Walk The Moon

I'€™ve been spending nights in rock clubs several nights a week for three years now and a band that I'€™ve seen truly go so far is about to drop their much anticipated self titled sophomore full length with that band being Walk The Moon. Our history with the band dates back to over a year ago and since then I'€™ve talked to them during their time opening for scene main stays like Fitz & The Tantrums to Kaiser Chiefs to Young The Giant but finally it'€™s their time to rock those same venues!

Our last interview took place while they were opening for Kaiser Chiefs in a thousand capacity venue and now with their album dropping the day after, they are about to headline that same venue less then three months later. While being an under the radar band for years with their viral hit '€˜Anna Sun'€™, the band is about to let their efforts shine and couldn'€™t possibly be in a better home for it. RCA has a great track record of signing bands that have developed a great indie following to then explode with their backing. I'€™m sure the names Kings of Leon and Hot Chelle Rae ring a bell? Walk The Moon I can promise you will be the next name to blow up.

For transcribing purposes, if you could just say your name, you don'€™t have to say what you do obviously but just in case I miss anything!
Nick: Yes! Nick Petriecca.
Sean:Sean Walkman.
Eli: Eli Brozeman.

So obviously since we'€™ve talked, you'€™ve put out the Anna Sun EP which had the new songs but is that what you guys are going to stick with for now? Are you going to do the full length?
Nick: Oh the EP is intended as kind of a teaser for the album. The album'€™s going to come out in May and yeah, everything is sort of pointing towards that release. We'€™re very excited about Anna Sun starting to hit the radio in June. It'€™s already kind of popping up just because nice radio stations have been supportive and we'€™ve been really grateful for that but yeah we'€™re going to hit it with radio and drop the album before the summer and see what we'€™re made of.
Eli: Hit you with everything we'€™ve got.
Sean: Bam!
Eli: Which is exactly an album (Everyone laughs). That'€™s it!
Huge things!

Then you finished the tour with Fitz which was a huge tour. Sold out show here in Boston with 2,500 people then you did Young The Giant who are obviously blowing up. Maybe what'€™s coming up in the next year for touring? Are you just going to keep on touring with this record coming out? Are you going to take like a little breather?
Sean: Yeah, pretty much the whole next year is just going to be touring. We'€™re going to probably do Europe a little bit. Hopefully do some festivals over there. But we are going to do some headlining stuff in the states.
Nick: Yeah as soon as the album comes out, we'€™re going to hit the road.
Hit the road running!
Nick: Doing some of our own stuff!

Then we talked a little bit about it before but obviously you signed to a major but you'€™ve been a band for a while. How do you think that'€™s affected the way you do things? Has it changed the way you guys are doing things? Like management wise?
Nick: I guess in certain ways it'€™s enabled us to do more because when you'€™re an indie band like us, all of the stuff that the label does, the manager does, you have to do yourself. So a lot of music time is spent doing business and so we have the privilege nowadays to do music and live in the van all the time.
Sean: Just changes the focus. It'€™s gone like 180 degrees. It just expands the music, pushes it much more then the business.
Nick: Yeah it allows us just to play, play, play. Which is great and really I mean as far as them affecting how we come across and how much what you see of us is us. I mean their sort of thing when they came to us is '€˜We don'€™t want to get in your way. We just want you and we just want to push you in front of people'€™. So we haven'€™t felt like misrepresented or anything it'€™s been great!
It'€™s the same label that'€™s had a lot of indie acts like that too, right? Like Hot Chelle Rae was indie for years before they went RCA.
Nick: Yeah and I mean Kings of Leon, although they were signed to RCA, they were very non-mainstream for a long time. The record that broke them was their something like fifth record so that'€™s certainly a big example of RCA kind of nurturing an artistic rock and roll band. That'€™s one of the things that attracted us.

Well, we did one in November so I think that'€™s all I have for you guys! Just a little short one!
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The Maine

I'€™ve seen this next band blossom and grow over the past two and half years that we'€™ve done interviews together and I couldn'€™t be prouder of the point they have gotten to today. That band is Arizona based The Maine and currently they are one of the biggest alternative names in the game. Besides the rocket to fame they have had, with our last interview happening at the huge space that House of Blues is in Boston (about a 2,500 capacity), they are consistently making moves with their music.

