Five Questions With Mark Foster of Foster The People

Los Angeles-based band Foster The People lands at the Loft on July 3. Lead singer Mark Foster lets us in on where his life would be right now if he hadn’t pursued music and why hipsters aren’t so hip.

FrontRow: You said your father gave you the idea to move out to LA or NY to pursue your music. If that conversation hadn’t happened, do you think you would have found music as a career?

MF: No, I don’t know. I don’t know if I would have. Before [my dad and I] had that conversation [about moving to Los Angeles] I didn’t really think that was possible. It just never crossed my mind as something possible to do. When he said that it was so empowering and it opened up my eyes to the possibility of doing that and following your passion you know. And after a year in LA I had this moment where I was like ok you know what I can do this. I have to go all in. I can’t have a backup plan and I need to commit to doing this whether I’m homeless or I’m successful. And I knew if I had that type of attitude I’d be successful. I gave myself 10 years.

FR: It’s been said many times that your fans don’t always understand what they’re singing along to with your songs, and that they might not even care. Does it matter to you that they understand the meaning behind your music or are you satisfied with them solely enjoying the sound?

MF: No, no either way. I think people listen to music in two different ways. Some people don’t listen to lyrics at all, and that’s fine, people can pick and choose. You know, I’m not going to change the way people listen to music. It’s just how you are.

FR: On that note, “Pumped Up Kicks” could not have more hype on its hands. When a single song gets that big, would you prefer to keep all the hype on that one song or would you rather distribute it equally out to your other songs?

MF: [Laughs] You know, I’d rather it spread around, and I think it is. But there’s always that one song that’s the gatekeeper to other music. There are a lot of bands in history that I can name that have that one song that breaks them open and lets people listen to their other stuff. That’s what “Pumped Up Kicks” is for us.

FR: You just said in Rolling Stone online article that “Pumped Up Kicks” is “a ‘f**k you’ song to the hipsters in a way– but it’s a song the hipsters are going to want to dance to.” Define what you think a hipster is and why you say that song is basically flipping them off?

MF: No, I mean to me there’s a lot of cool things about the hipster culture, but the negative things really bother me. And the negative things are just pretention. You know I feel like hipsters, like deep down, when you look past the clothes, the fashion sense, whatever, deep down they’re just critics. They’re critics of everything: critics of fashion, critics of art, and critics of movies. And it’s pretentious. And when it comes to music I think a big part of that culture feels like they are the voice for everybody else. And a lot of times they’re full of sh*t.

FR: You started off as a solo artist, and now you are in a band. Would you ever go back to doing your own thing?

MF: Yeah sure I mean ya know. I can speak for myself and I’m sure I can speak for the other guys, we’re going to be in music for the rest of our lives and I’m sure it’s not always going to be this project so…definitely. But I guess the hardest thing about being in a band is that you know you‘re basically automatically family and sometimes you don’t have the benefit of growing up together and knowing about the quirks and what drives people crazy or what their needs are. And then you’re in a situation where you see each other 24 hours a day 7 days a week and you have to work that stuff out. I can’t imagine doing this with some of the bands I used to play. It would have just been awful. But we’re all really good communicators and good friends and we’ve got a good chemistry together so it works.


  • well umm how old are you? cause you know i love your music its quite well! i love pumped up kicks i know every word of it and i need to say one more thing UR HOT1!!!!!!!;)

  • sammy

    SOOO hot.

  • Nary


  • Vanessa

    Does anyone know his sexual preference? i mean he’s so attractive i’m afraid he might be gay

  • Love this band before they got big but im proud for em (:

  • Gina O

    I go on Facebook and read how kids are being bullied and picked on everyday. I say we need more songs like Pumped Up Kicks. I really don’t understand with all the crap they show on MTV why this song would get censored and get so much bad publicity. I love all their videos and post them daily on Twitter and Facebook. I love the 70’s vibe, reminds me of the good times I had growing up. Peace

  • right he looks like his gay but maybe hes not but hes cute and talented

  • erika p

    how i love mark foster so much!! hot stuff! 🙂

  • Carol

    So Mark Foster is not only talented, but so HOT (for a young guy!!!) I am too old to be into this kind of music (52), but I love Pumped up Kicks…and turn the radio up every time it plays! I see Grammy’s (not Granny’s) in their future…just sayin’!

