Walk the Moon grant us a peek at life as a world-touring band
Walk The Moon’s front-man Nicholas Petricca and guitarist Eli Maiman sat down with The Upcoming to discuss touring, song writing and David Bowie.
How’s the European tour going?
NP: London’s definitely been the biggest show. It’s great playing a venue like The Scala – you can see faces, great sound, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. We’ve played a couple of cities we’d never been to before: Leeds, Bristol, which is always a good time.
EM: We’re new here, so everything feels different to us. This is the first run where we’ve been here and seen people singing along to every word. It’s really cool. We were here last fall with FUN, which was a great opportunity for us to get in front of a lot of new people.
A lot of venues in the states are the same: a big square room with a bar in it. We’ve played some bizarre places over here, maybe because there’s more history. In Bristol we played The Thekla, a venue in the hull of a boat. That was awesome! Also there are a lot more stairs we’re hauling shit up!
But that builds character, right?
NP: It builds anger!
Which you can bring out onstage! Who influences your stage performance?
NP: We love Stop Making Sense, the live DVD and documentary of The Talking Heads. He’s wobbling around in his oversized suit, and they just have a lot of presence and a lot of personality onstage.
EM: St Vincent – she did a record with David Byrne; she’s got this really weird “cute robot” stage presence, this weird walk where she’s trying to play guitar. I think the people we admire onstage are the people who aren’t afraid to get free and maybe scare themselves a little bit.
NP: One of our goals as performers is to get out of our heads and into the moment, and just kind of break free from the restraints of modern life.
You use a stand drum in your live show, was that inspired by FUN?
NP: We’ve been doing that for years. We invented that!
Who are your British influences?
NP: The Police, ELO, David Bowie…
Do you like Bowie’s new music?
NP: I just listened to Stars last night. Like a lot of his stuff, I need to listen to it about ten more times, but you know it’s got his aura!
Do you think you’d be the same band if you weren’t from Ohio?
NP: Who can ever say? But we’re all really proud to be from Ohio, and to continue to be from Ohio. We never moved, we’re still based there.
Is there a scene?
EM: It’s very self-sustaining – there’s a great variety of artists doing music and recording, and art and fashion and food, all happening in Cincinnati right now.
How does the band function in terms of song writing?
NP: The band started as my baby for a long time; I kind of dived in from the beginning. We continue to write songs differently every time, sometimes it starts with a riff in rehearsal, sometimes Eli and I will work on something, then bring it to the group. I still write all the lyrics.
What’s the next step?
NP: We’ve been writing new stuff. This summer we’re going to keep writing – we’ve got some time dedicated to it actually, which is rare.
Do you have any dream producers you would particularly like to work with?
NP: There are names like Steve Lillywhite, that would be incredible… who doesn’t want to work with Brian Eno?
EM: Danger Mouse. We’d do two records: a rock record and a club hit record!
Have you enjoyed playing in the UK? Are you coming back for more?
NP: It has been a treat to spend time with fans here, and play more and more shows. We’re coming back in April, we’re going to do some dates with P!nk.
EM: We’re doing four nights at the O2 in London. It’ll be a new experience. You’ve got to think when you’re hitting 15,000 people a night someone’s going to like it! Even if there are only four people and we sell records to those guys, it’ll be worth it.
Finally, if you were going to walk the moon, what song would you want playing as you ascended into the sky?
NP: I have this thing with Bob Marley where I could just listen to him on repeat all day long for the rest of time, so I think Get Up, Stand Up would be a great one to slowly bounce to across the surface of the moon.
EM: I would listen to an Iron and Wine record, because I think an acoustic guitar in space would be so damn weird.
Photos: Neon Tommy
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