Walk off the Earth
Walk off the earth is a canadian indie pop outfit hailing from burlington, ontario. The group consists of Gianni “Luminati” Nicassio, Ryan Marshall, Joel Cassady, Sarah Blackwood, and the late Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor. You might remember them from their viral cover of gotye’s “somebody that i used to know” performed by all five of them on one guitar. More recently, they’ve released covers of songs like “High Hopes,” “Old Town Road,” and “Me!” They’ll be embarking on the European leg of their world tour June 25. Rebecca got sit down with Sarah and talk about touring, making music, and their dear bandmate Mike.
What is it like touring with your families? Do you think it makes the process more stressful or exciting?
This is the first tour I’ve done without being pregnant or having my kids in 7 years. I am quickly learning that having them on the road was essential during their infant years, but not beyond. The road isn’t really a place for children, and it is truly exhausting to be a mother and performer at the same time, working during the days and having sleepless nights on the bus.
We limit our tours now to 2.5 weeks, it’s the most amount of time we can handle being away from the kids. I could go on and on with the pros and cons of this subject! Haha.
You are known mostly for your covers, so what pushed you into writing your own music?
We actually have always created our own original music. We started doing covers when we entered the YouTube world and realized that people were always searching for covers. We have explosively creative minds and love good existing songs, so now we perform a good mix of both!
When covering a song, are there certain elements of the song that you almost always change (instrumentation, rhythms, etc)?
We like to choose songs that we know we can do in our own way. There are so many awesome songs out there that a lot of people won’t hear because it isn’t in the style or genre that they usually like to listen to. We like to take those songs and produce them in a way that we think more people might like.
Where do you like performing the most?
There’s something special about every performance. Whether it’s in front of 500 people, 10,000 people, a sports event, a festival...all of these experiences have their own majesty to them. It’s hard to pinpoint one of them anymore. It’s all too exciting and fun!
Do you contribute a portion of your success to social media?
Yes. We do it all!
Is there a method to the way you choose songs to cover?
We like good songs. Haha. That’s really it.
Do you prefer performing covers or original material?
Both. Because to us, in a way, the covers are our songs too!
How has the band dynamic changed since Mike’s passing?
We lost a great friend. Our brother. Beard Guy was a huge part of who we are and just like losing anyone close in any situation in life, we are all adjusting to the new dynamic. Lots have changed. Right now, we are feeling all the love from the fans and doing everything we can to keep his spirit alive and honor the legend that he is.
Listen to their newest single and more importantly, their memoriam to Mike: “Mike’s Song”