Found Boys

A chat with Walk the Moon as they rise to indie rock stardom with childlike exuberance

Ohio-based dance-rockers Walk the Moon wowed the crowds at Lollapalooza this month with peppy, upbeat tunes, pounding percussion and a love of face paint. (Their cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” was icing on the sonic cake.) If you’re looking to dance, this “indie/visual/lyrical” quartet will have you doing just that when they perform in Vegas for the first time ever. As they say, come prepared to “get a little sweaty and dance your ass off.” We caught up with lead singer Nicholas Petricca and bassist Kevin Ray following their main-stage performance at Lollapalooza to find out what’s next for these rising stars.

What was it like to suddenly find yourselves on major summer music festival lineups?

Petricca: It’s been zero-to-60 for sure. It’s been really, really fast and overwhelming. Almost not real until we get there, see the place and it’s actually happening. It’s these situations that you dream about, and everybody who’s ever been in a band aspires to get to. The last six months have been magical and roller coaster-like.

Ray: It’s been amazing to be a part of something that is such a legacy; there are so many avid music fans. We are in our van going to different cities, and people really like us. Festivals really bring artists from all genres together and that’s really cool, too. We played the same stage as Cee-Lo!

It’s been nearly a year since your independent album i Want i Want came out. What are you working on now?

Petricca: Right now we’re in the studio in Atlanta with producer Ben Allen [Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective], and that’s our first record with RCA. So that’s a totally different situation and we’re really excited to see what happens when the machine starts rolling. [The release date] could be as early as fall or closer to first quarter of 2012.

What are your thoughts on playing two nights in a row in Las Vegas?

Ray: It seems like it’s not really a Vegas crowd. It’s a crowd from everywhere, so it’s a really good chance to play for some people from all over.

Petricca: I just think it’s going to be a blast. Good clean fun!

What makes your shows unique?

Petricca: We love having fun, and we just try to make every show just a blast. No matter what’s happening in our lives or somebody’s life, for these 45 minutes we’re going to have the best time. That’s the type of show we aspire to have every time.

Why do you wear face paint during performances?

Petricca: It started with the “Anna Sun” video. We were trying to experiment with a Lost Boys/Neverland childhood thing. From that point on, people started coming to the shows in face paint and we started doing it at a few shows and put canvas up on the walls so people could throw paint. It just kind of became this thing—colorful and a sense of being able to play as an adult.

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