Burlington's Walk Off The Earth 'expanding'
BURLINGTON - To say the past year has been a busy one for Burlington band Walk Off The Earth would be an incredible understatement. And things are about to get a whole lot busier.
Gianni Luminati and Sarah Blackwood of Burlington’s Walk Off The Earth have confirmed they are expecting a child in June. With a major label debut album — R.E.V.O. — set to be released on March 19 and a nomination as breakthrough artist of the tear at next month’s Juno Awards, Luminati insist the pregnancy isn’t going to slow the band down.
To say the past year has been a busy one for Burlington band Walk Off The Earth would be an incredible understatement.
And things are about to get a whole lot busier.
For one thing, the band releases its major label album debut on March 19 in the midst of a string of European and U.S. tour dates, including a showcase March 15 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.
There are also the Juno Awards next month in Regina, where the band is nominated for breakthrough artist of the year, some more tour dates, and — last, but not least — the arrival of a new baby.
Band members Sarah Blackwood and Gianni Luminati are expecting a child in June.
“At this point, you can tell,” Blackwood laughs, arms folded across her tummy. “But two months ago, it was, ‘Is Sarah getting a beer gut?’”
The five members of the band were at the Corktown Pub in downtown Hamilton this week, filming a guest spot for the season première of the CTV crime drama, The Listener, expected to be broadcast in late May.
In the scene, Walk Off The Earth performs its current single, Red Hands, on the stage of the Corktown, which is posing as a generic Vancouver bar, while the show’s stars talk over beers in the foreground.
“I also get a few lines to say,” notes Luminati, whose band played The Corktown several times before signing an international record deal last year. “I’ve watched a few episodes (of The Listener). It’s a good show.”
During a break in production, Luminati and Blackwood found some time to chat about the band’s skyrocketing career.
Just over a year ago, Walk Off The Earth became an international sensation with a homemade video of the band’s five members playing Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know on one guitar (10 hands working six strings).
Within a few days, the video had been seen by millions of fans around the world (total views have now reached more than 146 million) and record companies were literally knocking on the band’s Burlington door. By February 2012, Walk Off The Earth had signed a deal with Columbia, one of the most prestigious record labels in the world.
Initially, the band had hoped to have a full-length album of original material out by September 2012. The band — Luminati, Blackwood, Ryan Marshall, Mike Taylor and Joel Cassidy — soon learned, however, that things don’t necessarily move as fast as you might want in the corporate music world.
“We didn’t have to give up control,” Blackwood says. “We just had to learn to be a lot more patient.”
The record label urged the band to record in Los Angeles. Luminati, however, was more comfortable with the familiar surroundings of Justin Koop’s B Town Sound studio in Burlington.
“We liked what we were doing in Burlington and (the record company) was kind of blown back by that,” Luminati says. “But they let us do it, and prove ourselves.”
Luminati ended up co-producing the album at B Town with St. Catharines studio wizard Tawgs Salter. Koop also gets a production credit on one song.
The new album’s title is R.E.V.O., for Realize Every Victory Outright.
“It’s the way that we live, a motto, the way we do things,” Blackwood says when asked about the meaning of R.E.V.O.
Adds Luminati: “It’s a positive outlook on life, not just music. We want our fans to live by that motto, too. When you think like that, good things happen. We always try to think positively and something always good comes of it.”
Blackwood and Luminati have only positive thoughts about the upcoming birth of their baby.
“We don’t have to go crazy touring the world 200 days a year,” says Luminati. “We’re still going to do some awesome shows. We’re basically touring until the last month and a half (of the pregnancy). Then we’ll be doing some videos from home and working on some new songs that we’ve been writing. It’s not going to slow us down at all.”
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