Known for Their Creative YouTube Cover Videos, Walk Off The Earth Chats With All Access Music About Their Hit Videos and Much More!
Posted On 23 Mar 2015
Tag: Adele, All Access, All Access Music, Artist Interview, Beard Guy, Canada, Gianni Luminati, Gotye, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Joel Cassady, LMFAO, Magic, Marshall, Party Rock Anthem, Patroeon Campaign, Red Hands, Rude, Sarah Blackwood, Shake It Off, Somebody That I Used To Know, Someone Like You, Taylor Swift, The Word, Walk Off The Earth, WOTE, WOTERONS, YouTube
Formed in Canada, Walk Off The Earth are known for creating clever YouTube covers of all the hit songs. They make use of uncommon instruments such as the ukulele, the theremin and looping samples.
The video of the band’s live cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” became incredibly popular on YouTube in early 2012, reaching over 127 million views in four months! Walk Off The Earth has also covered “Rude” by MAGIC!, “Someone Like You” by Adele, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and so much more!
Learn more about this talented group of musicians in the following interview with the only female in the group, Sarah Blackwood!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for All Access Music! I really enjoy all your music! So, where does this interview find the band today?
SARAH – I am at home here in Burlington, ON. I just put my son down for a nap:)
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Marshall – Lead vocals and all kinds of instruments.
Beard Guy – Keyboards, toothbrush and trumpet
Sarah Blackwood – Lead vocals and a ton of instruments.
Joel Cassady – Drums, percussion some other weird stuff
Gianni Luminati – Lead vocals and lots of instruments
How did you all meet one another and how did the band originally come together?
SARAH – We all pretty much grew up in the same town, the same music scene. We were all playing in other bands and just as the years passed we started to work together. Gianni helped me produce some solo music and during that time we started shooting videos and I would sing with Walk off the Earth sometimes. Eventually we just became so obsessed with shooting videos it’s all we wanted to do! It was a fresh take on being in a band. Then one of our videos went super viral and we all were kind of like “I guess we should all just do this band because it’s the best one out of all our projects!” haha.
How do you think the band has grown since you started?
SARAH – We’ve all played in different bands and I think it always takes awhile to really settle in and create something real. I have been playing in bands for over 10 years now, and the last 3 years with WOTE have been the most incredible, influential, eye opening and inspiring years of my life. I think we have all really grown into ourselves and figured out who we want to be as a band…for now;)
Walk Off The Earth- “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Your 5-people-playing-one-guitar interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” exploded on YouTube garnering well over 35 million views in under 2 weeks. Why do you think there was such a massive fan response?
SARAH – Sometimes someone will make something that just absolutely resonates with people. I guess that’s what we did. You never know when or how to make something like that will happen…but when you strive for it the way we did, it isn’t all that far away.
What do you think sets this group apart from other bands making covers?
SARAH – We put a lot of hard work and time into making music and putting content out that has something special. I mean, we have characters in our band that people can easily like, which is a must when creating videos and songs. We like to think outside the box and try new stuff. I think all around we just have a connection with people that is unusual. We are easy to connect with.
How do you decide what songs to cover? Are you currently working on any right now?
SARAH – We have a HUGE list of songs that we want to cover. We are currently working on a few but our main focus right now is our new album. We have been working so hard on it for the past 8 months. It’s almost done and we can not wait to share it with the world!!!
Your video for the cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” was extremely clever and creative. Whose idea was this one? How do you all decide how to make these videos?
SARAH – Marshall had the idea to do the song. But we needed an idea. I was in the shower one day and it just came to me…”Let’s do “Shake it Off” entirely with Shakers!” So I told Gianni the idea and him and Joel produced the music. As always, we threw a few extra instruments in there but kept it mainly shakers.
Why do you think your original song “Red Hands” was such a hit? Why did it really resonate with people?
SARAH – It’s a good song. I mean, it wouldn’t get radio play if it wasn’t. haha. I think once people started to realize who we were, they just became more excited that we were being played on the radio. We became big on YouYube, but also crossed over in to radio, which is a pretty cool thing.
Tell me about your Walk Off The Earth Patreon Campaign?
SARAH – It’s great! It is a crowd funded, on going campaign. It’s quite simple really. Fans become a part of a fan club that they help contribute an amount of money towards videos budgets for us. The contributions range from 1$/video to 150$ per video. There are all kinds of rewards and bonus’ and perks for our Patrons, or WOTERONS as we call them. It’s like they help contribute and in return get to be more involved with the band and the community that has been created around Walk off the Earth. We have live chats with people, send them gifts and signed stuff. They get to see stuff no one else does from behind the scenes of our lives. It’s pretty neat actually. It gives us the opportunity to really connect with our fans more, which we love to do!
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands have consistently inspired you as a band?
SARAH – We don’t have a consistent influence from other bands. We just like really awesome songs and music. There has never been one specific band or artist that has kept us influenced along the way. It’s constantly changing.
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
SARAH – We will never stop. We have really only skimmed the surface of what we hope and dream. We are very proud of our accomplishments so far, and feel super fortunate for what we have been able to achieve…but we have a long way to go!
Living or dead, who would you all love to collaborate with and why?
SARAH – I would love to sit down with Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. Not even to collaborate…just to hear some of their stories and experiences. There’s many artists dead and alive that we would love to collaborate with. There’s nothing better then sharing a musical experience with someone you think is awesome. We’ve had some cool experiences so far and are looking forward to more!
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
SARAH – Oh man! I could go on for days. We’re just a bunch of kids really so we have a lot of fun when we’re on tour or in the studio. We have an amazing crew that are like family to us so they just add to the chaos! Nothing specifically comes to mind right now. I think a lot of humor that happens within a band is usually inside. It’s hard to tell funny stories to people sometimes when it just wouldn’t be funny to them.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
SARAH – Most of all, we want people to feel inspired. We want to help be a part of making dreams come true and influencing people to keep dreaming and reach for the stars! It’s hard work, but happiness will never be found in a place you don’t want to be. Find your happiness.
If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
SARAH – The music industry is a monster in good and bad ways. I think eventually, when you realize that music is truly your dream, you stop trying to change things and just make them beautiful within what they are. There will always be ups and downs to everything, you have to find balance everywhere. I’m a lover not a fighter.
What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing?
SARAH – Haha, every once in a while Marshall or Gianni will completely forget a verse of a song and just sing random words to get through it. Most the time they pull it off!! Haha. Gianni for some reason could NOT remember his verses to “Red Hands” for the longest time! He had to have the lyrics written out and taped near his mic stand. Eventually he got them. Lyrics are a funny thing. If you think about them too much before going on stage, you’ll forget them. You have to trust that your brain will just sing them after doing it 400 times!
Any pre-performance rituals?
SARAH – We do a huddle and “The Word” before joining the stage. We huddle together hands in, someone picks a word and then we count to 3 and all yell it super loud flailing our arms around. It’s nothing uncommon or unusual, just a simple last minute push to energize ourselves before a show!
When you guys aren’t performing or working on new material, what do you like to do for fun?
SARAH – Most of us in the band have families. Gianni and I have a son together, so when we’re not touring or making music, we all pretty much spend time with our kids and families. We do normal stuff like grocery shop and go to the park. Pretty simple lovely stuff.