TAP Firefly Festival Interview: Walk The Moon

By Matt Arena

Minutes before their killer set at Firefly Festival we chatted with Walk The Moon’s Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Eli Maiman, and Sean Waugaman about the recording process on the new album, festival vibes, and their unofficial music videos.

You’ve had a pretty crazy couple of months, with TV performances and the album release.

Nick: The TV stuff’s been pretty surreal and we don’t get nervous for a lot of things but the TV stuff is pretty nuts. And you grow up watching bands on live TV and that’s definitely something to tell the grandkids.

With the new album you re-recorded a couple songs off your independent release, what was that selection process like?

Eli: It was kind of a collaborative process between us and Ben Allen, our producer. Really what we wanted to do was put together the ten songs that made the most sense together and created the most cohesive product and complete though. It was a painful process because we did record a few more songs beyond what you hear on the record. Ultimately we feel that we came up with a product we set out to make.

It definitely sounds a lot fuller, especially on ‘I Can Lift a Car’ and ‘Quesadilla,’ and much more cohesive to how these songs are played live. Was that an intentional sound or something you stumbled upon in recording?

Nick: One of the primary intentions going in to record this record was to represent what we do live, capture the live vibe and put it on a CD. If anything, that’s what we felt lacked from the independent record so with a producer and the studio at our disposal we really wanted to take advantage of that.

There are even a couple songs off that independent release that are still in the rotation live, are there any plans to release those?

Nick: It’s certainly a possibility to re-record those songs, yeah.

Eli: We actually did re-record ‘The Liftaway’ for the new record and we ended up wanting more out of the recording than what had gotten. It’s a tough song to record so who knows maybe we’ll keep trying till we get it right.

Nick and Eli from Walk The Moon (credit: Ken Grand-Pierre)

With the release of the album you did a series of videos for VEVO, how did that come about?

Kevin: We had been working with VEVO to come up with a unique way to premiere the album and since a lot of people discovered us through videos the idea was to keep doing that. It’s such a fun thing we enjoy doing ourselves and it’s a way that we can keep it in house. We used just my Go-Pro camera that I had and we didn’t have anybody edited it really; it was just us on the road. VEVO was like “just do a bunch of music videos for the songs,” which sounded like a great idea but we only had a week but I think what we came up with was a blast. It couldn’t have gone better I think.

There’s a vibe that you just kinda turned the camera on and let whatever happen. Almost like a mini-tour documentary in a way, would you ever consider something like that?

Kevin: Tour documentary seems like what’s going on all the time. It seems like now that the album’s out and we’re really going hard at radio, our lives are being documented in many different ways. But I don’t about an official tour documentary maybe there’s something there. I know that I keep a diary of our travels.

Eli: I think it’s worth mentioning that the tour documentary would have been a lot more interesting before we started doing well. Because we did a lot more partying and fun stuff back then. Now it’s a whole lot of work and seeing us in a different studio every day. So the documentary’s is getting worse and worse every day so maybe we should hop on that.

Kevin: A retroactive documentary.

Do you notice that festival sets go down better than standard gigs? You have a sound that plays well in festival environments

Sean: It depends on the gig. A tiny gig can be as fun as a giant festival gig where you’re playing for thousands of people. It’s really about the energy in the room and how much fun everybody’s having.

Kevin: I think what makes the festival vibe different is that all the festivalgoers are all connecting on this different level, like they’re all here to see music. Only to see music and hang out and meet people and enjoy music. There’s camping and multiple days, it’s almost like going to summer camp but you’re seeing concerts all day long. That’s different vibe and I think people maybe feel a little more open to see different music and discover new music if they’re at a festival.

Walk The Moon’s debut album is out now on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

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