Ohio's Walk The Moon have been doing extremely well over in the States following the release of their debut self-titled album and its intriguing mix of indie and art-rock so with their first visit to our shores this month we thought we'd introduce you to a band who could be on the verge of success. With a strong focus on their live show that brings themselves and their fans together their following is steadily growing and we caught up with guitarist Eli Maiman to get the full story of the exciting things occurring within their ranks.

R13: Who were the main influences on the formation of Walk The Moon?
EM: I think it's fair to say that the band has always been intrigued by pop songs that take a left turn at some point so we were influenced heavily by Talking Heads, they had enormous hooks and enormous choruses but there was always something weird about the songs, we're really turned on by that. We're also really into The Police and ELO and in terms of modern bands we really like bands that make heavy use of vocal harmonies and gang vocals which is something that I think you can really hear on our record and especially when you come to see us live, Fleet Foxes are an example of that and this band from Los Angeles called Local Natives, we're really into them as well.

R13:Your album was originally called I Want! I Want! Bu you've renamed it as a self-titled now is that right?
EM: Sort of, we recorded I Want! I Want! in Cincinatti where we're from in garages and living rooms and released it independently and did it all ourselves so about a year later we signed with RCA Records and we had the opportunity to record properly with a proper cover and budget and in a real studio. When time came to do that we wanted to record the best batch of songs that we possibly could regardless of whether they were on I Want! I Want! or if they were new so we went into the studio with maybe twenty songs and whittled it down from there and the record ended up with about half of the songs from the original album and half new songs but all recordings were entirely new.

R13:Is the UK release still to come?
EM: From what I understand the album is out digitally in the UK but the physical release won't be until October but this is our first promo trip over to the UK and we're being given a bunch of information so that date could change! (laughs)

R13:This is the Naked Feet tour that you're currently on, how's it been going?
EM: It started about a month ago in Los Angeles, we actually had a British band from Essex opening for us there called Morning Parade and we've been away from home for about a month now. It's been really great, it's been our first headlining tour which has been really fun because we've been able to see the audience change from just kind of tolerating us to actually being enthusiastic and excited for us as a headliner (laughs) it's been a great transition.

R13:You sold out your first ever headlining show in New York in advance we understand?
EM: Yeah it's a really big deal to us, a year ago we were just boys from Ohio and now we're selling out shows in New York, it blows our minds.

R13:You played South By South West earlier this year too, how was that?
EM: South By is a really good time but it's also a total blitz to your brain. I think we were there for thirty-six hours this year and we played seven shows in that time including our earliest show ever, we played an acoustic show at 7.30 in the morning after playing at 1 in the morning before that. It's a total blast with free beer, barbeque and tacos everywhere you go but you leave exhausted (laughs).

R13:Tell us about your live show, we hear you wear make-up at every show?
EM: Well we wear face paint which comes from the [single] Anna Sun music video. For the video we wanted this Peter Pan and The Lost Boys vibe and we ended up using a lot of face-paint for it, it became a central theme in the video so people started showing up to shows in face-paint and it really happened organically, the fans were wearing face-paint so it seemed natural for us to do so as well and now it's become this visual tie that we all have together to visually express this community we have and this group experience that we're all having at the show. I love it, I love being able to express individuality while also being part of something, I think that's a really neat feature of the live show.

R13:Are you looking forward to playing your first British show at the London KOKO on the 6th? What's to come after that?
EM: Yeah it's going to be great, we can't wait! After the European tour we're going to head back to the States and do a few weeks of festivals and then in the Fall we go on tour with Neon Trees and tour around the States with them and then after that we come back to Europe and do five or six weeks with Fun who I understand are starting to become really big, they're really nice down-to-earth guys so we're really looking forward to that.

R13:And any plans for a second full-length any time soon?
EM: Well we're always writing and we're actually playing a few new songs on this tour currently because there's no better place to work out the kinks in the new material than in front of people, trial by fire (laughs), but no plans to hit the studio just yet.

With the album currently being championed by Itunes as one of their big summer albums, now is a great time to get learning the words for when the boys come back to our shores later in the year and if you caught them at their show at the KOKO then you're already there. Big thanks to Eli for the great chat and we look forward to hearing more from the Walk The Moon camp in the coming months!