With three full length records under their belt since the band formed over five years ago, '€˜Pioneer'€™ is the latest one to be added to the family and quite possibly the effort the band is proudest of. Since the band formed and quickly signed only a few months into the band'€™s existence, this is the first release that hasn'€™t been on a label and they couldn'€™t be prouder of that accomplishment. The boys have been giving me the run down on the new record since it even hatched in their minds and currently are '€œinvisible'€ to their major label. Making this their first independent release this year, it is also the first effort that included no cowriters and was fully self produced by the talented band. Read on for our sixth interview, which is record breaking here at MusicRemedy.com, with Jared Monaco and Garrett Nickelsen of the band!

If you just want to introduce yourself to get started!
Garrett: Hi I'€™m Garrett Nickelsen and I play bass.
Jared: My name is Jared Monaco I play guitar.

Perfect! Then we have done interviews in the past with various members over time. This is like number five or something!
Garrett: Right on!
Since like the Boys Like Girls tour so maybe a softer one to start. This tour'€™s obviously a little bit different for you guys. Just different acts with you that people may not expect in a good way though because it goes really well with this new record. But how has it been with Lydia and The Arkells?
Jared: Amazing. Incredible.
Garrett: It'€™s nice to really appreciate all the music that is on the tour. It'€™s not a normal thing that happens when the kids like all the bands'€™ music. I mean I try to catch at least one song of both of them every night.
Jared: Yeah! The thing is is that we'€™re pretty much fans of these bands before this tour even started so it'€™s awesome to be able to watch them live every night and I think it'€™s a really cool vibe to the show. I think it flows really nicely and it'€™s a great mix of great music so it'€™s been awesome.

Then now '€˜Pioneer'€™ has been out for a few months. It came out I want to say right during that last US tour or right before. So maybe how has it been going over?
Jared: Awesome! Seems like on both tours, kids seem to be singing the new songs rather then like the old songs.
Oh really?
Jared: Yeah, it kind of helps because of what we went through to make the record happen and stuff. I think people who are fans of our music really like respect it and seem to love it a lot. We put our hearts and souls into it and it seems like they'€™re doing the same every night.
Garrett: Yeah, it'€™s been great.
Like they respect what you guys went through?
Garrett: Yeah our fans know the story and everything. They know how we kind of fought to make sure that we could put this album out and apart from that, they just seem really passionate and it'€™s great to see them action and get to play new material and they absorb it like that. It'€™s so overwhelming for me, so great.

And then I talked to Pat during the last tour when you guys were at Brighton (Music Hall) and he said at the time you guys were kind of being '€œinvisible'€ to Warner. I'€™m not sure if you'€™ve officially left or that'€™s a rough subject. I wanted to ask because a lot of bands are walking away like This Providence and The Cab.
Garrett: Yeah, we haven'€™t really had too much communication with them since the whole thing happened. As of right now, we'€™re not ready to record or anything yet, so we have no real need to talk to them. So I guess if you ask us in a few months, we'€™ll have a better answer (laughs). So you know we'€™re focused on this record right now and there not really doing anything for us so they'€™re not pushing it or anything. When we'€™re ready to do a new record, I think we'€™ll talk and see what happens from there. I hope that was a good answer.
You gave a great answer! Good job!
Garrett: I was hoping that would work.

Then obviously, you guys did this record by yourselves and you put it out yourselves. That'€™s becoming something really common these days. Big bands now kind of going more independent like you guys and The Cab doing '€™Symphony Soldier'€™. They left their label to put out that record.
Garret: Totally.
And like a lot of people are realizing maybe labels aren'€™t needed. The scene is kind of going back to DIY and doing it yourself. How is it maybe to go back to that? I mean you guys got signed pretty early on in your career as a band.
Garrett: Yeah everything major that we'€™ve done has been on a label.
This is your first fully like independent?
Garrett: Yeah. It'€™s one of those things that we'€™ve always tried to do things using the record label as a tool. Not something that like you have to use. So it'€™s always in the back of our heads that we can manage to put a record out by ourselves. It'€™s just that nothing seemed to really work out. So we were really excited to try this.
Jared: It'€™s a huge thing to do that. We were all a little nervous to do it and I think now that we'€™ve done it, it'€™s like awesome to know that we can do that. And so that'€™s why the whole thing with Warner, we'€™re not even really thinking about it at this point. Just whether or not we'€™re on the label and now that we know that we can do that, we'€™re really excited.
Garrett: Yeah! The reason this happened is because we had plans to do something drastic. So I think knowing that we still kept a lot of those people that'€™s awesome and it feels great. We all feel super proud of what we did and it'€™s awesome.

