Foster the People is an indie pop band from Los Angeles, California. The band first played together in October 2009 at a SUPERGOODMUSIC event. Members Mark Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar, programming, percussion), Mark Pontius (drums and extra percussion), and Cubbie Fink (bass and backing vocals) formed the band while in their mid-twenties. Mark Pontius used to play drums and shoot/edit the music videos for the indie pop band Malbec.
Two live musicians, Sean Cimino (guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, and backing vocals) and Isom Innis (keyboard, piano, and backing vocals), also tour with the band. Cimino is credited with guitar on the track "Waste" from the album Torches, while Innis' role in the album is unknown or possibly uncredited due to limited contributions on the album. Zach "Reazon" Heiligman (sampler, MPC (Music Production Center), programming, digital percussion, SFX, other production, minimal backing vocals) appears to have been a member of the band until early 2011; however, he shares co-writer and additional production credits on "Miss You" with Mark Foster, suggesting that Heiligman may play a more behind-the-scenes role now in production of certain tracks during studio sessions rather than in live shows. Heiligman, an MC and songwriter, is a close friend of Mark Foster as well and worked with him on a Hip-Hop project during periods before and during the formation of Foster the People.
Mark Foster originally named his band Foster & the People, but people misheard it as "Foster the People." Eventually, he took to the nurturing image it evoked of "taking care" of the people, so the name stuck.
NPR credits their rise to fame to getting play on The Hype Machine and performances at South by Southwest.
The band was named in a lawsuit filed by Brandon Dorsky on May 24, 2011 for breach of contract and other causes of action. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount in July 2011.
The band is best known for their song "Pumped Up Kicks", which reached number one on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart, number 3 on the Rock Songs tally and number 46 (thus far) on the Billboard Hot 100.