Walk the Moon
|Walk the Moon|
Left to right: Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, Nicholas Petricca, Eli Maiman
Walk the Moon (often stylized as WALK THE MOON) is an American rock band formed and based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lead singer Nicholas Petricca started the band in 2006, while a student at Kenyon College and went through several member changes before finally coming together with current members Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, and Eli Maiman in 2010.
The band's name is derived from the song "Walking on the Moon" by The Police. The group independently released their debut studio album, I Want! I Want!, in November 2010, receiving airplay for the track "Anna Sun" on multiple Alternative radio stations.
In February 2011, Walk the Moon signed with Mick Management. They signed to RCA Records and released their first major label studio album, their second overall, the self-titled Walk the Moon, in June 2012. It is composed of many of their original tracks from I Want! I Want! as well as new tracks that were written specifically for the album and were meant to reflect the kind of energy the band produced in their live shows.
In December 2014, the band released their second major-label studio album, Talking Is Hard. This album includes their biggest hit to date, "Shut Up and Dance," which peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the Billboard Rock Songs chart and Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
SPIN Magazine described them as a "poppy, art-rock quartet". They were also deemed a Nylon Magazine Band Crush for their "swirly pop beats, infectious guitar riffs, and loud, sing-a-long choruses."
"Anna Sun" was named the song of the summer in a 2011 Esquire article "30 Summer Songs Every Man Should Listen To". Written by Petricca and New York singer/songwriter Nick Lerangis towards the end of their college career, the song is named after their professor (see here and here) from Kenyon College and is meant to symbolize youth. "It's about college, about maintaining that little bit of being a kid," Petricca said. "Don't be afraid to play."
The band's self-released album I Want! I Want! was recorded by Chris Schmidt and Ben Cochran at Soap Floats Recording Studio in their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Filmed in 2011 in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, the "Anna Sun" music video was released to coincide with the disc. The video was shot on-location at the Cincinnati Mockbee building, as well as Petricca's own home. It was directed and produced by Patrick Meier of the Cincinnati company, Contrast Productions, and features original choreography from Kim Popa of PONES Inc., as well as a cast full of the band's friends and locals from Cincinnati. MTV Hive calls the video a "hilariously choreographed, neon-colored and awesomely shot in one take" production.
"Anna Sun" was added to the video rotation of American Eagle Outfitters stores in May 2011. It was featured on the hit TV show Vampire Diaries in the first episode of season three. It was also the free single of the week on iTunes for the week of May 15. It was also named song of the summer by MTV and Seventeen Mag as well as one of the top songs of the year by Amazon. It has been officially remixed by Fool's Gold and by Trouble Productions. It also rose to the number one spot on Alt. Nation on Sirius XM Radio. Along with the success of Anna Sun, Alt. Nation named them a band you need to know for the Summer of 2012.
2012–13: Walk the Moon
Before the release of their self-titled album, Walk the Moon joined many other performers at the Music Midtown festival and performed on the Great Southeast Music Hall Stage in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2011. In the spring 2011, the band went on a short tour with the west coast band, Grouplove, as well as supported Panic! At the Disco and Weezer on select dates. The band played on the main stage at the 20th Anniversary of Lollapalooza and also supported Local Natives in an Official Lollaplooza Aftershow at Lincoln Hall.
In 2011, the band members began to paint their faces for live performances and they would bring enough paint to share with audience members. They have claimed it has become a “live tradition”. Bonnaroo’s camera crew documented the painting process in a short video from the 2011 festival. Preceding the release of their album, RCA put the band on tour with Young the Giant and Kaiser Chiefs, as well as released a three-song sampler, Anna Sun EP, in January 2012. The band played at the Sasquatch Music Festival and Firefly Music Festival.
The band’s self-titled major label debut Walk the Moon was released on June 19, 2012, the same day that the band appeared on the Late Show with Dave Letterman. The band has also appeared on Conan on July 18, 2012, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on April 5, 2012, and Last Call with Carson Daly back in 2011.
On June 27, 2012, the band joined many other performers at Summerfest Music Festival and performed on the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage. Also in 2012, Walk the Moon played in the iTunes Festival in London, appeared in KROQ's Weenie Roast 2012, and was the supporting act for Fun on their European tour.
Their song “Quesadilla” was added to the official FIFA 13 soundtrack and their second single, “Tightrope” was used in a commercial for the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook laptop. Lead singer Petricca also appeared on the song "Finale" by Madeon, which also appeared on the FIFA 13 soundtrack.
2014–present: Talking Is Hard
On September 9, 2014, Walk the Moon released the single "Shut Up and Dance" in advance of their new album. Over the course of October 2014, the band released a series of pictures and videos on their Facebook page that hinted at the album's title. The title was officially revealed to be Talking Is Hard on October 29, 2014, with a release date set for December 2. On November 10, 2014, the band released the cover artwork and song listing for Talking is Hard. On November 17, 2014, they released "Different Colors" as the second single off the album. On November 24, 2014, the album was surprise released on Spotify a week before its set release date. On December 2, 2014 the album was released in digital, CD, and vinyl formats. The album also charted at number 26 on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release.
On November 16, 2015, the group sang the national anthem, preceding a Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans, which was played at Paul Brown Stadium in their native Cincinnati.
The band performed their breakout hit "Shut Up and Dance", which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, live at the 43rd Annual American Music Awards (AMA) on November 22, 2015. They were first-time AMA nominees for:
- New Artist of the Year
- Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group
- Favorite Artist - Alternative Rock
The band's competition for New Artist of the Year included, Sam Hunt (winner), Fetty Wap, Tove Lo and The Weeknd. For Favorite Pop/Rock Band the competition was One Direction (winner) and Maroon 5. The other finalists for the Favorite Alternative Rock award were Fall Out Boy (winner) and Hozier. The band's live performance at the 2015 AMAs can be seen here.
On January 1, 2016, they performed "Shut Up and Dance" and "Work This Body" on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve in New York to honor the New Year. The band is also featured on The Knocks' song titled "Best For Last" which was released on their debut album, entitled "55". The album was released on March 4, 2016, under the label Big Beat Records.
- Studio albums
Awards and nominations
|2015||Teen Choice Awards||"Shut Up and Dance"||Choice Music: Party Song||Nominated|||
|MTV Video Music Award||Best Rock Video||Nominated|||
|American Music Award||Themselves||New Artist of the Year||Nominated|||
|Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group||Nominated|||
|Favorite Artist -
|2016||iHeartRadio Music Awards||"Shut Up and Dance"||Song of the Year||Nominated|||
Song of the Year
|Themselves||Best Duo/Group of the Year||Nominated|||
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Themselves||Favorite New Artist||Nominated|||
|Billboard Music Award||Themselves||Top Radio Song||Won|||
|"Shut Up and Dance"||Top Rock Song||Won|||
|Themselves||Top Rock Artist||Nominated|||
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