Foster The People

  • Indie Alt rock/pop band formed in 2009 from Los Angeles California. The group consists of Mark Foster (guitar, keyboards, lead vocals, songwriting), Mark Pontius (drums), Sean Cimino (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Isom Innis (bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals). Cubbie Fink was the original bassist, performing with the band until 2015.
  • Foster grew up in the Cleveland Ohio area, showing a talent for music. His first influence was listening to The Beach Boys with his parents when he was 5 years old. He sang with the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus, and after high school, he moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to live with his uncle and to try to start a career in music. He worked odd jobs during the day and partied at night, and soon was hooked on drugs. He tried to form a band, but couldn’t get one together. In 2008, he finally found work writing commercial jingles. This helped him learn what works commercially, and he regained confidence. Still wanting to form a band, he connected with Pontius, who was impressed with Foster’s eclectic songwriting. Bassist Cubbie Fink, another friend of Foster, signed on, and Foster & The People was created in 2009. The name soon changed to Foster The People, as audiences misheard the original name, and Foster liked the connotation of the nurturing image that Foster The People gave.
  • Soon after forming, the band recorded the song Pumped Up Kicks and posted it on their website for free in early 2010. A fashion magazine heard it and used it for an advertising campaign, and various blogs picked up the song – soon, it went viral. Still unsigned, the band performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival in March 2010. Realizing that they were about to take off, they they knew nothing about the industry, and needed professional management. They found managers who helped them negotiate a recording contract, and in May 2010, they signed a multi-album deal.
  • They took several months to write music for their first album that would back Pumped Up Kicks, and in September they released the single commercially. They played several shows to practice their live act, and in early 2011 they landed a gig at Coachella and performed at an LA club for a month, refining their act. An EP, the self titled Foster The People was released, that included Pumped Up Kicks and 2 other songs that was intended to hold their fans until the debut album was ready. Finally, in May 2011, Torches was released. Since Pumped Up Kicks had already received much airplay on alternative radio, the album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and peaked at #1 on the Alternative Albums chart. The band performed on several late night talk shows, and the song became a crossover hit, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and at #1 on the Alternative Songs chart. Pumped Up Kicks finished the year as the sixth-most downloaded song of 2011, with 3.84 million copies sold.
  • Three other singles from the album charted on the Alternative Songs chart – Helena Beat, Don’t Stop (Color On The Wall) and Houdini. Each song was licensed for commercial use to various films, TV shows, and commercials. They received 2 Grammy nominations, and at the ceremony, they performed with The Beach Boys in a medley of songs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band.
  • Their second studio album, Supermodel, was released in 2014. It was a concept album, dealing with the ugly side of capitalism. It reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Alternative Albums charts. Two singles hit the top 15 of the Alternative Songs chart – Coming of Age and Best Friend. 
  • Fink left the band in 2015. The departure was not amicable, though Foster and Fink publicly were polite about it. Innis had been a touring member of the band since 2010, and he officially replaced Fink.
  • In 2017, Foster The People released their most recent album, Sacred Hearts Club. The most popular song on the album is Sit Next To Me – it reached #3 on the Alternative Songs chart, #42 on the Hot 100, and has been certified platinum, with Spotify streams approaching 100 million, and YouTube views at 66 million.
  • I love catchy alternative music. Foster The People knows how to make catchy alternative music. Here’s the video to their mega-hit, Pumped Up Kicks. Upbeat song about a downbeat topic – a troubled youth with homicidal thoughts.

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