Q: What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?
A: A drummer.
One of our college advisers told us that joke. He was a tool. He’s also dead wrong.
All great bands have great drummers (yes, that includes Ringo), and we suspect that John Wicks (far left), drummer for Motown revivalists Fitz & the Tantrums, would agree, if we could get him to stop shaking his ass. In the middle of a summer tour where they are headlining shows as well as supporting Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler and Ben Harper – with a Tony Hoffer-produced sophomore album set to drop in October – Wicks took a few minutes out of his super-busy schedule to accept our invitation to list the 10 songs he wishes he had written. Knowing that this is the sort of thing that can descend into hipster elitism in a heartbeat, Wicks decides to turn the question on its head, and gives us 10 songs from right now. Well played, sir.
So whenever I get asked to do any sort of top 10 favorite records or top tunes, everyone expects me to come up with these hidden deep cuts from my record crates. I usually do just that. But truth be told, I am a pop fanatic. I LOVE great, modern day cheesy, sugary, infectious, danceable pop music! So here are the top 10 tunes I wish I wrote within the last couple of years, and they are the songs I will be secretly listening to in my tour bus bunk starting tonight. Hope to see you all out at a FATT show near you!
“Big Mouth,” Santigold
Santigold’s Coachella time slot was right before us. She played a lot of her previous record in her set, which I love, but when she premiered this song, it just knocked me out. Her new album was not due out for a week or two, and the wait was just killing me. The whole record is great, and she has the best smile in the biz.
“Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5
My twin 3-year-old daughters absolutely freak over this song, and admittedly so do I. I’m obsessed with anything Benny Blanco, Dr. Luke, and/or Max Martin produce. This song and “The Voice” brought Maroon 5 back into the limelight. They gave Fitz & the Tantrums a huge break, taking us out on tour with them in ’09. Awesome guys, and drummer Matt Flynn has become a dear friend.
“Pon De Floor,” Major Lazer
Man, Diplo and Switch can do no wrong in my eyes. Whenever I do DJ sets, this song always gets dropped in there somewhere.
“Fuck U Betta,” Neon Hitch
This chick is rad, and has a crazy back story. Again, produced by Benny Blanco. Can NOT get this song out of my head. Also one of the sexiest videos ever.
“Nightcall,” Kavinsky featuring Lovefoxxx
I’ve seen the movie “Drive,” five times! I’m an ’80s fanatic and when the movie opens with this song, the ’80s synth sounds and drum machines just slay me. I’m also a huge fan of CSS (Lovefoxxx’s band), so this song is just a win/win for me.
“Kilo,” Bonde Do Role
Another Brazilian band I love. I wish I wrote this song and every party classic this band comes out with! But I DID play drums on it! That’s me in the background on drums and finger cymbals. I recorded the drums in my garage, and had a blast. Produced by Diplo. Also one of the sexiest recent videos out there. Fruit porn!
“Groove is in the Heart,” Deee Lite
Okay, so this song came out in 1990, but it still sounds up to date. Deee Lite made me realize the power of a dance classic! No matter where or when this song gets played, everyone gets happy and wants to party. I strive to someday write a song that is this timeless and spreads such great vibes.
Whenever the intro to this song begins, my daughters scream “Here come the monsters!” Love this tune.
“Domino,” Jessie J.
Another Dr. Luke pop masterpiece. This girl can SING! It sounds like her voice is so powerful that she may just blow out the speakers.
“Wild Ones,” Flo Rida featuring Sia
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sia at an animal adoption charity event we were both working at, and I can tell you she is one of the sweetest, most down to earth people you could ever meet. During the hook of this song, there’s a slight raspy break in her voice when she sings “Ooooooh.” It’s the sexiest sound ever. Slays me every time.
John M. Wicks