Walk Off The Earth (WOTE) exploded onto the scene when their cover of GOTYE's 'Somebody that I used to know' went viral. The talented five-some from Burlington, Ontario got together in 2006 and it’s been a very busy and successful year - signing a record deal, releasing their album REVO, going on international tour, nominated for two Juno awards and very exciting news this week baby Giorgio was born…Big congrats to Sarah and Gianni!
Emma Whyte caught up with Marshall and Joel in Toronto for a chat about their recent European Tour, REVO, Guinness and Spiderman bed sheets…
You’re just back from a European tour – how did that go for you?
Marshall – Can we guess where her accent is from?
Joel – Scotland?
Marshall - Ireland?
Well I’m very impressed by the can of the black stuff (pointing to Marshall’s can of Guinness)
Marshall – Yea!
Joel - Ah…you’re Irish!
Marshall – We played Dublin.
Yea the Button Factory – I hope the Irish crowd did me proud!
Marshall – They were incredible! We went to the Guinness Brewery too. I’m kind of addicted…not like an alcoholic, but it’s a great beer - it’s all I drink! (No need to explain the Guinness goodness - the addiction is mutual).
It’s good for you too! (wink, wink). So what other European cities did you guys visit?
Marshall – We started in Germany and we were in London, Amsterdam, Paris,
Joel – Budapest, Antwerp
Marshall – It was our second European tour, the fans over there are incredible!
How is life on the road - living on a tour bus means very close quarters!
Marshall – Surprisingly good, we travel with twelve people so it can get tiresome but we didn’t have any blow-ups this time.
Joel - No, that was three weeks though, one more day and who knows! But we’re all in the same boat, so we work together to stay level headed.
Are there any special items you bring with you on tour?
Marshall – I bring my own sheets, I think it’s weird sleeping in someone else’s. But usually they are Spiderman or Winnie the Poo or something (Marshall laughs) because the beds are so small.
Marshall – Yea, they aren’t even a single size.
Joel - I don’t bring anything crazy but I have started to eat healthy. Sarah and Gianni influence our rider food so there is lots of vegetables and soymilk - which is good, because you hear of bands gaining weight on the road.
Marshall – Although in Germany they did give us a wack load of chocolate – those Mars bars remember?
Joel – oh, they did yea!
Your gigs are high energy so I guess a little sugar buzz can’t hurt. Have you tried to count how many instruments the band play, not to mention all of the inanimate objects?
Marshall – I don’t think it’s something you can count. Joel and Gianni are such drum percussion minded people - they make noise out of anything! Like that table there isn’t an instrument, but if you get Joel and Gianni around it - it becomes one. That’s just part of this band, we don’t think inside the box, we use whatever is around us.
Joel - Sarah likes to say – yes we do use a lot of instruments but it’s not about mastering them all. It’s about getting a certain sound out of it that you like. There is something really endearing about just picking it up and seeing what happens and it’s really worked out so far.
I love your videos. Which one has been the most fun to make?
Marshall – It’s usually whichever one we did last because each one we do gets better and better.
Joel - How about the ones where there is a crew involved, versus us filming it ourselves. Like the Red Hands shoot, it’s like – wow! We don’t have to set the cameras up or press stop and play every time, we can just focus on a good performance.
Red Hands is my favourite track from the album. How long was REVO in the making?
Marshall – After the big video, between Feb and May we sat down and started working on the REVO. It was really exciting - sitting in the studio, writing and making music and that’s one of my favorite things to do - it’s amazing!
Joel - It was a really cool experience, getting ideas out and collaborating and we got to be at home too. So every single day after the studio, we got to go home and sleep in our own beds.
Will we see any more videos from REVO?
Marshall – Every track on the album!
It’s impressive as a band how much of the work you do, from making your videos, writing music, and managing your social media, while some bands seem to rely heavily on their record label.
Marshall – We definitely had a base online. But this world is still very radio friendly and that’s something we didn’t have a presence in. The record label is really helping us out on that. So we will keep doing what we do in the Internet world and they will help us with the radio world and I think everything will work out great.
Joel - As big as things get or as fortunate as things are, we’re always going to be running Twitter and Facebook and connecting that way.
Do you have any summer festivals lined up?
Marshall – We have festivals starting as early as July 12th, we are doing the stampede and one in Toronto but I don’t think we can say what it is yet.
Joel - No and the same goes for a couple of the European festivals which will be pretty exciting.
They recently announced Electric Picnic in Ireland…any thoughts?
Marshall – Hopefully (the lads smile but remain tight lipped)
I’ll keep my fingers crossed we’ll catch you guys in Ireland soon.
Check out everything WOTE @ www.walkofftheearth.com | Words: Emma Whute