Passion Pit's Comedy of Manners

On one band's rocky road to perfect pop redemption and/or ruin

One low point occurred when the group took a two-day break for Thanksgiving and the band was due to fly back to Boston. When Angelakos reached LaGuardia Airport, he called Zane, frantic. He was about to be arrested because he didn't have enough money to pay his cab fare. "I had to pay $45 to get there, $45 to get back, plus Michael's $45," Zane recalls. "I want to say it's typical, because making records is always intense, but this was pretty extreme." One night, Zane says, he locked all the band members' cell phones and laptops in another room and had it out with them. "I remember saying, 'I'm about to kill you motherfuckers,' " he says. "They would go out and get wasted and come in to the studio hungover, stuff like that. But I eventually realized, they're 21—that's what they do. It's going to be fine."

And, of course, it was. Despite the trials of getting it done, no one involved with making Manners has a single regret, least of all Angelakos, who, by all accounts, has changed dramatically since the sessions started. "I'm not the most emotionally mature person I know, but that's what really fuels a lot of this record," he says. "This past year saw me in very difficult situations, and I dealt with them accordingly, but I'm self-aware enough to know my shortcomings." Asked to name one, he hardly hesitates: "I need to grow up."

Passion Pit play Bowery Ballroom June 19 and 20

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