Foster The People Singer Wrote 'Pumped Up Kicks' To Inspire Mental Illness Conversation
Foster the People frontman Mark Foster wrote "Pumped Up Kicks" about the growing trend of mental illness among teenagers in a bid to create a conversation about the need for change.
Last week the group's popular song, about a mass shooting, was pulled from the airwaves after gunman Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, killing 20 young children and six adults before allegedly turning the weapon on himself.
Songwriter Foster agrees with the decision to yank the track out of respect for the victims, but he hopes the renewed attention on the tune's lyrics will lead to a greater good.
A statement from Foster to CNN.com, reads, "I wrote 'Pumped Up Kicks' when I began to read about the growing trend in teenage mental illness. I wanted to understand the psychology behind it because it was foreign to me. It was terrifying how mental illness among youth had skyrocketed in the last decade. I was scared to see where the pattern was headed if we didn't start changing the way we were bringing up the next generation... This song was written as a way to create ongoing dialog for an issue that was being talked about, but when it came to government intervention, was largely being ignored...
"Now, this topic is finally at the forefront of major discussion and will hopefully lead to some big changes in policy that will prevent these acts of violence from happening in the future. That being said, I respect people's decision to press pause. And if that becomes a catalyst for a bigger conversation that could lead to positive change moving forward, then I absolutely support it.
"My heart goes out to Newtown and anyone that's ever been affected directly or indirectly by gun violence. The only way we're going to be able to change this, is to raise a loud, booming, unified voice and not let politics get in the way of humanity. We're all neighbours and this is in our back yard. It's only going to stay there if we let it. Peace and love."