Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Fitz and the Tantrums' Jeremy Ruzumna on the band, Morrissey
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 476 times since Tue Sep 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Now that another Lollapalooza has come and gone, there's one last huge music festival ready to jam in Chicago. Riot Fest rocks out at Douglas Park to end summer, and the lineup is huge.

Headlining on the bill is the band Fitz and the Tantrums and after seeing them play at Lollapalooza in the past many will know this is the perfect outdoor setting to see them perform.

Michael Fitzpatrick brought the group together back in 2008 and they have not stopped since. They went from a Maroon 5 opening act to playing on their own, thanks to the hit-filled album More Than Just a Dream.

The band's newest is a self-titled record with a lead single, "HandClap," that is already doing well on the radio.

Windy City Times talked with keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna about the new music and tour.

Windy City Times: Hi, Jeremy. Did you always play piano growing up?

Jeremy Ruzumna: Absolutely. Since I was 8 years old, pretty much since I realized girls would hang around when I played.

WCT: Did you get in the band after John Wicks referred you?

JR: Yes, there's a club in LA called Bardot and I was in a house band with him—he played drums—and a trumpet player named Stewart Cole, who is in the group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. John was working with Fitz doing some commercial stuff. Fitz was putting the band together and was looking for a keyboard player. That's how I got the gig.

WCT: You have been with them ever since?

JR: Yes; I can't believe it is going on eight years now. It is sort of mind-blowing.

WCT: Did you think the band would be played on the radio back then?

JR: It is interesting. I can't say I was hearing so much radio stuff. Our sound was a lot different back then. What I did notice is that Fitz just had a determination back then. He seemed like he knew what he was doing musically and business-wise. I had faith in him.

Even from the first tiny shows that we did the reaction was pretty amazing. This was even from our little cafe shows, usually reserved for one person an acoustic guitar. We would bring the whole band and it was highly inappropriate how much noise we were making.

WCT: I remember seeing the band at a little after show during Lollapalooza in a hotel.

JR: That's right. That was a long time ago. Shows like that had such great reactions.

WCT: With the new self-titled album, does this feel more like the definitive sound of the band?

JR: It has been an evolution. People said we started out sounding like Motown. The last album they said sounded '80s. I call it all some sort of pop music.

When you are trying to find out who the band is it is an elusive thing. It is always changing.

On the third album, it felt like the third time's a charm. This is us.

WCT: "HandClap" must be fun to perform live.

JR: Yes. That song was actually tailor-made to be played live. Even when the song was in its early stages we could picture the audience doing the clap with us. That is the interesting thing about a band that has been on the road so much, this album is influenced by playing to audiences. We wanted to make something that is fun to listen to as a record but is also fun to be played live.

We really had the audience and live show in mind with this album.

WCT: Do you have an influence on the keyboards when writing songs?

JR: It varies from song to song and album to album. There are songs that I have been all over but Fitz plays keyboards as well. I would like to think I have some flavor in this band!

WCT: Is the song "A Place for Us" about unity or, possibly, a gay anthem?

JR: Absolutely. I think it is about a lot of different things. It is about that feeling we all have inside of wanting to belong somewhere. The reason musicians make music in the first place is to fit and belong.

It is an anthem that everyone will have something somewhere. It is about finding that place where you will feel comfortable with yourself.

WCT: I have been on the tour bus in the past with Noelle Scaggs from the band. Do you like the touring life?

JR: It is a change. If I had to do it all the time it might get crazy. We have a good balance because our tours are not incredible long. We are all parents now except Noelle, who has an incredibly cute dog so that counts too.

Last year, we were making the album so we weren't doing any hardcore touring. This is the first time we are jumping back into it.

Going back on tour is like an old friend. We immediately get into the rhythm of it. It is nice. We get to travel and see things. The shows are getting more and more fun. We are doing the new material so it is locking it in and it's getting better and better.

Obviously, it is sad to be away from the family.

