One-on-One With Foster The People

A quick chat with the world's hottest new rock band

Screen shot 2011-09-30 at 2.49.09 PM

Photo by Williams & Hirakawa

Before Mark Foster, lead singer of electro-rock band Foster the People, brainwashed us with his deliriously catchy single “Pumped Up Kicks,” he was living in L.A., working dead-end jobs delivering pizzas, frothing lattes and selling kitchen cutlery door-to-door. Since Foster the People’s debut album Torches dropped in May, the band’s single has topped the alternative charts, they’ve been nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rock Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, and they’ve toured Australia. Twice. Fans of the three-piece band include Steve Carell and Shia LaBeouf, but Foster’s still getting used to his insider access to the celebrity universe. “When we played Coachella, I was backstage and it was Clint Eastwood, John Legend and David Hasselhoff all standing within five feet of each other,” he says. “I was just like, ‘This will never happen again in history.’” Not everyone has given the band VIP treatment, however. On their video for “Helena Beat,” one scene calls for a group of children to ambush Foster. “I just said, ‘Hey guys, I really want you to go for it.’” Big mistake. “One of the little girls, she’s like, ‘Oh yeah? Does this hurt?’ And she kicked me in the shins so hard. It was one of the most vulnerable feelings I’ve ever had in my life.”

Tracks We Love: “Pumped Up Kicks,” “Life on the Nickel.”