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When Passion Pit and Harlem Shakes announced their joint tour together we were almost dizzy with excitement. Technicolor Health (the ‘Shakes album) has been the record I’ve been shoving down everyone’s throat this spring, and Manners (the “long” awaited Passion Pit debut) is storming everything there is to storm. And, if you read BYT at all, you’ll see that we’ve covered both of these bands TO OBLIVION and back (listening parties, live show reviews, love letters, you name it, we’ve written it) without ever actually interviewing them. So, on the eve of their very (and very rightfully) sold out show at the Black cat we sent our new, and already long-suffering editorial intern Megan to ask them some questions. They kindly answered:


PASSION PIT

What’s the meaning behind the name ‘Passion Pit’?
its named after the 1950’s slang term for the back row at a drive-in movie theater. not a porno.

How do you react when people try to lump you in with a certain genre, or compare you to another band? Clearly it’s difficult to define Passion Pit as simply as that, so what would you say defines you guys?
pop. we make pop music the palette which is most familiar to us yet somewhat refreshing. that includes alot of synths and programming so i understand the synth-pop reference, but electro? thats just not true.

Your songs have been remixed quite a bit…is there any particular remix that you’ve heard and have really really liked?
sammy bananas’ big choon mix of the reeling is perfect.

Okay, think back to age 4, 5, 6…what did you want to be when you grew up? Did all of you (or any of you) expect to pursue a musical career?
while we were all playing music by then, i dont think we thought of it as a career choice until high school or so. i wanted to be a marine biologist at that age. my bedroom was covered in shark posters and aquariums.

Ultimate must-have personal survival item while on tour. Go.
deodorant. everybody stinks. alot.

Do any of you get any pre-show jitters?
yea, but they are manifested in kind of a manic episode where we bounce off the walls and yell and shout and release it that way. we aren’t like barfing and shaking. well… actually my hands shake alot but i think thats cus of the drums…lets hope.

And what about pre-show rituals? Have any of those?
not yet. maybe we should though. the show itself is more of the ritual.

What are you guys listening to these days? If you could force every single person to listen to one song that you absolutely love and think everyone else should too, what would it be?
phoenix – “love like a sunset”

Any big DC plans while you’re in town?
im from southern maryland so DC is where i saw all of my first shows and favorite bands when i was growing up and i love coming back and seeing all my friends. aannndd i am djing after the show at wonderland with some of those friends. i cant wait!

HARLEM SHAKES
Can any of you actually do the Harlem Shake? And if so, can we expect to see any crazy shoulder movements on stage?
I used to be able to do it, but I’ve stopped on principle. If someone said, “dance, boy!” would you dance? That said, Jose will provide assorted, non-Harlem Shake crazy shoulder movements.

What has been the inspiration behind the music?
I’d just generally how things go.

What do your families think about the band? Is anyone bitter that none of you are in law school? (Assuming no one is in law school currently…)
I shouldn’t answer that question. But I suspect my parents are still bitter that I never made it as an emcee.

Is there any member of the band you’d vote most difficult to travel with? In other words, is there anyone who’s most likely to “accidentally” get left behind at the gas station?
Many would argue Kendrick. Some would disagree. Still others would insist.

Speaking of travel, if you could choose any method of transportation to get around for this tour (could be real or imaginary, preferably not normal and/or imaginary), what would it be?
Train.
Todd: Rollerblades.
Jose: Humpback whale.
Brent: On my pet pig.

What’s the absolute worst show you ever played?
Phoenix, Spring of 2007, the Brickhouse. Let’s just say it was too hot to play music, and I surmise our fans were to hot to listen, because they stayed home.

If you could have a song just sort of follow you around all day that you and everyone else could hear, kind of like a tv theme song but for real, what would it be?
“Flight of the Valkyries” by Wagner.

What’s one invention you’ve seen on a tv infomercial or elsewhere that you’ve said to yourself, man, why didn’t I think of that?
Judith Light speaking on behalf of proactive, the acne medication. God must have spent a little extra time on her.

Any big plans during your stay in DC?
I plan to visit my great brother, Dan. Eat some eritrean food. Generally just max.

What are all of you going to be for Halloween next year?
Brent: Nate from Passion Pit.
Todd: An internet addict.
Jose: A Whole Foods shopper.
Kendrick: Private Jack Sparrow–like how he would dress and live in his private life at home.
Lexy: Charles Oakley.

AND now:
A Passion Pit video:

And a Harlem Shakes video:

To close things off.

WANT MORE:
Internet socializing happens here:
http://www.myspace.com/harlemshakes
http://www.myspace.com/passionpitjams
and check them out live tonight @ The Black Cat
+ at the official afterparty @ CUNT at Wonderland.

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