselves,” said Pontius. “And then it kind of just happened.”
A relatively young band, Foster The People still has the time to develop its style and a signature sound, which Pontius said the band is still exploring by incorporating different genres and its personal influences.
“We all come from very different musical backgrounds,” he said. “When we come together as a band, there are a lot of different ways we can go. I think it’s important for us to never really pigeonhole ourselves to any certain, specific thing.”
So what’s the next step for Foster The People? Well, that’s yet to be determined. In the meantime, Foster The People is taking it slow and steady.
“I think we have a lot of things that we want to do with music and the other things in life that being a musician gets a platform to,” said Pontius. “I don’t think we have anything specific, but we’re definitely going to start working on a third record soon and figure out what that is going to be.
“We’ll just go month by month, year by year.”