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Passion Pit: Don't Call Them EDM

In a world of people seeking salvation in the beat, Passion Pit is a messiah. These Boston-based kings of indie sound give rockers something to chew on, and techno kids get the electro vibes they crave. The result is simple: Everyone dances to Passion Pit. Having graced us with its onstage glory at SunFest 2012, the band is back, but this time it's taking the top spot at the inaugural Coastline Festival.

In response to recent tour date cancellations, lead singer and singular songwriter Michael Angelakos released a lengthy explanation to the media, including some talk on his current mental state of affairs. But don't worry. It won't prevent Passion Pit from warming up West Palm with sweaty, anthemic jams.

We chatted with keyboardist Ian Hultquist, who assured us the show must go on. And we learned something important from him. Call it fun, call it alone-in-my-apartment dance-worthy. But whatever you do, don't call Passion Pit EDM.

See also: Best Concerts of 2012: Passion Pit at SunFest in West Palm Beach

New Times: What kind of impact did the Boston area have on the band coming together and creating its sound?

Ian Hultquist: None of us actually grew up in Boston. But we were all between Berklee College of Music and Emerson, and we were kind of in the music scene where you play in different bands together in different situations.

And I think when Passion Pit started, it was a mix. There was a really cool DJ scene that was starting up there. And then at the same time, there was also a really good indie-band scene that was happening that a lot of us were part of. We kind of mixed the two together. There was dance-y, electro music, but then we played it like an indie-rock band at the same time. I think that was one of the things that made people around us take notice of us.

Your music has electronic tones and feelings. Do you guys consider yourself EDM?

No, not at all. We actually prefer to not be put in that category. And we play a lot of festivals that have a lot of EDM artists, and we think it is kind of a strange mix-up. It's really not the music we play -- it's a very different thing.

Do you have a special memory of South Florida?

I can't remember if it was in West Palm Beach or Miami or somewhere, but we were touring with Wild Belle there last year, and I remember we all went running into the ocean very, very late at night. It was stupid dangerous but very fun.

You have canceled some shows recently. A statement went out to the fans from Michael about why. Do you think that is the end of cancellations for a while, or should we be a little bit worried?

No, not at all. I think the whole reason that Michael wrote that post about why bands have to cancel shows was because we wanted to show that maybe because one part of the country was canceled doesn't mean the whole tour is going under.

There are tons of reasons why something might get canceled. I think it was just his little insight into why things go wrong every once in a while, because there are so many different factors and so many different elements that are happening. It's a tough thing to put a whole show together. There are a multitude of reasons why one might not happen at some point, aside from the band being ill.

Tell me about the latest recording. Has your process changed with each album?

The only way that it's really changed is that Michael now goes to a studio and works with a producer instead of sitting in his bedroom. It's still him running the show on that and putting the songs together himself. So in that regard, it really hasn't changed too much.

Passion Pit. Coastline Festival with Matt and Kim, Two Door Cinema Club, Surfer Blood, and others. 1 p.m., Sunday, November 10, at Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $25 to $55 plus fees. Call 561-795-8883, or visit coastlinefestival.com.

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