While Walk Off the Earth‘s unique take on popular songs like Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” have wracked up millions of views, don’t call them a cover band.
The Burlington, Ontario-based band have been around for six years and just released their Columbia Records debut R.E.V.O. Their latest single “Red Hands” showcases their versatility with distinct harmonies from Gianni Luminati, Ryan Marshall and Sarah Blackwood alongside ear-grabbing percussion.
Gianni Luminati formed the band with Marshall after playing in the same Canadian music scene. Luminati told Radio.com he and Marshall broke up three other bands to form Walk Off the Earth. “We recruited around seeing who the best people were in Burlington,” Marshall said.
The first song Marshall, Luminati and Blackwood wrote together was “Red Hands,” which became the lead single on their album R.E.V.O.
“We were sitting in Gianni’s living room and we started playing that song and doing these big gang vocals for ‘Red Hands,'” Marshall said. “It was pretty cool.”
Blackwood said they knew immediately it would become their first single. As “Red Hands” climbed the radio charts, the band decided to make a new video for their song. The big guitar version of the song features the five members of the Canadian band surrounding a massive guitar to strum, harmonize and provide some percussion.
“Gianni put together all the parts,” Blackwood said. “He produces a lot of the music that we do. He always has these weird ideas and we crammed together and did it.”
The band’s album continues to showcase their creativity with non-traditional instruments.
“We like to use organic instruments that aren’t even instruments like glasses and tapping on a lot of stuff,” Luminati said. “A lot of percussion we come up on the fly. We don’t over listen to any bands or any music so I think that’s what makes our music come off like that.”
Their latest release, R.E.V.O. meshes together multiple genres including pop, rock, reggae and hip-hop.
“We don’t want to be pigeonholed to one genre,” Blackwood explained. “We want to touch all different avenues of all different kinds of music so that’s how we went into the album.”
While Walk Off the Earth put their influences into their music, Luminati said they haven’t even begun to touch as many genres as they hope to.
“In future albums we’re going to expand even more with getting a little heavier and more jazz,” he said. “We want to mix it all together and have really weird stuff that is still really listenable. Easy listening, but at the same time, stuff that people haven’t heard before mixed together.”
Tracks like “Summer Vibe” and “Gang of Rhythm” use unexpected instruments that only hint at what’s to come for the band.
“In ‘Summer Vibe’ there’s a broom being swept across the ground as used as a piece of the percussion track,” Marshall said. “There’s so many different things that we use that aren’t instruments, we just make weird sounds out of.”
The band promises with each spin of the record a new sound will be heard.
“If you listen to the record over and over again you’ll hear diffent noises that you missed the first couple times,” Luminati said. “In ‘REVO’ we took a cheese grater and wrapped elastic bands around it and plucked them and found the right tune.
He added, “We’re always trying new things in the studio. It’s a place that we get excited. We’re like little kids just tapping on things trying to find tones and it creates a sound that you basically never heard before.”
– Annie Reuter, Radio.com