Then as you'€™ve put out your records, you'€™ve steadily changed. You haven'€™t put yourself in one box or stayed the same. Obviously, '€˜Black and White'€™ was a huge difference from '€˜Can'€™t Stop, Won'€™t Stop'€™ and then '€˜Pioneer'€™. Like you said, fans are sticking around. How has it been? For me, it'€™s something completely different from what you guys started as. You'€™ve definitely grown.
Jared: Yeah! I guess the real reason for that is because a lot of our earlier albums, our first two albums, were influenced by a lot of people that aren'€™t in this band. So now that we kind of stepped back and went into Pioneer completely on our own. There was no cowriting, nothing like that. It'€™s just more of a accurate representation of where we'€™re at as muscians and I think that that is another thing that our fans connected with is the honesty involved with '€˜Pioneer'€™. No bullshit.
Garrett: I think we'€™re also huge music geeks. We really just love music so much. In the past five years, we'€™ve really just opened our ears up to a lot of music and obscure bands that we really enjoy. Studied how to write a song and not like in a specific way. First chorus, first bridge, same structure. I think just learning how to do things differently because we have the opportunity to I think has helped change the musical process.
Jared: Yeah! And having '€˜Black and White'€™ was huge for us because that was such a transitional period for our band. I think it really helped set us up for '€˜Pioneer'€™. I feel like our band kind of went through this transformation through '€˜Black and White'€™ and I think that'€™s why '€˜Pioneer'€™ didn'€™t seem that out there when we finally put it out. It might have come as a shock to some people but I feel like it wasn'€™t as crazy to the fans that have been with us for the first two albums. So that was crucial.
Crucial step because that'€™s true. I feel like if you put out '€˜Pioneer'€™ right after that ('€˜Can'€™t Stop, Won'€™t Stop), it would be like a complete 180 for people but '€˜Black and White'€™ kind of was a smooth transition.

And then maybe because we do interview once in a good while with the band, maybe, obviously I'€™m not going to ask you again questions like '€˜How did your band form?'€™(the boys laugh) '€˜How did you get your name?'€™ You like make different stories each time. What is coming up after this tour? I know you haven'€™t announced too much.
Jared: We have a little less then a month on this tour. I know we'€™re all pretty tired because we were out overseas and we just went straight from that over into this tour.
Garrett: For some reason overseas tends to kick your ass more. Going into this tour, I was kind of already like tired.
Jared: Oh yeah! We landed in Texas for this tour and we realized we had like forty seven shows alone on this tour.
Garrett: This is the longest tour we'€™ve ever done.
Yeah this is a gigantic one! It'€™s awesome!
Garrett: But it'€™s been a blast! We play this entire tour and forty percent of the days I'€™m sick but I get over it and try to be professional. Put on a good show every night but it definitely is brutal but it'€™s been really fun.
Jared: Um, but yeah, after this we have a little bit of time off and then we'€™re going to do some videos and stuff when we'€™re at home and then we'€™re going to shoot a DVD and we'€™re hoping to do more touring at the end of July and then we'€™re planning a fall tour.
You guys never stop!
Jared: We don'€™t!
I think I missed like one tour but still the last time was December and then the Augustana run. You tour all over the US.
Garrett: And somewhere between there, we recorded this record (both laugh).
Somewhere inbetween that time!
Jared: We don'€™t like to really breathe ever. We just always like to be on the move and I just feel if we'€™re idle for too long, we start getting restless.
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William Beckett

It'€™s becoming a common thread in my interviews lately that we are leaning to a more do it yourself movement in the music industry. Established bands making records that maybe their record labels don'€™t like is becoming scarily more of a pattern then it truly should. One band that had their fair share of being pulled around by record labels was lead by vocalist William Beckett who spent several years with his band The Academy Is. Instead of leaving a label, he is now doing his own solo project during the aforementioned band'€™s hiatus and decided he wanted to do it all on his own!

