Donnelly: My Conversation With Fitz and the Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs & Win Tickets to Their July 5th Show at Crossroads


If you don’t know who Noelle Scaggs is by her name alone, I guarantee you know her music.

Scaggs is the sexy co-lead singer of LA based indie soul outift Fitz and the Tantrums. You’ve no doubt heard their ridiculously infectious hit single, MoneyGrabber, that’s been all over radio and TV for the last year. Now the band’s finishing up its latest album with all-star studio man Tony Hoffer, who recently produced M83‘s blockbuster album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

Cross Midnight City with MoneyGrabber and you may have the catchiest damn song ever.

I had the chance to catch up with Noelle to talk about her band’s July 5th gig at Crossroads, about why retro ain’t all that fly, and about what gets her dripping with sweat.

I was also lucky enough to score several sets of tickets for Fitz’ show to give away to loyal KCC readers.


MD: How’s the new record coming, is it going to be different from your last release?
NS:  The first record was recorded at Fitz’s house and we did a lot of the pre-production stuff at Fitz’s place just getting all the writing done and all the production as far as the composition is concerned.  We’ve been recording this record at the Sound Factory with Tony Hoffer, who is amazing.  And it’s been a really cool experience to have that 3rd party person to break us outside of our box and our shell and bring ideas to the table. He’s a musician in his own right, so he’s really knowledgeable in how to bring all aspects of the production elements, which is what we were looking for.  It’s been a really cool experience having that person there to say how they would do it differently on this particular take, maybe we should try this, change this word.  It’s been a really cool kind of creative happening.

MD: Why did you choose Tony for this record?

NS: You look at Tony’s resume -and we’ve been a big fan of his work as a producer for years- he’s just a really cool person to be around.  We wanted to make sure the person we worked with would get along with everybody.  You hear all these horror stories of a producer not getting along well with certain aspects or not getting what the band is trying to do, or trying to change this or that.  And then you end up with a product that you’re not completely happy with.

So we wanted make sure that whoever we brought to the table would love what we do, know how to push us forward with the sound, know how to work with a band of musicians that know their stuff.  And we got a really great package out of Tony.

MD: Is the new album a departure from your last album?

NS: I wouldn’t call it a departure.  We’ve been able to expand our sound as we’ve developed our live show.  A lot of the songs, you’ll hear some elements from Pickin’ up the Pieces.  It’s definitely veering away from being this kind of retro thing which is what we didn’t want to get boxed into.  We didn’t want people to perceive us as just this retro-soul band.  We are a melting pot of this sound that we grew up with and we just modernized it.  So that’s what we’re doing with this record.  We have some familiar things- like from Pickin’ up the Pieces– and then you’ll hear more of the ’80s elements.  We’ve been messing around with adding some synth things into the tracks.  Definitely still pop oriented songwriting and we’re just really expanding on that.  Not everything’s all about love and heartbreak – you’re going to get a good story out of every single song.

MD: Some music critics have labeled the latest soul revival as some sort of ironic hipster inside joke.  What’s your take?

MS: Yeah, I mean it’s funny because someone asked me about this yesterday.  And when you start giving into critics, people who don’t necessarily make music themselves but review it and have their opinions on what’s gonna fly and what’s not, some of those bands are true.  Some of those bands are kinda come-and-go bands.  But it’s the ones like, say, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings that basically have taken an inspiration of music and made it their own.  You know the Dap Kings sound the minute that you hear it.  Then there’s some other bands that do it so verbatim that they can’t get out of that box.  And there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re really good at it and you enjoy it.  And you have a fan base that’s behind you and you’re making music that you love and you’re building your career off it, the critics at the end of the day don’t matter.

With us we never wanted to be into that retro pocket.  It came along with Breakin’ the Chains of Love having that very, very Motown inspired sound with organs, and everything being really piano driven, and having these juxtaposed lyrics with this kind of like, happy music.  That’s still a very big part of us and we know where we’re rooted, but we didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing.  We really wanted to make it our own and create our own sound so that we have longevity in our careers.  At the end of the day it’s all about making really great songs and that’s the goal for us as a band. 

MD: What can people expect at your Crossraods show on July 5th?

Very energetic, we’re definitely one of these bands that is all about putting out as much energy as we’re getting from the crowd, making the crowd part of the show.  We’re all about crowd participation and people kind of losing themselves.  We just have a lot of fun on stage.  Every single night we all leave the stage just dripping with sweat.  It doesn’t matter where we play, it could be a festival, small club, a bar – it doesn’t matter. 


So here’s the deal, folks.  Leave a comment below and tell me why you deserve the tickets, simple as that.  Or, hit me on Twitter @MattyKCC and I’ll pick the most deserving using my sophisticated mathematical formula and let you know by Sunday-ish. 

Game on.
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19 Responses to Donnelly: My Conversation With Fitz and the Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs & Win Tickets to Their July 5th Show at Crossroads

  1. smart man says:

    Get in on the ground floor
    Did you tell them that the audience will be standing on urine and feces infested mulch that is a breeding ground for ticks and mosquitoes that carry potentially fatal diseases?

  2. Matt says:

    They’re off…
    and smartman is in the lead!

  3. Hearne says:

    I was at Crossroads Monday and…
    the place looked great. New mulch, great sight lines, top notch sound and the evening temps were quite kind.

