INTERVIEW | WALK THE MOON
The band reflects on their massive growth and goals for the future as they head out on tour
"Face-paint is definitely still a key component to a WALK THE MOON show."
Listen to the alt-rock pop band and you wouldn't be surprised this is part of their live shows. They're bright, they're energetic, and their music makes you want to get up and dance in the way their biggest single, "Shut Up And Dance," certainly encourages. But there is more to the group than a good time. Over the years, they have explored the further depths of their writing capabilities. This process culminated in the release of their latest album this fall, What If Nothing. They continue to make great, award-winning tunes, and they continue to like each other, too.
Guitarist for the band Eli Maiman spoke with Popdust in anticipation of their upcoming UK tour about what he loves most about their new album and what he's looking forward to about heading out again on the road.
How did you guys start writing and recording music together?
Nick and Kevin have known each other basically since birth - their moms were best friends in college. Sean and Kevin grew up playing in bands together. Nick and I knew each other from playing around the Cincinnati music scene. In early 2011, the stars aligned and everybody came together, started touring, and basically haven't stopped since.
Your song, "Shut Up And Dance," was a major success. Were you guys surprised by the popularity of the track?
Absolutely! We had a feeling it was special when we wrote it, but we had no idea it would go on to be as big as it was. The song continues to surprise us.
Has this song, or any of your other singles, changed for you guys over the years? Do you still enjoy performing them?
We still love performing "Shut Up And Dance," "Anna Sun," "One Foot"… audiences do a great job of keeping things fresh. We always love playing those songs for people. We don't necessarily love practicing them, but performing is always enjoyable.
This past fall, you released your new album, What If Nothing. What was the writing and recording process of it like?
We loved making this record. We recorded it over the course of six months in Los Angeles, and got to work with Mike Elizondo (twenty-one pilots, Fiona Apple, Dr. Dre) and Mike Crossey (The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Foals), both of whom we had always dreamed of working with. A major difference between this record and previous ones is that we took some significant time off before we made it. A lot happened during this time… Kevin got married, Nick's father passed away… so there was a lot of life experience to draw from. I think, as a result, this record has a lot of personal stuff worked into it.
Have you any favorite tracks off the album?
"Press Restart," "All I Want," and "Kamikaze" are all definitely favorites of ours.
You guys are getting ready to head out on tour to the U.K. What are you most looking forward to with that?
We haven't been to a lot of these places in years, so we're super excited to finally be coming back. We're thrilled to be sharing new songs live with the fans. Also, fried bread with breakfast.
I first saw you guys perform in 2012 and remember fans sporting a lot of neon clothing and face paint, super energized for the show. How do you think your shows have changed/grown over the years?
Face-paint is definitely still a key component to a WALK THE MOON show. We love that it gives a visual representation to the community we've developed around the band. But whereas a 2012 WTM show might have been all upbeat tunes about sex, we have a much deeper, more varied discography at this point. So the shows these days definitely span a wider emotional spectrum.
What's coming up after the U.K. tour for you guys?
We're going to take a couple weeks off after the UK tour to recharge our batteries, then we're headed out on a massive tour of North America with Thirty Seconds to Mars. Hopefully, though, we'll be back in the EU/UK very soon!
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