For Walk The Moon lead singer Nick Petricca, the band’s new album and current tour have provided him with a New Year’s Resolution for 2018: letting go of fear.
“I feel like when I see my favorite artists on stage, I’m just like, ‘Wow, they just go out there and are hiding nothing,’” he explained to me over the weekend. “They seem fearless. And it’s interesting, ‘One Foot’ in front of the other has become this song that we’ve been kind of like forced to practice what we preach.
“You can’t really think twice,” Petricca continued. “You can’t be up (on stage) judging yourself the whole time or else the thing kind of crumbles.”
The aforementioned “One Foot” is a perfect example of this new era within’ the Cincinnati-based quartet: a catchy, infectious up-tempo sing-a-long that still contains some gravitas and vulnerability. Walk The Moon’s third LP, “What If Nothing,” is the group’s most vulnerable to date: so much so that another benefit arose as the band created the “Press Restart Tour.”
“We can put a little more of an emotional curve in to the set,” guitarist Eli Maiman noted. “I think prior to now, we had a disproportionate amount of songs that were kind of, ‘up.’ The set at this point is very contoured in terms of its emotional impact.”
A quick look back to Walk The Moon’s recent history reveals how this happened: following the worldwide hit “Shut Up And Dance” and the subsequent trek supporting the album “Talking Is Hard,” the band took a break… almost, for good. That changed at bassist Kevin Ray’s wedding; the first time since the hiatus that all four members were together. Shortly thereafter, the group re-entered the studio and began working on what would eventually be “What If Nothing.”
Petricca believes the band is hungrier than ever, and part of that may be attributed to what they learned about each other during their time off.
“We all are respecting our own humanity on a different level,” the front man admitted. “I think we’re seeing the ways that it serves the music as well; not just burning all of the candles at all of the ends and playing as many shows as possible but also just making sure that we are 100% for the listeners and for our fans.”
I caught up with three-fourths of Walk The Moon before soundcheck at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday; drummer Sean Waugaman was napping and understandably so. The guys just landed that morning from a red-eye flight after performing a radio show in Los Angeles the night prior. A full schedule of promo followed soundcheck; the band then took the stage around 9:10 pm.
And yet despite all of that, the quartet sounded fantastic Saturday night. It was if once on stage, they were fearless.