The first EP was an independent release and the two EP'€™s to follow this year will be independent as well. For fans of the scene, William Beckett has been a huge part of the alternative scene for years so it may come as a shock to many that he wants to be independent now that he has returned to music. He took over a two year break from the road and plans to be on it constantly this year and I'€™m assuming in the future. In our time together during the interview, I learned a lot about William. His need for toothpaste on the road, his love for the cover of Green Day'€™s '€œDookie'€ but we got serious I promise you when we talked about his career and his songwriting. Read on for our exclusive!

A little soft one to start because obviously it'€™s been a while since you'€™ve been on the road. I believe it'€™s the first since the AP tour in Fall of '€˜09. What are like the three things you must have while on the road to survive?
Three things? Toothpaste (long pause). Can that count as all three?
Just all three? That'€™s cheating!
Toothpaste. I actually bring a few luggage bags at least. It'€™s now coined the '€œdiva'€ bags because we are actually on the road with Cara Salimando who is a girl clearly and she has smaller bags then me by a lot and I just thought that was pretty embarrassing. But on the plus side, I have fifteen different looks with me on the road.
Looks ready to go?
Yeah. And I would say, yeah that'€™s three right? My diva bag and just supplies for the road.
That diva bag right there! Hey, good job!

And then '€˜Walk The Talk'€™ was obviously your first solo record you'€™ve put out. So maybe how has that been going over while on the road? Having that music out?
It'€™s been great! I'€™m playing a pretty good mix of my new material and a few old songs from my band and it'€™s really interesting to see that there are some people that really gravitate toward The Academy Is songs and there are others who like don'€™t sing along to those but they sing along to the new stuff which is really interesting. So I'€™ve kind of discovered that like I'€™ve gained some new followers which is really fun and it'€™s cool to see that. But it'€™s been a combination of both ends of it. On this tour, just playing whatever I want. It'€™s great to have the music out finally. It'€™s been so long that I'€™ve had this record ready to go. So to finally have it out is really exciting. The new EP comes out in July so I'€™m pretty non stop.

Well, that'€™s what I was going to ask because I was talking to your publicist in the past and she said that you were already in the studio working on something new and so maybe is it because you have had those songs written for so long?
Well, my plan all along was to release an EP every three months. So every three months, I'€™m releasing an EP for the rest of the year so then at the end of the year, there will be twelve songs that would have otherwise been on a full length record. But since I have the freedom to do what I want and really arrange it the way that I want, I wanted to do some things that were different and fresh and exciting since I hadn'€™t put out music in so long. I wanted to do it more frequently. Sort of like high end material quickly as opposed to like an all you can eat buffet. So it'€™s like my Top Chef approach to music.
To music? Putting out the EP'€™s every few months?
Little tapas. It'€™s like a tapas bar.
The tapas bar way to your music!
Yeah, small portions! Perfected.

Then obviously you'€™ve been in music for so long considering how long The Academy Is was active and was around playing music. Has it become something still really different of a writing process? Or is it something that'€™s really become a consistent idea?
Well, I mean well writing songs, there is no right way but there'€™s no wrong way. Often times, it starts with melody and often times it starts with lyrics or just a musical piece. But the good thing about writing the new music is that I wrote and recorded it all at once so this record would be conceptualized in the song writing it and then performing it. And seeing it out and what it should do as far as production elements were all right then and there so it was all super fresh. Where as in the past, I would write a song in pieces and still have it being involved in for the next month and sometimes I would lose perspective. I would just get used to the acoustic versions and wouldn'€™t know where to implement it into a full band production. So it was fun doing it that way.

And then I wanted to ask you something! I recently talked to Joe Trohman from Fall Out Boy for his new project With Knives. He talked about how he'€™s kind of going about it very indie and booking their own shows. Like begging people to put them on a show and just getting started. Him obviously doing Fall Out Boy before, it was kind of like them in the beginning. Maybe how do you think that experience of being in a band that was touring and was signed to a major label, how do you think that like affected you, maybe helped you as an indie artist '€œstarting over'€? Having to re-grow.
Yeah, I mean it'€™s intense. I'€™m intentionally doing it on my own. You know the last thing I wanted to do was after getting the run around for a year from a major to go out and find another major label. I had 40+ songs under my belt and basically I wouldn'€™t have had music out for another eight months. Just how it is. I really wanted to feel like a part of it and they wanted me to do more songs with different writers and all that crap. So, for me, I was just ready to put music out and Fall Out Boy is a good example. I mean, we started the same way that they did. A lot of touring, a lot of emphasis on work ethic and putting in your time and your miles and it wasn'€™t pampered. We were very very DIY. That'€™s how they started and that'€™s how we started. So it'€™s not really new to me. It'€™s exciting in a lot of ways because of the freedom. The additional control over everything.
So it'€™s then maybe going back to the way that you started.
Exactly! Yeah and building it in a organic way so it'€™s not like on the radio but you hear it some times and that'€™s how you hear it. That'€™s why I wanted to do a tour like this. Have something really intimate, small because this is how I started. I wanted to go back to that place and share this new beginning with everybody in a comfortable setting.

