Sean Waugaman, Kevin Ray, Eli Maiman, Nicholas Petricca of Walk The Moon
Talking is hard.
But it becomes surprisingly easy when you’re in front of four-man band Walk The Moon. About to start their three-day tour, Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Eli Maiman and Sean Waugaman have got enough millennial swag to rock their newly dyed ‘dos, and go gaga in their first Manila show happening later tonight in Alabang Town Center at 7 p.m.
So before they unleash the crazy, the band sat down to answer a few breezy q’s—with Preen asking some of the most important questions. (At least, we think we did.)
“Shut Up and Dance” almost didn’t make it to the album.What changed your minds?
Nicholas Petricca (NP): We [did] most of our writing in this house in Kentucky. But after that point, our team asked us to write a little bit more and I’m really glad they did ‘cause in those extra writing sessions we had in LA, that’s where we wrote “Shut Up and Dance.”
That’s when we were out in a club. There was this girl there in a backless dress and beat-up red sneakers and she actually told me to shut up and dance with her. It was based on a true story. What would’ve happened if we weren’t in California?
“Shut Up and Dance” is a fun, energetic video that you looked like you enjoyed doing as well. Could you tell us which part you loved filming most when making it?
Kevin Ray (KR): Oh, I know the answer to that right away. My favorite part was the improvised part of our good friend, Eli. We were filming a Tinder kiss moment between Nick and the girl. Eli, out of nowhere, post-Nick kiss, decided to hit me and kiss me. At the moment, it was great. We all laughed, it was hilarious. But when we got up, the director said, “That’s great! Let’s do it again!” And again and again and again.
How about you, Eli and Nicholas?
Eli Maiman (EM): That’s a good one. But my favorite wasn’t in the music video. They put Kevin and I in green screen suits that were skintight, green suits with hoods, which showed everything. All of these pretty girls were around. We felt like a dog that got shaved or something. And then we ended up not using it, you know? The shot was there, but you can’t see us at all. But there were photos—they’re in my private collection.
You once said in a Rolling Stone interview that your recent album is inspired by the kookiest musicians. What’s the importance of being crazy over an art like music?
NP: We respect so many artists who aren’t afraid to be crazy, kooky, and weird because we all have that in us somewhere. We’re all our own goofballs, nerds, or whatever you want to call it. Every person has that weird quality to them. That’s also their passion and enthusiasm, you know? So those artists who have been creative have also been courageous.
KR: It’s the weird stuff that breaks the mold, and inspires people to do what they want to do. That’s how we became who we are.
EM: Not everyone should be weird and be in bright colors and with bright hair, though. (Laughs)
You’ve been very vocal about being inspired by the ’80s. What ’80s thing do you wish to revive in this day and age?
NP: Besides shoulder pads and mullets?
EM: I’ve got an answer. It’s the guitar solo. There are so many great guitar solos in ’80s music that we lost in touch with. And in a lot of today’s music, if there’s a guitar solo, it’s just a reinstatement of the melody. We lost connection with the great, epic, melodic guitar solo and I would love to see the return of that in today’s music. I know, it’s a very guitar player answer.
KR: I agree. The guitar solo was even the reason why I wanted to play guitar. Somebody told me I could be the most famous person in the world—if I played bass.
Walk The Moon Live in Manila is the three-day, Philippine leg of their “Talking is Hard” tour. The shows start tonight at 7 p.m. at Alabang Town Center. Catch them in other venues in the metro till Aug. 20. For more information, visit their website.