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Passion Pit: Interview [Backstage Parklife 2012]

As the sun set on Melbourne’s 2012 Parklife festival, we had a cruisy interview backstage with the very dreamy Michael Angelakos, front-man of US indie-pop crew Passion Pit.

How’s things Michael? Things are going really well, thank you. Except that I’m here in Melbourne, Australia and I’m freezing cold (laughs). I am, look at me! I’m wearing this massive sweater. I’ve never had to play onstage in a sweater before. Not at all what I was expecting when I was preparing to come over here (laughs).

How has the tour been so far? Have you encountered any whacky shenanigans? No, not really. We’re all actually a little bit boring in that sense. None of us drink alcohol so we just drink tonnes of coffee and have early nights (laughs). Seriously though, I guess we’ve kind of figured that drinking and touring doesn’t work out that well for us. So we all made these conscious decisions to really clean up and take care of ourselves, and we found that we all got along a whole lot better and we performed much better too (laughs). I’m not saying that all bands shouldn’t drink you know, It’s just that we have decided to take it all pretty seriously and I think that is something we really needed to do.

Are you happy with the world’s reactions to Gossamer so far? Yeah, we are. I mean the connection with the live audiences so far have just been fantastic. We have also had some not-so-great reviews, but even those who were critical of the record, didn’t just push it aside and not mention it. I would read a bad review and find myself actually agreeing with some of the things that were being said (laughs). It was all actually constructive to us. People have been a lot more respectful this time around and I think they can see the sort of effort we put into it, which in turn makes me more comfortable and open to talk about it.

Do you think people are seeing Passion Pit as a serious contender these days? Yeah, I guess. I do think people are taking this record more seriously than Manners. While Manners had some really great songs on it, I feel Gossamer has shown so much more improvement. Even from a writer’s standpoint, it’s so much better.

We read that ‘Sleepyhead’ was written for your girlfriend at the time and you had no intention for it to ever see the light of day. Is this true? Well, yeah. I mean, I wrote like six tracks around that time and I wasn’t going to release any of it. So, ‘why’ and ‘how’ we’re here right now, I really have no idea (laughs). No, I guess it was a bit of peer pressure that did it. My friends that I was living with at the time said: “You should really put this online. People might like it.” So after a bit of that I remember putting ‘Sleepyhead’ online. That was when Facebook was only for college kids in the US. But then all my friends liked it and said it was great, and then all of these people I didn’t know said it was great. From there I don’t know what happened; it all just kind of exploded (laughs). Then one day my manager tells me that Frenchkiss Records wanted to release my album. I was pretty blown away by that and all I remember saying was: “Yep. That sounds cool. Let’s meet them.”

Do you have a massive collection of material that hasn’t been released yet? Well, Chunk Of Change was just all that I had, Manners was all that I had time for, and Gossamer was all I could stand. I did write over 200 songs for Gossamer and I wrote a bunch of songs around the time of Manners but I just didn’t have time to record those.

Add a some happiness to your life by streaming Passion Pit’s latest record, Gossamer.

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