And then I'€™m from suburbs of Chicago too so I wanted to ask this. Like Wheaton/Warrenville area. What up (laughs)?
I pitched against Wheaton.
Did you really?
Yeah! In high school.
Then obviously there are the bands that have broken out of Chicago'€™s scene but there are some that do like one tour and they kind of stop. You know it'€™s hard for a lot of Chicago bands to really break out. It'€™s a big scene, it'€™s a hard scene. Maybe what advice would you give to bands that are trying to break out of that area?
The largest bit of advice I would give to any band from any city is just focus on your songs and knowing exactly what it is you want. I'€™ve seen a lot of really talented writers who get lost in the writing shuffle of just trying to write hits. And I feel like focus on doing you. Focus on whatever is unique about what you do and emphasize that. And run in that direction! As opposed to trying to chase a hit because those songs usually end up boring and no one cares. It'€™s usually how they end up and I'€™ve written a bunch of songs like that too but I'€™ve shelved them to never be heard.
Oh really?
Yeah. Just when you'€™re trying too hard to just write good songs that aren'€™t that meaningful to you and then also don'€™t rely so much on the internet because that'€™s the worse thing you can do. Is to start a face book and expect people to care. You know I feel like as much as the human element seems to have been ignored or just left to seem not important for bands, it'€™s extremely important. For me, that'€™s what I'€™m most in love with. The human interaction as opposed to having a bunch of likes on your face book.

Then a softer one! Maybe the first CD or first cassette you ever remember buying as a kid and the first concert?
'€œDookie'€. I remember looking at the cover art and all the poop. So many poops.
Yeah there was a lot.
Looked at it all day. Just poop. And couldn'€™t find Waldo in all the poop. And monkeys. Monkeys and poop. In their own poop. Oh, '€œDookie'€! '€œDookie'€ was the first record that I purchased with my own money. I was so excited.
That'€™s a big one!
Yeah!
Do you remember the first concert?
I think I saw The Lawrence Arms at Our Side in Chicago. A punk rock place and I didn'€™t really go to like big shows. Like I would never go see Third Eye Blind or something like that. I would just always go to punk shows and that'€™s a big part of my attitude and our attitude as a band early on. I remember seeing those bands on tour in small places just doing their thing. It was really eye opening. It was cool to see that and inspiring.
Do you think those obviously influenced you then?
Yeah, for sure. Yeah I mean the great thing about them (Green Day) is that they were kind of a punk rock band that had made really great songs with really good lyrics and that'€™s what really drew me to them. The whole package is important. Not just being a cute dude with a cute haircut in a band and playing cute songs. There'€™s more to it for me at least.

And then you said the next EP is coming out in July so that'€™s obviously coming up but do you think you'€™re going to tour again pretty quickly after this one or are you going to hold off for a bit?
Yeah, I'€™m touring a lot. May 29th is the last show of this tour in Chicago and then the next day I fly to Japan and I'€™m there for ten days. Then that EP comes out after that. Going to tour Malaysia, Thailand and then where else? The Phillipines. Which is crazy.
Is it because you have been off tour for so long so like you'€™re doing it all right away.
Yeah, it'€™s my first time there.
Like ever?
Yeah.
You never went there with Academy?
No!
That'€™s crazy. That'€™s awesome!
It'€™s pretty cool and then in July, we'€™re doing this tour on the West Coast which is supporting. I can'€™t talk about it yet but it is happening. Right now, we'€™re looking at the fall to book it up. Hook it up!
Book it up! Are you excited to get back going on the road more like you'€™ve done in the past?
I mean, yeah! I'€™ve been doing this tour which we'€™re over half way through and it'€™s been a lot of fun. Tough to be away from home but it'€™s part of it, you know.
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