This Thursday December the 12th, Burlington quintet Walk off the Earth are playing an all ages show in Toronto at Sound Academy (tickets). The multi-talented group who are known for their energetic shows are going to “make it crazy” for Toronto tomorrow night. Before they hit the stage, I had a chat with Walk off the Earth’s Ryan Marshall yesterday to ask about success, album number four, their covers, and an ever-growing fan base. Here’s what he had to say:
AMBY: I just wanted to start off by asking what’s the band been up to lately? I saw a photo of you all enjoying the cold the other day.
Walk off the Earth: [laughs] That was pretty funny. I mean, what else are you going to do? It’s freezing cold. We were like sausages.
Walk off the Earth: We were lucky enough to be down in L.A. for a couple of weeks because we are working on writing and recording the next album. So that’s pretty exciting. We have a tour coming up, a North American tour, which goes all the way up and down the east and west coast, through the states, we also have a couple of Ontario shows in there. We’re working on a new set to try and blow the fans away.
AMBY: I read on your Facebook page that you kick off your World Tour this Thursday in, what you’ve stated is “the best city of all time”, Toronto. What are you most looking forward to regarding the upcoming tour?
Walk off the Earth: You’re right. We play the Edgefest Christmas show. It’s big for us; all of us have always been big fans of The Edge and we’ve listened to them our whole lives. We were lucky enough to be part of the CASBY Awards this year, and this is our first Edge Christmas that we’ve down. It’s exciting for us because it’s our hometown and all your friends get to come out and your family gets to come out. And, it’s at the Sound Academy which is like 2, 500 people. You know, it’s just fun. We like to go a bit overboard with the show when it’s hometown because we like putting on a good show. Our show, I don’t know if this comes off the wrong way, but we like to make it fun for us. We figure if it’s fun for us, then for sure it’s going to be fun for the fans. We just kind of make it crazy. And, I think we’re bringing in snow.
AMBY: Snow? [laughs]
Walk off the Earth: Snow to the show. It’s going to be over the top.
AMBY: Fantastic. And as far as playing live goes, which songs are your favourite to play?
Walk off the Earth: Red Hands... Probably, you know? Any song where the fans know every word and they sing it out loud are always the most fun; the energy of the crowd kind of just goes right through you.
AMBY: I noticed earlier that Red Hands has had over eight million views. I have to say congratulations, that’s incredible.
Walk off the Earth: Thank you. We got lucky with that song— it took off. I think it came out at the right time and it resonated with a lot of people and had a really current sound which a lot of people took to.
AMBY: With the success of that track, how would you describe the meaning of success for yourselves as a band?
Walk off the Earth: Everything that’s happened to Walk off the Earth in the last two years has been humbling for sure. We’ve been through a lot over the last seven or eight years working our butts off and we got a good break. I think there’s a lot of really, really talented bands who don’t get that break. So, fortunately we got it and we had six or seven years behind us. We were able to keep moving from that break; we weren’t that band who broke with a cover song and you never heard of again. We had enough support to get Red Hands out there and the R.E.V.O. album has done really well. I think there’s a third single coming out in January, in Canada at least. The next album is being supported by Columbia. So, we can’t complain at all really.
AMBY: Well, congratulations. I wanted to bring up the fact that the band is known to have some amazing covers. Can we expect to hear any in the near future?
Walk off the Earth: Amazing covers [laughs]. Yea, I would hope so. Covers is something that we’re never going to stop doing— it’s just who we are. We love covering other people’s songs and making them our own. As far as if they are amazing, we have to leave that up to you guys to determine whether they are or not. We have a couple of old ones we’re going to do, along with a couple our fans have been requesting. You always have to kind of see what’s hot [laughs]. It’s really if it inspires you; if it’s a cool song that we hear a different way. It’s easy for us to do it if it inspires us. Sometimes people will say “hey, can you cover the Mumford and Sons song?” or Jack Johnson, or something like that… Sometimes those songs are too close to our style so it doesn’t have the same effect and it’s not as easy for it to become an “amazing” cover, per say. We were talking about doing maybe a country song or a heavy metal or grunge rock song.
AMBY: That would be pretty interesting.
Walk off the Earth: Yea, we’ll find something fun for sure.
AMBY: One of your covers was featured on your third studio record R.E.V.O., which was released back in March of this year. What are your thoughts on the album now that there’s been a few months to reflect on it?
Walk off the Earth: Like you said, Red Hands did really well as a first single and it came out at the right time. Gang of Rhythm followed it up pretty good; it was a really cool summer song. I believe Shake is going to be the next single in Canada. The album itself we were really happy with because it’s the first album we wrote with Sarah. And we weren’t concerned about it, but it’s always interesting when you write with new people because you don’t know which direction it’s going to go. One thing we try and not do is stick ourselves to a genre or a certain style. When we were working on R.E.V.O. we made sure of that; we let each song go whatever way it wanted to go and it was cool because the songs are very organic. Summer Vibe has the sound of a broom sweeping on the floor, and Gang of Rhythm we picked up boxes of nails and we dumped out nails on the floor and recorded those sounds instead of shakers and instead of tambourines. I think people don’t know that they are listening to nails dropping on the floor, but they think “that’s a cool sound” or “I’ve never heard that before”.
Walk off the Earth: As small as it might be, it gives the album its own life.
AMBY: Nw we’re at the last question of the interview. What’s something about Walk off the Earth that nobody knows yet?
Walk off the Earth: That they don’t know yet?
Walk off the Earth: The beard guy… listens to opera.
Thank you Walk off the Earth, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout