American band Walk the Moon, most famous for its catchy and dance-y hit “Shut Up And Dance,” is currently in Metro Manila for a series of live performances.
Invited by Ayala Malls, Walk the Moon has gone south to north in Metro Manila, first performing on Tuesday at Alabang Town Center and then UP Town Center on Wednesday. Today, the band will hold a show at TriNoma in Quezon City, and finally end their visit with back-to-back performances at Market! Market! and Glorietta Mall.
The band—composed of vocalist and keyboardist Nicholas Petricca, bassist Kevin Ray, guitarist Eli Maiman, and drummer Sean Waugaman—shared their excitement in finally being able to play for their Filipinos fans for the first time.
“For years now, we’ve gotten a lot of response from the Philippines on social media, on Twitter. To finally get here, we are really, really excited,” shared Maiman on Tuesday at a press conference at Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.
He added that on that very morning, he and his bandmates also asked their Filipino fans on “Twitterverse” what they want to hear from them. What they got in return was a “rain of response” of songs from their self-produced albums to their self-titled album, and even their latest album, Talking Is Hard.
“To see a fanbase that is so invested when you’ve never been to this country before—it’s really amazing,” he enthused.
Petricca added, “To the fans themselves, thank you so much for listening. We’ve befriended [Filipino] people over the Internet [who were]asking for us to come [here]. So it’s incredible to finally be here . . . We can’t wait to come back again and make the Philippines a part of our regular tour.”
Petricca formed Walk the Moon in 2008 when he was still a college student in his hometown of Cincinatti, Ohio. As lead singer and founder, he is the band stalwart with members having changed through the years. Maiman (guitar), Ray (bass) Waugaman (drums) who eventually stuck with him through thick and thin and became the band that fans know today.
In 2010, the four friends independently produced the band’s debut album I Want! I Want!, in which the iconic Walk the Moon song surfaced. Called “Anna Sun,” it was through that record that their infectious tunes and quirky attitude first became known to fans.
From being local stars in Ohio, the group signed up with RCA Records in 2012, which paved the way for their self-titled debut album. Walk the Moon then went on a series tours several years and in turn expanded their fanbase around the world.
By 2014, their latest album Talking is Hard came out, which carried their greatest hit yet, “Shut Up and Dance,” “Different Colors,” “Work This Body,” “Down in the Dumps,” “Portugal,” and “Aquaman,” among others.
Talking about their new album Petricca said, “It was a conscious decision to evolve and try something new and explore uncharted territories for us.”
According to the four, the album is a product of “six months of just writing and composing,” while they were tucked away at a Masonic Lodge for artists in Kentucky. But beyond experimenting on the sound, they also made sure to say something that mattered this time around.
“In the lyric side, we took the opportunity to say something that is really important to us [all],” Petricca explained, “[For example] the song “Different Colors” has a message of celebrating diversity—not just tolerating but celebrating each other’s differences—and coming together to effect positive change to the world.”
Indeed, Walk the Moon has come a long way since their early years in Ohio for they are nominated for Best Rock Video at the upcoming 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on August 30.
In response, Petricca said, “We still see ourselves as the underdogs. So it will be an experience for us to be on that red carpet with all the incredible celebrities and famous people. [We now have] a reason to be there and we’re part of it.”
For the rest of the guys, they recounted how they would only watch the VMAs before. Never did they dream the day would come that they would be “watched” at the highly anticipated music awards.
Before the awarding ceremonies, Walk the Moon will also perform at the pre-VMA show alongside Nick Jonas.
Before wrapping up their Philippine press conference, the group was asked for their advice to aspiring independent rock bands who aim for mainstream success.
“Something that is really crucial for us is that we didn’t wait for anyone to just come find us. We didn’t wait for some magical moment. We had no choice really but to just make our own record, book our gigs and go out to the world. That’s the best decision that we made. . . It’s only more important to take it upon yourselves [to do something]. No one’s going to do it for you,” Petricca ended.