Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Walk The Moon // Interview & Review, London Headline Show

Earlier this month we saw Walk The Moon playing arena shows with You Me At Six and All Time Low, but their headline London show brought the intimacy up a level. And we knew we would be in for a treat. 

We also caught up with the guys before the show to chat about the brand new album, getting angry and 'ragey' and didgeridoos...

So you guys are finally back on UK shores; you’ve been supporting All Time Low and You Me At Six. Have you had an amazing time?
Nicholas [Petricca: Lead Vocals] - It's been a while since we've been over here- 2013, because we've been in the studio, in a cave making our new record. It's an awesome way to be reintroduced to the country.

I've seen you guys play before, and I know you are very energetic live, did you have to adapt the live show at all because these have been arena shows? Do you still have the face paint?
Eli [Maiman: Guitar, Vocals] - We tend to only do the face paint for headline shows.
Nic - Yeah, I'll be wearing it tonight for sure. It's definitely a different performance whether it's in a club like tonight or a big arena. We've done it before with Pink, like two years ago, so we knew what we were getting ourselves into. It's always a challenge the further the crowd is away from you; you still have to connect. We welcome the challenge and love any situation where we're fighting for our lives [laughing]. 
Eli- We're enormously lucky that All Time Low and You Me At Six’s fans were super receptive and warm, and ready to clap and dance and sing along. 

Did you know either of the bands before the tour?
Kevin [Ray: Bass] - No, we didn’t actually, but after a couple of days it felt like we'd known them for years. 
Nic - We've been lucky enough to share the road with really generous folks right from the beginning and people who showed us how we want to treat our crew and other bands on the road. Not everyone is super friendly and nice but with these guys it just felt at home on the road. 

So you're finishing off your UK run with a special headline show this evening, and it's sold out; are you looking forward to it?
ALL - Wahoo!
Kevin - Nah, not really, not that fussed [laughing]. Yeah, now we can do what we do; people dancing along and knowing the words one last time before we come home.
Nic – I’ll be really interested to see who has stolen the record - who knows all the words [laughing] These kids nowadays have their sneaky ways. I wouldn't know how to rant [laughing]. 

Yes, I was going to ask about the fact that you will have a second release campaign over in the UK...
Nic -The discovery is a big part of coming over here, we were talking about this earlier. We still get to interact with people who are discovering our music for the first time and that's a pretty cool feeling. It's been out a while in the US, so it's nice to meet people who haven't heard anything yet. 
Eli - In the States it can get a little overwhelming at times, just like getting a cup of coffee, if you're trying to go near the venue. But here it's more relaxed.

So as you mentioned, the UK is having to wait for the album. We've heard the single, 'Shut Up + Dance'; is that a good indicator of the sound of the rest of the record?
Eli - What we ended up doing with this record is expanding the sound; there are more ferocious moments that have claws and teeth, and others that are more tender and vulnerable than ever before. I think that 'Shut Up + Dance' is straight up the middle and gives that spectrum. It's the gateway drug if you will [laughing]. Here's a spoiler- there's a didgeridoo for sure. 
Nic - Lyrically as well, 'Shut Up + Dance' is about being in the moment and getting out of your head and allowing yourself to have a good time. But we also try and blow out the barriers with our sound and lyrics as well, and take the opportunity to not just talk about the party, but we want to empower people. There're lyrics about climate change and quality and supporting the LGBT community. 

I feel like you guys are so positive...
Nic - Shamelessly positive [laughing] we're so happy. We're dorks. We get angry on this record too, a little ragey.

You recorded it in LA and were living out there for a few months; did the LA vibe and culture creep into the record as well?
Nic - We wrote a lot before, but a lot came together there that we couldn't have done beforehand. And we couldn’t have done it without our producer [Tim Pagnotta]. LA celebrates uniqueness and weirdness and strange characters and lots of people that come to this one place to be creative. And at the same time it's a place that's so chill and not as stressful as somewhere like New York. We did it in a little hideout in North Hollywood and we're stoked. 
Eli - Tim is a classic LA, California guy; super laid back, eats a lot of burritos and kept the vibe in the studio so it was positive and never let darkness creep in. I think that California informed Tim, and Tim informed the record in a huge way. 
Nic - Ambition; that's one way I would classify Tim and what we tried to bring to the record, really going for gold; how far can we take this until it's completely ridiculous and then reign it back in a little. Not being afraid of...oh wait, that was going to be a baseball analogy.
Eli - Kicking for the goal, doing the sports [laughing]. 

Brilliant football terminology there Eli! 

Finally, what else have you got coming up in the next few months? 
Eli - Well, as you know, the record's coming out on May 11th and so hopefully we'll be back here to see you all soon. That's after the big US tour. The focus is going to be taking the record as far as we can; taking music to the people. 

Here's what happened when Walk The Moon took to the stage...

Entering the stage to music from the The Lion King set the bar pretty high and we knew that the show this evening was going to be something special. We know Walk The Moon is renowned for putting on a show and by the looks of the crowd we aren't the only ones that think this. The sold out crowd is here early to check out Honours. The Londoners looked right at home on stage and were the perfect lead up to the Ohio four piece. Big room indie sounds ring out from Honours; they are a band to get very excited about right now and we see big things on the horizon. Huge melodies and powerful choruses are the backbone of Honours. Latest single 'Bulletproof' is anthemic and resounds out into the packed venue. We can't wait to catch an Honours headline set soon. 

And the rest of the evening was left for Walk The Moon to deliver their unique blend of indie-dance-pop. It's not a Walk The Moon show without a bit of face paint and they bring their famous finger paint to the stage in North London's The Dome. Kicking things off in style with fan favourite, 'Tightrope', it’s Walk The Moon down to a T; quirky, upbeat, infectious indie-pop. And, if that isn't a mouthful, well, the rest of the set is. It is a fun filled onslaught of upbeat melodies, synths, dancing and infectious choruses. Harmonies are flawless whilst lead singer Nick Petricca’s falsetto vocals are carried out perfectly and effortlessly. 

Their new album, 'Talking Is Hard' isn't out in the UK until 11th May but was released late last year in the US. And as the band joke that they will be able to tell who has had a sneaky illegal download, even those who don't fully know all the lyrics can't help but sing-a-long as the choruses are too tempting not to. New track 'Down In The Dumps" is filled with delicious synth rhythms whilst the quartet also throw in a cheeky and impressive cover of The Killers' 'All These Things I've Done'. New single, with a perfectly fitting 80's vibe, 'Shut Up and Dance', is the perfect kick start to get the crowd dancing, not that they need any encouragement; you don't get a dancier gig than a Walk The Moon show. 

They have a natural groove and funk, and the 80s vibe certainly doesn't stop there. Walk The Moon manage to harness the sound and essence of the 80s, bringing it right bang up to date. 'Aquaman', another new album track, filled with incredible instrumentals, is something straight out of a John Hughes’ movie. And of course it wouldn't be a Walk The Moon show without classic favourites, 'I Can Lift A Car' and 'Anna Sun'. And with that the night comes to a close but with rapturous applause and chants, the four piece is brought back on stage. "We want to test London's jumping ability" shouts Nick over the fervent crowd. And they don't need asking twice; they burst into motion as the band close out with the anthemic 'Jenny'. You could say that the entire crowd danced till they dropped, however I am pretty sure they could have kept going all night; them and the band!

If we weren't going to get the album before tonight, then after that performance we simply can't wait to get our hands on it. 9/10

Exclusive Walk The Moon photo set shot  in 2013 for Est.1987 by John Garon -