Despite having released music for the last seven years, little could have prepared Burlington, Ontario pop band Walk Off The Earth for the international attention and acclaim the band has received over the last two years.
It was early 2012 when the group’s unique rendition of the Gotye hit “Somebody That I Used To Know” became a viral sensation on YouTube, racking up more than 35 million views within the first two weeks of release.
Since then, the group has not only continued releasing a myriad of cover songs from artists as diverse as Adele and Taylor Swift, they released their major-label debut album R.E.V.O. via Sony Music in 2013, touring the United States, Europe and Canada almost non-stop.
And while the group’s performance in Charlottetown on Saturday evening is one of only two currently on the band’s schedule as of press time, there is a good reason behind their lack of live shows these days.
“We are working hard trying to finish our second album for Columbia / Sony Music,” Walk Off The Earth’s multi-instrumentalist Ryan Marshall begins.
Asked if the group was feeling any pressure going into the making of their next record, Marshall insists that while grateful for their previous success, they have maintained their focus on the end goal.
“Whenever we record, we like to take our time. We aren’t ones to fly to Los Angeles to make a record. We want to remain comfortable through the recording process and so we have stuck close to home, choosing to record in Burlington and Toronto and bring the people we want to work with to us instead of us going to them.”
Much like their choice of cover songs in the past have covered a wide breadth of styles and genres, Marshall says the group is enjoying a creative freedom with their new record that he admits not all musical acts can indulge in.
“Honestly, we try not to put a lot of thought into pursuing one specific style of music. When we write a song, we don’t try to force it into any specific direction. We let the song go where it needs to go, no matter if it’s a country or a pop song. The track is going to have a distinct Walk Off The Earth feel once we get it into production anyway. We would never try to be something we are not. We simply love writing music.”
Marshall says the results of the group’s upcoming record, slated for an early 2015 release, is showing promise and he is genuinely excited about what the group is laying down.
“We went into the making of the album with 16 songs which we will chop down to 10 or 11 that will make the final cut,” he says. “They all feel as good or better than the songs we had written for R.E.V.O.”
Proving they were not willing to be yet another addition to the annals of one-hit viral video sensations, Walk Off The Earth hit the road and hit it hard following the release of R.E.V.O.
Marshall estimates that the group performed upwards of 200 dates in America alone over the course of the last two years, playing everything from traditional concerts to acoustic shows and virtually everything in between.
“Our record company did a great job securing us radio play across Canada and the United States. It was important to us to get to every market we could in addition to being able to connect with our fans up close.”
“This show in Prince Edward Island is no different. We’ve never played PEI before and are looking forward to finally making it out.”
What: Walk Off The Earth with Mo Kenney and Jenn Grant
When: Saturday Sept. 6, 6:00 p.m.
Where: PEI Celebration Zone, corner of Prince St. and Water St., Charlottetown, PEI