Passion Pit's Jeff Apruzzese on being on SNL and getting hugged by the dude from Portlandia
In October, 2012, Passion Pit played on Saturday Night Live. Will you tell us about that experience?
That was really awesome and in my eyes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There are a lot of things that have happened with this band where I think, "If this band breaks up or no one cares about us after today, I can be happy because at least I got to do this." SNL is definitely one of those experiences. It was super short notice. We'd been talking about it for a while, but we didn't find out about it until it was 100 percent going to happen, which is better because if we had known that it was going to happen for months, I think it would have driven us crazy.
I remember vividly being in Australia in a movie theater watching the movie Looper, and we got a phone call from our manager telling us we were playing it. The way our schedule was lined up is that we flew back from Australia two to three days before we started rehearsing for it. So it wasn't really a lot of time to process things, and it was kind of fast-paced.
But the show is so professionally run, and everyone on the show is so nice and so encouraging and so endearing, it really made me take a step back, where I was nervous and scared to be on set with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen and the other cast members coming to our dressing room and saying, "Oh, we really like your record."
Someone said, "I have your music on my wedding mix for my wedding." That was totally insane. It was just really amazing. It happened so fast I didn't even really believe it happened. I had to re-watch the end credits of it because at the end, while they were rolling the credits, Fred Armisen hugged me and I was like, "Is this really happening right now? Am I going to go home tomorrow and watch Portlandia, and this isn't going to be real?"
You were a Music Business major, did you learn anything at that time, and perhaps during your internship with Kemado, that you apply to what you do as a musician now?
I wish I could say that I was intelligent enough to have taken those things and really applied them to this. But I haven't. I think, though, having studied that at school and pursued other internships, I think a lot about all the costs that go into our show, and I like to be involved. I really actually like seeing settlement sheets from the shows.
I find it interesting to see what it actually costs to put a show on. But I'm certainly not using any of that knowledge to save the world or to save the band. I'm not marching into Sony and being like, "Hey, I remember from my MB-101 class that you can't do this!" Then they're like, "Alright, little boy, I know you have that copy of that Donald Passman book somewhere, but that's ten years out of date now."
In an interview with The Aquarian you did a couple of years ago, and you touched on this earlier, you said that if the band ended tomorrow you'd have no regrets because you got to do this great thing. And that there are little things you appreciate like a coffee machine in your dressing room. Are there any little things of late that have excited you?
I'm still very much on that same level, I guess. I got a compliment from an old friend of mine I grew up with that I saw when I was in D.C. He said, "You're still very much the same person I grew up with and went to elementary school with except you have a beard now." I'm still on that same page. Some bands may say, "We want the local craft beer of your city on our rider." For us it's like, instead of a coffee machine: "We want locally roasted beans in our dressing room."
It got kind of ridiculous at the end of our last tour, though. We had twenty different bags of beans from all over the country that we collected and brought with us. Those little things definitely make me happy. Some venues are totally decked out to accommodate bands, like the NorVa in Norfolk, Virginia. They have a whole rec room for touring bands where it's like foosball, ping pong, a pool table. The third floor has a whole basketball court in it.