How leaving the studio turned out to be a good thing for Walk the Moon – Orange County Register
When fans listen to Walk the Moon’s upcoming album “Heights,” band leader and founder Nicholas Petricca wants the music to remind them of what they love in life; what they like about themselves, their friends and their family; and that the record be part of their fond memories.
Yes, that’s an ambitious goal, but musically the band feels on top of the world right now.
“I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done,” Petricca said of the next album, which is due out on November 12th.
It’s also an album unlike any other the band has recorded.
That’s because last March, the Walk the Moon members were walking around like they’ve been for almost a decade, working in a studio and pretty much halfway through their fourth major album when the world stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So instead of finishing new songs that would make up the next album face to face in a studio, the ‘Shut Up and Dance’ hitmakers each returned home during the lockdown and completed the album separately via Zoom instead of face to face. face to face in a professional studio.
The group, originally from Cincinnati, are now back on the road for the Dream Plane tour in support of the new record, with dates at Wiltern in LA on October 12 and at the Santa Ana Observatory on October 15.
“It’s a bit strange and the tour is a bit different. Normally I would meet some fans after the show and some friends and family, but we keep it pretty tight, ”said Petricca.
“But other than that, it was absolutely electrifying. You can tell the public really needs these kinds of experiences, ”he added.
‘A little scary’
Formed in 2006, the group released their first independent album “I Want! I want! ”In 2010 before signing with RCA to release their first eponymous label in 2012.
But it was in 2014 with the release of “Talking Is Hard”, also via RCA, that the popularity of Walk the Moon catapulted with the anthem single “Shut Up and Dance”. This was followed by the 2017 “What if nothing?” “
The next “Heights” looks like “a homecoming” for the group, said Petricca.
“Walk the Moon was born out of this eternal youth, always chasing the kind of summer sun feeling in our music and I think we got a little bit away from that on our last album when we had to get a little darker.” , said the singer.
But having to squat at home to record the new album was something that blinded the musicians.
“We were literally in the studio as the news came through our phones and we heard about this thing for the first time, COVID-19,” Petricca said.
So the band decided to stop everything, go home and finish the album via Zoom. But they weren’t sure they could get away with it.
“It was a little scary. We didn’t know at the time if it would be possible for us to finish the album,” said Petricca. “But we basically pumped up our home studios and we did the last half on Zoom and we were able to recreate the studio experience, ”he added.
The band have already released five songs from the upcoming album, including a song called “Giants”, which turned out to be a turning point for the musicians.
“It was the first song we did that way, so there was that tension in the air while waiting for that raw first mix and we got it back and it sounded (expletive) huge and we were celebrating because we realized that wow, it really is possible and we can do it, ”said Petricca.
Another single, “Fire in Your House”, gave Petricca the chance to work with one of his musical heroes, Johnny Clegg. The late South African musician and his son, Jesse Clegg, co-wrote the song with Petricca in 2019 before the pandemic.
“On his last tour across the United States, they had a 24 hour window and we had a studio session and we wrote this song. It’s something I’ll never forget, ”said Petricca.
Beyond the recording process, other things are different for Walk the Moon, as the group is now a trio following the departure in December 2020 of bassist Kevin Ray.
At the time, Petricca posted a video on the group’s Instagram stating that the group had long been committed to creating a safe and welcoming place for their audiences and that Ray had acted “out of alignment” with these. values and was no longer a member of The Group.
The singer said he still didn’t go into details of what happened, but said things were going well as a trio with Sean Waugaman on drums and Eli Maiman on guitar.
“We are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and so in a way, that simplifies things. We were sort of four very different musical personalities and now we’re down to three. But really, in a way, I feel like we’re just going through that and letting everything propel us into the future, ”he said.
Maiman recorded the basslines for the album and even plays bass on some of the songs live, Petricca said.
“The show has evolved and taken a bit of a new shape and yes it was a tough time but we are excited for the future,” he said.
Walk on the moon
Los Angeles: 7:00 p.m. October 12. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd. $ 36. 213-388-1400 or wiltern.com. Tickets cost $ 36.
Santa Ana: October 15 at 7 p.m. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd. $ 40. 714-957-0600 or observatoryoc.com. Tickets cost $ 40.
COVID-19 Requirements: COVID-19 test negative within 72 hours of the event, or proof of full vaccination at least 14 days after the second injection. Unvaccinated people should wear a mask.