  • Rick

    Maybe he’s bisexual. Most musicians are.

  • Maria

    ¡Adoro todas sus canciones! 😀 Sue stilo me hipnotiza y alegra el día en cuando los escucho, y cuando veo las fotos de Mark,Me Muero <3

  • Ecko

    Why does it matter if he’s gay or straight? WTF?

  • Khanya

    He’s so Hot. I swear He is like drop end beautiful

  • alyssa

    Neither of them are gay. Cubbie is married to Rebecca St. James, while Mark and Pontius have had previous girlfriends.

  • Stephanie

    ahhhh i love these guys. im soooo obsessed with every song on theyr album….. and yeah mark foster is reallllly attractive 😀 and yeah i think there HAS to be more songs like pumped up kicks! its catchy, and the meaning of the song is something serious that has to be pointed out 😀

  • I love their songs, videos and every thing about them. But why not play in near where I live in Michigan? Cause I know like, well alot of people who like your band I want to see you guys play live! Come one? Alot of people do too. 🙂

  • bonniebom

    You know what, all of you are shallow. It doesn’t matter to me how hot is Mark Foster, or his sexual orientation, or I don’t know what else…. You should do the same.
    I understand their music by my way, and I definitely know that they’re the most original band I’ve ever listen to ^_^.


    Ilove mark foster he is so hot by the way Iam 8years old


    What you say what you are . So YOU are shallow . HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jessica

    Going to see their concert in Las Vegas July 07!!! Woohoo Graduation present!

  • Kathy

    Someone said I was a hipster. I am not like Mark Foster said. Foster the People is one of my favorite bands.


    Talented, smart and sexy? His gf better hope I never get my hands on him… YUM!

  • Nelly

    omg I LOVE mark! ( even more than my bf.) But he’s so sexy he turned my bf gay. …Oh yea mark must’ve liked me cause he gave every1 high fives but when he came near me he sqeezed my hand and winked at me befor he did that xtra f****ng sexy smile. I swear to god the chick next to me was jealous. when we got to take pics w/ Foster & he tried to kiss me on the lips (which I didn’t even ask 4) but my bf was concerned so it was on the cheek. OMG best day evah! I bet next time he may lead me to his bed so we can get Fosterboners. lol. were only 8 years apart ( same birth date Feb. 29! ) cant wait to tell him on June 1st :D. well I bet I just wasted 3 min of ur life about the sexiest thing eva aka mark foster… so if u do take pics w/ him make sure to get like pressed onto him cause me & my friends found out he’s like sexually attracted to ppl doing tat. lol he also kept following us around staring at our bodies and flirting/joking around. what a sexy singer/stalker!

  • Nelly

    I wouldn’t have found out that real music still was around if my friend Gavin haven’t said, ” Instead of the song pumped up kicks, how about, pumped up d*cks? lol… I thought the song was suckish at first, but at this very moment I.m kissing my phone that fell in Fosters pants when walking past him (he forgot to zip his zipper and do his belt), and getting my bed wet because I’m staring at a shirtless Mark Foster on the wall.

  • Doesnt mean I only like the band just cause of foster… All their songs are stuck in my head… in a good way.

  • Mia

    God i love him hes just so perfect hes smart and funny and sexy 😛 like wow he makes me wanna cry cause hes so fabulous he has such a good point of view about everything and he always seems happy and he loves his fans and everytime i see him smile its makes me want to so i can easily say mark foster and foster the people makes my life better love them so much :,)

  • mariam

    i love mark! he is just amazing