Billboard caught up with Walk the Moon to talk about their hit “Shut Up And Dance,” which recently hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Airplay chart and cracked the top 40 on the Hot 100.
Walk the Moon ‘Dance’s to No. 1 on Alternative Songs
The lyrical references in “Shut Up and Dance” are very specific. Were they inspired by a particular person or memory?
Nicholas Petricca: We were in Los Angeles, trying to write songs, and I was stuck. For a breather I went out with my girlfriend to the Echo; they have this awesome party where they play Motown and funk. We were at the bar, and it was taking forever to get a drink. I was frustrated because there was great music playing and I wanted to be out there. She was like, “Shut up and dance with me!”
The song is from your 2014 album, Talking Is Hard. What does that title mean?
People of our generation are scared to express ourselves. We’re stuck on our phones communicating with people on the other side of the world, but find it hard to hold a conversation with people across the table. It’s about getting out of your head.
You guys are based in Cincinnati. How’s the music scene there?
It’s great — a lot of weird music. We rehearse in a Masonic lodge in Kentucky across the river. Occasionally, somebody in Chipotle will be like, “Oh, my God, Walk the Moon?” But other than that we aren’t really recognized. We’re not The Beatles yet.
This story originally appeared in the March 21st issue of Billboard.