Releasing their first major album in 2012, rock band WALK THE MOON shot to fame in 2015 with the hit single “Shut Up and Dance” – which became a multi-platinum seller that broke records and was streamed almost a billion times. A rock band like no other, the addictive foursome from Ohio most recently released their third album “What If Nothing”, a collection of tracks each as infectious as the next. Before the band heads out on tour, we sat down with bassist, Kevin Ray, to talk memories, musical process and bringing boldness back to rock and roll.
It has got to be playing piano with my grandmother – she was a piano teacher for 40 years and the head of the women’s performing arts institution in the city that I grew up in. I used to sit there and bang on the keys as she tried to teach me “Hot Cross Buns” or “Twinkle Twinkle”. She definitely taught me to love music for the sake of music, not for any other reason.
There are so many. We all come from very diverse backgrounds, which is kind of a cliché but it makes us who we are. But we would all agree that there are a few albums that have had an impact on all of us as a band. One of them was the album “Merriweather Post Pavilion” by Animal Collective. That album early on informed a lot of what we did, production wise and vocally, and was very important to us.
That’s such a huge question!
The answer can be anything but in my opinion it’s honesty and truth. I think that a listener can very easily tap into honesty in a song and if it’s not there it’s like looking into someone’s eyes and realising they’re lying. People can do that with music too, and it falls flat if there’s no real experience there. You have to have a human element to music, because we all want to relate to it.
Well I think that hip-hop is getting brutally honest for the times that we live in, and I love that. I think that rock and roll is due another punk movement, it needs some boldness again. I think that rings true with our album too, we had to be more honest and disruptive on this album. We went through a lot as a band and came out the other side with a more back to basics, raw sound. And it feels good!
It comes from everywhere! It can be hard to create music but when it comes out naturally it’s best so we’re all very aware that inspiration can hit us at any time. All four of us have thousands of voice memos on our phones because of this!
It’s definitely important, perhaps more so than ever before. In rock and roll I think fashion came out of necessity – what people could afford or access. David Bowie could make an outfit out of anything, and the Ramones just wore their own clothes that became iconic. Nowadays with more access to fashion and how the Internet has connected us all it’s even more important for an artist to look the part. So many more people have eyes on the links between fashion and music so you have to be more aware of it – as a band we’re more in tune with our look than ever before and we’re getting more brave with it.