WCT: Since you are coming to Riot Fest are you a fan of Morrissey, who is playing there?

JR: We have to stick around long enough to check him out. That is a must. The one time I saw him in person he was sitting on a curb outside of a hotel. He could have been shooting a video it was so perfect. His head was in his hands. He looked so depressed. No one was coming up to him. It was really weird but kind of cool, awesome actually.

WCT: What kind of Tantrum are you? Angry? Happy?

JR: I'm the peace making Tantrum.

WCT: So you keep the drama down in the band?

JR: I do my best and sometimes it works!

Fitz and The Tantrums throw a Riot on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. Visit and for more information.

This article shared 476 times since Tue Sep 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...

Gay News

CIFF, featuring LGBTQ+ films, running through Oct. 24 2021-10-15
- North America's longest-running competitive film festival, this year's event expands throughout Chicago with presentations at venues across the city, including at AMC River East 21; the Music Box Theatre; the Gene Siskel Film Center; special drive ...

Gay News

MUSICALS 'Pretty Woman' tickets go on sale Oct. 15 2021-10-15
- After a pre-Broadway run in Chicago and being on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago. The production will run at the CIBC ...

Gay News

'Tapping into Ca$h' : CaSera Heining lives double life as DJ Ca$h Era and radio producer 2021-10-14
- Minutes before DJ Ca$h Era hosted Lollapalooza's first drag show, the Black queer woman behind the stage name was pacing nervously behind the scenes and listening to a drag queen animatedly remind her they were "making ...

Gay News

MUSIC Janis Ian's last Chicago concert May 14 2021-10-13
- In what is being advertised as her last concert in Chicago, LGBTQ singer Janis Ian will be performing at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets ($48-$50) will ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...

Gay News

Lyric Opera running seven performances of 'The Magic Flute' Nov. 3-27 2021-10-11
- Lyric Opera of Chicago is running seven performances of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, on Nov. 3-27. There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3; matinees on Nov. 7, 11, 14 and 17, ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race' winners, Playboy, punk band, The Dinah, Daniel Craig 2021-10-10
Video below - As part of VH1's #LGBTQHerstoryMonth project, five winners from the RuPaul's Drag Race winner's circle—season one's BeBe Zahara Benet, All Stars 4 winner Monet X Change, season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, season 12 victor Jaida Essence ...

Gay News

Madonna's latest concert film, Madame X, now out 2021-10-09
- The concept film to Madonna's acclaimed Madame X Tour has debuted in the United States Latin America, Australia, the Nordics and Canada exclusively on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS. Fans outside these markets can watch ...

Gay News

Book about musician Tori Amos' works coming out 2021-10-07
- The book Tori Amos: every album, every song—by rock journalist Lisa Torem—will be out in the United States on Friday, Oct. 29, courtesy of Sonic Bond Publishing. In 1992, Amos—an acclaimed singer, pianist and composer—achieved fame ...

Gay News

MUSIC Rachael Sage at Uncommon Ground on Oct. 14 2021-10-06
- Rachael Sage—described as an "award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and member/supporter of the LGBTQ+ community"—will perform at Uncommon Ground-Lake View, 3800 N. Clark St., on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. ...

Gay News

Opera singer Ketelson to give Center on Halsted performance 2021-10-05
- World renowned bass-baritone opera singer Kyle Ketelsen will perform Italian arias at the Center on Halsted to raise funds both to support his alma mater, Clinton (Iowa) High School (Vocal Department) and Care for Real Pantry ...

Gay News

Pride Fest sees rainbows over rain 2021-10-05
- After last year's COVID-related cancellation, the LGBTQ+-focused outdoor affair Pride Fest returned to Lake View after a delay of a few months, as it usually takes place in June. An additional full day was added to ...

Gay News

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering 2021-09-27
- On Sept. 27, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted embattled R&B singer R. Kelly of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said, according to ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys 2021-09-27
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards. Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.