Backstage at Acoustic Christmas Night 2
December 9th, 2013, 11:46 am ·

As with the first half of KROQ’s 24th annual Almost Acoustic Christmas, we caught up with several of the artists backstage at Night 2 to ask some pressing seasonal questions.

Q: What are you most thankful for in 2013?

Noelle Scaggs, Fitz and the Tantrums vocalist: “Very thankful for still doing this, having all of our dreams coming true in these unexpected ways and getting all of these wonderful opportunities to keep doing what we love doing, which is singing and performing and sharing our music. We’ve been very fortunate this year. There’s nothing better than this.”

Michael Fitzpatrick, Fits and the Tantrums vocalist: “I also have a little newborn baby boy this year. We had a No. 1 single and a baby boy all in the same week. I couldn’t ask for much more.”

Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities: “The fact that we’ve been able to travel without a hitch at all this year. It’s been a smooth, safe experience.”

Ryan Merchant of Capital Cities: “One thing that’s been great about our success is that I’m thankful that we’ve been able to do it on our own terms and make creative decisions that we want to make. We do things in a quirky way at times, and the public seems to have embraced all of our nuances. That’s very cool, when you basically get to be yourself and people like that.”

Keith Jeffery of Atlas Genius: “We’re just thankful for this year. I feel very lucky to be able to do this.”

Q: Which artist do you think should release a Christmas album?

Fitzpatrick: “I’d like to hear Ozzy Osbourne make his own Christmas album. I just want to hear what that would be like.”

Scaggs: “I think Iron Maiden may have done one of those, but that would be interesting.”

Simonian: “Definitely Prince. That would be a sexy Christmas album.”

Jeffery: “Rage Against the Machine should probably have one.”

Keith Jeffery of Atlas Genius: “Rage Against the Machine does Christmas carols, but they should cover the Bing Crosby album and just do it in their own Rage way.”

Q: What is your favorite Christmas song?

Scaggs: “I love ‘Silent Night.’ That’s just one of my favorite songs, period.”

Simonian: “Um … ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ I don’t even think I know all of the lyrics.”

Merchant: “Well, ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ is a classic. Part of our story is that we were jingle writers before, so we’d get tasked with revamping Christmas songs. We did ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’ It’s hard to take that and make it cool, but people love a good holiday song.”

Keith Jeffery: “It’s always ‘Mele Kalikimaka,’ which Bing Crosby did on his album. I love that song. It’s also in Christmas Vacation, which is a great movie.”

Q: What types of gifts make for the best stocking stuffers?

Scaggs: “I highly recommend going to Urban Outfitters because they have the most fun things for your friends – little gifts like funny coasters and, if you drink, awesome little shot glasses, and stuff and for kids like cars and little toys. Oh, and don’t forget, lots of candy.”

Fitzpatrick: “Always some good funky socks.”

Simonian: “High quality chocolates.”

Merchant: “It’s mostly stuff you get that accumulates in your room and on your desk and you never do anything with it, so maybe a good gift certificate to like Peet’s Coffee is better. I’ll take that over a weird little notebook or something.”

Keith Jeffery: “Stoffing stucker? I can’t say stocking stuffer. I was thinking fairy floss. What do you guys call it here? Oh, cotton candy! In Australia we call it fairy floss. You can’t go wrong with a stocking filled with fairy floss.”

Michael Jeffery: “You can’t go wrong with jocks and socks either.”

Q: What do you think about the Shrine Auditorium being the new home of Almost Acoustic Christmas?

Fitzpatrick: “This is an amazing venue and theater, and we grew up here, so for us to be here … I mean, I’ve heard the announcements for this show every year, so for us to be asked to come play tonight, that’s awesome. Everyone on this bill I’m excited to see and this is the perfect place.”

Merchant: “It’s amazing. I’ve been to Gibson Amphitheatre and the Shrine, and I prefer the Shrine as a venue. I think it’s beautiful, the sound is incredible and I went to USC, which is across the street, so I got to take a walk around my alma mater. For me, it’s the perfect spot to play an L.A. show like this.”

Michael Jeffery: “Did they really pull down Gibson for Harry Potter? Did they consult anybody? I just heard the Shrine was haunted.”

Keith Jeffery: “They held the Oscars here in the past, I just heard that. During sound-check, I think I saw the ghost of John Wayne.”