Q&A: WALK THE MOON members
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 21:11
WALK THE MOON, a rock band based in Cincinnati, performed at the university on Monday night. Cady Zuvich, a features editor on the staff of The Review, had the chance to interview two band members, Eli Maiman and Kevin Ray, before the concert.
Cady Zuvich: How and when did the band form?
Eli Maiman: Nicholas Petrrica founded the band around 2008. He was going to school at Kenyon, a university north of Columbus. After his friends graduated, they all went their own ways, but Nick kept the band going and gathered this motley crew of individuals and included Nick, Sean and myself. We all got really lucky–the four of us all were really passionate about music and wanted to do music as a living. It’s rare to find people who share that passion and are willing to drop everything in their life to do it.
Kevin Ray: I love these guys. I think that’s the common denominator between the four of us, that there is no question that we will do this for the rest of our lives. It’s hard to find people that have the ability to do it and function in a group like this. We’re lucky to have gotten this far and hopefully we keep going.
CZ: For forthcoming albums, are you more focused on preserving your own sound or experimenting with new sounds?
EM: I think it’s just in the nature of an artist to progress and explore and try to find new ways of expressing yourself. We consume a variety of music–I think that will inevitably find its way into our new songs. We are playing three new songs relatively regularly in sets, and there are shades of Kings of Leon and shades of The Killers and 70s funk. It’s really all over the place. It’s important to us keep it within this realm of Walk the Moon, but I think there are always new territories to explore within that world.
KR: When we’re out touring, we’re listening to a lot of music than we did before–we have a lot of ‘headphone’ time. Just consuming large amounts of new music is changing our music without us trying to have to.
EM: We’re curious and we have terrible ADD, so anything could happen.
CZ:What are some of the bands you’re listening to now?
EM: The new Milo Green record is really great. We were home for a week, and it was the only CD in my car, so I listened to it all week. We’re also going out with a band called Family of the Year from Los Angeles who are really cool and kind of in that same vein.
KR: There is kind of this family of 10 or 15 of these indie bands that are meeting each other and interweaving, like us, Imagine Dragons, Grouplove, Young the Giant and Cage the Elephant. All these bands seem to get together, especially during this summer. We’re really looking forward to this summer and meeting up with everyone.
CZ: How did the face painting at shows originate?
KR: The face paint originally came from the “Anna Sun” music video. We were kind of throwing around “The Lost Boys,” “Hook” type thing. That’s the vibe we had going into that and someone came up with the idea of face paint–like you’re going into battle. It was really fun doing it, so when we premiered the video in Cincinnati, we had a party and paint was a big part of that party. It was a fun way to interact with people who were seeing the video for the first time or maybe hearing us for the first time. That just carried over to live shows–people started showing up with paint and we would bring paint. It became a good way to go out in the audience and interact with people beforehand. As we go on, it is what it is. It’s a very organic thing to let it happen.
CZ: How much does The Police influence your music?
EM: The Police influence is a little more subtle than our other influences. The Police have this playful, mysterious quality that we really want to draw from and that’s much more apparent than any actual musical influence.
CZ: How much of your own college experiences is put in your album?
EM: I think where the struggle is, the conflict in the narrative that is Walk the Moon is this territory that exists between youth and adulthood and for a lot of people, I think that happens during college or near the end of college and struggling to become responsible and grow up while maintaining a sense of fun and playfulness and not letting growing up mean growing cold. I think that’s a frequent theme on the album.
KR: I think if you basically read the back of the VHS tape of “Hook” that is probably a good description of it. It seems that story of wanting to stay in Neverland and be youthful but realizing you have to grow up but maintaining that sense of youth.
CZ: What is the non-stop touring lifestyle like?
KR: We’re lucky to have the support of our friends, families, loved ones and girlfriends. That’s the biggest thing. We get home for a couple days with just enough time to do laundry and then we’re on the road for three weeks or six weeks. I think it’s easier than I thought it would be because everyone is so supportive. It would be really tough in an environment where I didn’t have that kind of support.
CZ: What is your favorite part of touring?