Finding the right balance between creative development and recognition is a crucial but difficult task for many musicians. Fans expect one sound while record producers want another. In the middle, musicians walk a fine line between experimentation and outside expectations. Today’s guests Joe Karnes And Jeremy Ruzumna by soul pop masterminds Fitz and the tantrumsThis tightrope act is no stranger to her. The leading group have managed to produce an incredibly diverse set of records while maintaining or even growing their dedicated fan base.
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Welcome to The administration, a podcast featuring candid conversations with professional musicians, bringing listeners the unvarnished truth about life as an artist in the music industry. In tonight’s episode, host and LA-based DJ, producer and musician Dan Ubick (aka Constantine “Connie” Price) sits down with Fitz and the Tantrums’ Joe Karnes (bass, guitar) and Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards) to discuss the duo’s journey through the music industry before and after joining the Tantrums.
While the two are best known for their work on Fitz and the Tantrums, both Joe and Jeremy are accomplished musicians with long histories in the industry. Joe found success as a bass player in the glam rock band Imperial Dragwho opened for Alanis Morissette on their Jagged Little Pill tour in 1996. Jeremy received a Grammy nomination for his songwriting work with the legend Macy Gray and has played live with the likes of Nikka Costa, Bootsy Collins, Big Daddy Cane, Carlos Santana and even our presenter Connie Price.
In today’s episode of The administration, Joe and Jeremy discuss their different journeys through the music industry and what their life was like before they joined Fitz and the Tantrums. The two chat about the challenges of finding a unique style and why it’s a huge benefit in an oversaturated industry. “It’s more important to have your own style than to be able to play any style,” says Jeremy. He goes on to explain that fans often have certain expectations of a band or an artist, but those same fans “don’t realize that as a musician you want to change.” If musicians stick to their stuff, Jeremy says, they’ll find their niche.
Our conversation also touches on the importance of work ethics and professionalism, what to look for when signing record deals or advances, and the value of being kind to fellow musicians. Not only are Joe and Jeremy gifted musicians, they are both incredibly compassionate people who work to support the artists around them. Tune in to this month’s episode The administration for a fascinating conversation about creativity, compromise and compassion.