Ohio is the origin of the hotdog, Marilyn Manson, and the first professional baseball team, but now there’s something new the Buckeye State has to offer the world— indie/pop/rock band Walk The Moon, whose music is capable of making even the grumpiest of gills wanna dance.
We were lucky enough to speak with Eli Maiman, Walk The Moon’s guitarist and background vocalist, over the phone for an interview. And you know what? He’s a pretty rad dude.
The Correspondence: Walk the Moon’s music has been described to be “as bright and colorful as an American Apparel window display.” A lot of it is driven by the punchy, upbeat guitar throughout the album. What kind of music did you play or listen to growing up, and did that influence the guitar sounds on this album at all?
Eli: Well, as a guitarist, you have to go through the phase where you listen to a lot of stuff like the Beatles, you know… Metallica, Pink Floyd… I listened to a lot of different stuff, and there’s a lot of different influences— I’m not sure exactly where the sounds from the album came from. (Vocalist Nicholas Petricca cites The Talking Heads and The Police as his main influences.)
The Correspondence: There’s an obvious pop/dance element to your music. Are you or any of your band members good dancers?
Eli: *Laughs* Yes, we’re all unbelievable (said jokingly). Sean, our drummer, is the most shy, but we’re all amazing.
The Correspondence: The new Tightrope EP is coming out January 22nd. What’s your favorite song off of it?
Eli: Yea we’re all excited about Tightrope, which was the second single, and we’re excited about the new stuff. I really like Tête–À–Tête, we’ve been playing it live and I’m really happy to have a recorded version of it. We recorded it back in December in LA with Mark Needham, who we really admire.
The Correspondence: We can’t wait to hear it! Your guys’ tour schedule this past year has been pretty packed. Are there any crazy stories from being on the road that you care to share?
Eli: (There’s a pause as he laughs and confers with people—possibly his bandmates—in the background.) There’s a lot of crazy things, but… we usually try to keep it between the guys. I will tell you—in Europe last year, Sean managed to lose his cellphone, wallet, glasses, keys, and every pair of pants he owns.
The Correspondence: *Laughs* Who’s the wildest one of the band?
Eli: The funny thing is, Kevin doesn’t drink. But even when the rest of us have had a little too much to drink and Kevin is completely sober, he manages to outdo all of us. Somehow he ends up being the wildest and the one who has the most fun. Maybe it has to do with being around the rest of us when [we’re drinking and having a good time?]
The Correspondence: That is interesting!
Eli: It is, right?
The Correspondence: Well, Walk The Moon’s self-titled album was your first release with RCA Records. However, you guys originally self-released an album called I Want! I Want! back in 2010. What do you think of the rise of musicians who choose to find success without a label, like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? What do you think of being a signed band?
Eli: You know, we’re really proud of what we accomplished as a band, with releasing “I Want! I Want! ourselves and doing it on our own, but there was a lot of other stuff not music-related, like management and advertising and all that, that took up our time. We’ve had a great experience with RCA; we can play more music now, we’ve been writing more, we’re enjoying it a lot more… there’s less for us to worry about. It was worth signing.
The Correspondence: So now you can focus more on the music and not worry about all that other crap.
Eli: Yes, that’s exactly it.
The Correspondence: What are you listening to currently?
Eli: There’s a band called Why?—they’re a Cincinnati band— I’ve been listening their new album a lot. Also a band called twenty|one|pilots, they’re from Columbus, they’ve been getting pretty big. You guys should check them out.
The Correspondence: We actually have heard of twenty|one|pilots! They’re pretty popular around here. Now back to your guys’ music, the hit song Anna Sun has been described by Nicholas (Walk The Moon’s main vocalist) as a song that is meant to capture the sense of feeling young, like being in college. The Correspondence is mostly run by college kids, so we can relate. A question that us college kids would be interested to know is— what is your favorite brand of beer?
Eli: *Laughs* You know… we’re all pretty partial. There’s a brewery called Bell’s in Michigan, and they make a two hearted ale, it’s an IPA.
The Correspondence: Hmmm, alright! Is there a motto you live by or having been living by since reaching success?
Eli: Uhh… not really a motto… we try not to overthink anything or get inside our heads, we just try to live life and enjoy one day at a time.
If you’re in the Philly area, on February 1st Walk The Moon will be headlining at the TLA on South Street. Expect lots of face paint; they rarely perform without it.
Interview by Sam Pita & Marisa Konopka
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