SUCCESS: Members of Walk The Moon smile for the cameras. Photo by Sarah Mickelson/Neon Tommy
By Geoffrey Rowlands
So, what happened to the face paint?
“It kind of got left out,” laughed Nicholas Petricca, lead singer, keyboardist and founder member of Cincinnati-based indie pop quartet Walk The Moon. “We still wear the face paint in our live shows but it didn’t seem appropriate for the Shut Up and Dance video.”
The 1980s-style video accompanies what has become Walk The Moon’s breakthrough hit. The music and lyrics were also inspired by songs from 30 years ago but the title is a direct quote from Nicholas’ girlfriend.
“We were in a club and I was complaining about the time it took to get served at the bar when she just said ‘Shut up and dance with me.’ Her words stuck in my mind so I used these and my feelings about her to write the song.”
Nicholas formed Walk The Moon in 2008 but not with the current line-up. Early problems saw musicians come and go but guitarist Eli Maiman, drummer Sean Waugaman and bassist Kevin Ray have been Nicholas’ bandmates since 2010.
An EP, “The Anthem,” was independently released in 2008 followed two years later by an album, “I Want! I Want!” Although Walk The Moon built a following on America’s indie pop circuit, it wasn’t until the band signed to major label RCA Records that things really started to happen.
Their self-titled first album for RCA reached number 36 on the Billboard 200. It spawned what several publications described as “the song of summer” in their single, Anna Sun.
“I’d written the song with Nick Lerangis,” Nicholas explained. “He used to be in Walk The Moon but went off to be a singer/songwriter in New York.
“We were in our final year at university and wanted to create a song which summed up the feeling of being young and pretty much carefree before facing the responsibilities of life after college. Although the song isn’t about Anna Sun, she was our most popular professor in college so it’s a kind of tribute to her.”
Anna Sun was one of those tracks originally on “I Want! I Want!” which the band re-recorded for their RCA debut album. Despite those “song of summer” recommendations, it failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 though it did make the top ten on the Alternative Songs chart and the top 20 on the Hot Rock Songs chart.
“It was also a minor hit in the UK,” Nicholas added. “Our music does seem to be appreciated in Britain. We were the only American band invited to appear at a UK festival a few years back.”
Their music is certainly appreciated in Britain at the moment. Shut Up and Dance has become a UK top five hit. This matches Walk The Moon’s Hot 100 success where it has thus far peaked at number four. The track has also topped the Rock Airplay, Adult Top 40 and Hot Rock Songs charts.
Their new album, “Talking Is Hard,” has also sold well. It reached number 14 in America and has just debuted at number 53 in Britain.
“It’s obviously great to have this success,” Nicholas smiled. “I guess our brand of fun, feel-good music has caught the public imagination.
“That idea of doing something for fun was how we got into using face paint during our concerts. Fans started wearing face paint at the shows. We actually brought supplies of paint for anyone who didn’t have their own.
“We love this kind of interactivity with our fans. We’re not superstars, we’re just a bunch of musical dorks who are grateful to those people who enjoy our music. It’s like the audience are part of the show and we’re all together in creating an experience for everyone to have a good time.”
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle after falling off stage during a recent concert in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Like an old school trouper for whom “the show must go on,” Dave was determined not to end the gig which had only progressed to the second song. First Aid staff at the Ullevi Stadium were able to relocate his ankle but bandages were not enough to hold it in place. A cast was needed to fix it securely.
Rather than Dave attend hospital, which was 20 minutes away, a cast was despatched to the stadium where it was subsequently fitted. In the meantime, he performed while sitting in a chair with his ailing ankle held in place by an emergency medical technician.
X-rays taken after the show revealed a broken fibula which required the surgical incision of six metal screws. The need for Dave’s leg to remain elevated has caused the cancellation of Foo Fighters concerts until further notice.
Although fans are naturally disappointed, they can wish Dave a speedy recovery by using Twitter to sign a virtual cast. Interested parties should visit www.signdavescast.com
Some of the messages can be viewed at www.signdavescast.com/signatures
As many tweets as possible will be printed on a physical cast which will be presented to Dave when he is back on his feet.
Foo Fighters’ latest album, “Sonic Highways,” is posted in full at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WaCU5Hm5b8
Swedish singer Robyn has teamed with keyboardist Markus Jagerstedt and producer Christian Falk to create a collaborative project named La Bagatelle Magique.
Sadly, Christian died last year during the process of creating their songs. He was just 52.
“I was badly affected by his death,” Robyn admitted. “Working on the songs without him was very difficult. I’ve never done anything like that before and hope never to do so again. In many ways though, Christian was still there with us. We had the songs on his computer so we knew how he wanted them to sound.”
A six-song mini album will be released in the near future but lead single, Love Is Free, can be heard now. Also featuring US rapper/singer Maluca, the song is posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=D73qvPTxIcg
English indie rock band Editors will release their as-yet-untitled fifth studio album later this year.
The video for lead single, No Harm, can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM4joaqNxf0
Editors offered fans a free download of the song. However, anyone clicking the link on the YouTube page is now taken to the band’s website where they see the video for newly released second single, Marching Orders.
If you would like to add No Harm to your collection, the track is available for free download from several sources. One of these is www.freemp3.us.com/en/mp3/editors_no_harm/
Eagles Of Death Metal
Jesse Hughes and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme have joined forces again to create their fourth studio album as Eagles Of Death Metal.
More than 20 guest musicians have contributed to Eagles Of Death Metal’s first three albums. Jesse and Josh have again been augmented by a host of their friends for the songs on “Zipper Down,” which is scheduled for release in October.
An audio posting of lead single, Complexity, can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_BXWy7_6ZM
Their previous albums are available to hear in full online. “Peace, Love, Death Metal” is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnx3Puy96Sc&list=PLBJv9ptpEZXQQ7EjvLtmS4mfe5N5j7GVx
“Death By Sexy” is posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SLeQIcQeEk&list=PLim6qEazVsKXLWDeKjz-L1lMsbT9gvyEE
“Heart On” can be heard at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWYwgMzgfrc&list=PLim6qEazVsKVpbAlZFzjcNlnx_AvtCIf_
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