    I’m not sure what your fertile imagination leads you to suspect is going on there, in public, for all to see, but maybe you should check it out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  4. smartman says:

    The Usual Suspects
    I’d go to Kabul before I’d go to Crossroads. Having spoken with many people that have, and continue to go there, they cite with both enthusiastic humor and disgust seeing people relieving themselves in lieu of making a trip to the plastic shithouses. One friend who went to the recent reggae show there noticed an unusual smell when he got in his car. One of the backseat passengers had acquired some shit on the bottom of their shoes. It was feces shit as opposed to the Cheech and Chong kind of “shit”. Women squatting and peeing is commonplace. Guys pissing in beer cups and then discreetly pouring it out not all that unusual either. As stated previously I have also heard of a person who thinks but cannot prove definitively that they picked up a tick while there. It would not cost that much to pour a concrete pad and put in some proper restrooms. Those two improvements would indeed make it a perfect venue. Other than greed I can’t think of any logical reason why that investment hasn’t been made. When you are willing to accept shit you will get more of it, be it Sly and the Family James, Chiefs, Royals, Cordish master plans, murder rates, Adam Sandler movies,Garozzo’s, etc.

  5. rkcal says:

    What I learned:
    1. A band I never heard of has a hot lead singer
    2. Wear boots to Crossroads
    3. Crossroads allows texting because Hearne likes it.

  6. paulwilsonkc says:

    2 reasons, maybe 4…. or 5
    1. It would make me a 2 time winner on your shows!
    2. One of the single best “Live From Darryls” performances is Fitz. I’ve watched it 100 times!
    3. They are one of my favorite CURRENT goups
    4. And last, but not lesat, July 5th is MY BIRTHDAY!!! Send and old guy and his hot young wife to the show!
    5. Ive been to enough shows there that, like iocane powder, I’ve built up a tollerance to the bacteria infested mulch (look up THAT obscure reference)

  7. PB says:

    Don’t know a whole lot about them, but really enjoy what I’ve seen (their videos are way cool) and heard and yes, I also find Ms.Scaggs to be incredibly sexy. Fitz has this David Byrne/Bryan Ferry vibe about him that really works well with the band’s retro-dance sound. As you can tell from some of my past posts pimping free area shows (speaking of, Royal Southern Brotherhood/Samantha Fish/Southern Hospitality @ Lake Shawnee in Topeka on the 4th), I certainly wouldn’t object to a freebie to this one.

  8. paulwilsonkc says:

    Matt, dont know if you’re a fan.. but catch
    Live From Daryls House @ Go to the archives area and look up Fitz’ appearance on the show. Its just a great combo of people who admired H&O, plus people Daryls likes and they just jam, interrupted by a cooking lesson and lunch!

    I’ve found some great artists I would have NEVER seen otherwise.

  9. Lance the Intern says:

    How dare you list a “Princess Bride” reference as “obscure”! You are correct, however that the Fitz episode of “Live from Darryl’s House” is one of the absolute best. Cee-Lo was pretty good, too….For those interested, check it out:

  10. paulwilsonkc says:

    Lance, Im sorry…. YOU WIN!!
    I guess is wasn’t THAT obscure, huh? That makes me like you more. 2 or 3 more Harley slams from you and I’ll deny knowing HEARNE and totally take your side!

  11. PB says:

    I Must Concur
    With Mr.Wilson, Live At Daryl’s House is can’t-miss web viewing. Pretty much every up-and-coming act that somehow fits Daryl’s style has made it’s way onto his show, but he also doesn’t neglect like-minded old school artists like Smokey and Todd Rundgren (the episode @ Todd’s house in Hawaii is a personal fave). I get e-mail alerts so I never miss an episode, but the archives is a great tool as some episodes bear repeated viewings. The cooking segments are a nice touch. Oh, and can’t wait for Hall & Oates in the flesh in September!

  12. smartman says:

    LFDH and Rundgren+Thomas+Mraz
    Check out Todd on the LFDH New Years special, in the archives. WICKED WICKED version of For The Want Of A Nail. Also on the same special Rob Thomas does a KILLER rearrangement of Kiss On My List. Newest episode with Jason Mraz is must see.

  13. paulwilsonkc says:

    Allow me a tongue in cheek “Harley” moment here:

  14. Mr.X says:

    Ticket Plea
    Here’s the deal – I don’t attend a lot of concerts, but when I do, its at Crossroads. I really enjoy the bands they bring to town with much more unique genres of music, and F&tT fits that bill, same goes for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros coming this fall. Would love to take the wife out to a mid-week show. So if you have a spare set, I’d appreciate it. Kthxbye.

  15. truth squad says:

    were you talking about crossroads or your friend’s house in olathe? They’re pretty much the same.

  16. paulwilsonkc says:

    truth squad / harley, you’ve been warned
    I’d suggest you pay close attention.

  17. mike says:

    @”paurley wilson”
    That was a good Harley except that you spelled and punctuated too well and didn’t use enough ……………………………………………between random thoughts and bloviations. Also, I enjoyed reading it. To really be like him, it has to be excruciating to read it all the way through!

  18. Matt says:

    We’re getting close…
    Time is winding down on this giveaway, so if anyone has any last-ditch effort to help their cause, do it now people! Winners will be announced soon!

    Thanks for playing.

  19. Matt says:

    And the winners are…
    Mr. X

    Each of you get two tickets to what looks to be a killer show. Just email me at to claim your prize.

    P.S. Sorry it might have been hard to find this article with the “archiving system” here at KCC. We’re working on it.

Comments are closed.