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Article by marlanido posted over a year ago
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Q: "Pumped Up Kicks" sounds like a laidback pop song. How many people do you think realize it's about a homicidal school kid?

A: I think there's an irony in it, undercutting something that is so breezy on first listen with something that is so serious. If I wrote those lyrics over a dark ballad it would just be depressing.

Q: It only took me about 15 listens to actually hear the words.

A: I love it when that happens. It's happened to me so many songs. I remember when I heard Jeff Buckley's "Grace," on first listen I just thought it was such a great song. But then lyrics started popping out at me as I listened to it over and over and I realized he's talking about dying and drowning. And he actually drowned. I started crying in my car: "He predicted his own death!" It was amazing.

Q: Is "Pumped Up Kicks" based on any kind of personal experience?

A: It came from being burdened about where the youth of this country has been headed over the past few years. More and more young kids that are not even old enough to drive a car are making very adult, very bad decisions. I wanted to start dissecting that. It's like Truman...