Fitz and the Tantrums will be performing Tuesday night at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC.  They are currently touring in support of their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces.  Their biggest hit “MoneyGrabber” is getting tons of airplay in Charleston and it should be a great night of music. We spoke with John Wicks who is the drummer of Fitz and the Tantrums about soul, food, and soul food.


Charleston Food Bloggers ( CFB ) : What area of the world did you grow up and do you want to share any good childhood food memories with us?

John Wicks:  My father was a Commander in the Navy.  We moved around a lot during my early childhood and one place we were fortunate enough to live was New Orleans.  My mother was extremely enthusiastic about music, jazz in particular.  If there was music happening, my mom was there and she always had me in tow whether it was a jazz funeral, Mardi Gras, Preservation Hall, or whatever.  When we lived in Pensacola, Florida, we would hang outside of a black gospel church almost every Sunday just to hear the music.  We felt like we would be looked at as impostors if we entered, until finally one Sunday, they just invited us in.  It felt like we were floating a couple of feet off of the ground.  All of these early experiences had a huge impact on me, and I’m so grateful to have lived in that part of the country during that time.

 CFB:   Your music has a lot of indescribable soul in it.  I think that music and food can really “feed” and a persons individual soul….what else do you think can feed a person’s soul?

John Wicks:
Reading.  Most great songwriters have are also extremely well read.  We have to have a well do draw from and the more we read the deeper the well.

CFB:  What are several of your favorite restaurants in the US?

John Wicks:  Mother’s at 401 Poydras Street in New Orleans for Po‘ Boy sandwiches. Try the “John G. with debris,” my personal favorite.

Di Fara Pizza
1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn NY 11230, You have not had pizza until you have had Dom Demarco’s legendary pie.

Tacomiendo in
Culver City, CA for great homemade and fast Mexican food.

Abraco Espresso at
86 East 7th Street in Manhattan for the best espresso in NYC and Mediterranean influenced pastries.

Espresso Vivace in
Seattle at 321 Broadway Avenue East is the best espresso in the US.


CFB:  Being on the road a lot do you have a normal eating schedule? What do you like to eat on the road?

John Wicks:  It’s very tough to eat healthily on the road, so Whole Foods is used whenever possible, and eat on the bus.


CFB:  What are a couple of things you think people in Charleston should know ahead of your performance on April 12th?

John Wicks: You should know that it is an unpretentious, sweaty, dance party and that we expect you to shake your ass or you will get called out from the stage!


CFB:   What are a few of your favorite cocktails or drinks?

John Wicks: I’m a beer guy and have a lot of fun trying any local micro-brews from the towns we’re playing in.


CFB:  What other groups or songs are you guys personally listening to right now?

John Wicks:  Stepdad, Lightspeed Champion, and Neon Indian.


CFB:  What other acts besides April Smith and the Great Picture Show do you think your sound or style matches or compliments that would make an amazing concert experience?

John Wicks: Cee Lo Green, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The B-52’s, Stepdad, and Lightspeed Champion.


CFB:   Has anyone in the band ever been to Charleston or have any connections to the city?  Do you have any other plans of things to do in here during your brief stay?

John Wicks:  I have played in Charleston before and I loved it!  I plan on eating soul food and boiled peanuts!


Thanks for talking to us John. We look forward to your show on the 12th. They will be bolting across the country after they leave Charleston. They will hit Atlanta on 04/14/11, Mobile on 04/17/11, and then back out west before heading to Europe.  They were just this month named by VH1 as Artist on the Rise You Oughta Know.

John Wicks, drummer