Let’s be real: The band Walk the Moon is totally radical.
Whether you’re familiar with the band or not, chances are you’ve heard their song “Shut Up and Dance” at some point in 2015. The super fun, totally tubular, ’80s-inspired video for the single is up for Best Rock Video at this weekend’s MTV VMAs, and if you’re not inspired to watch Say Anything, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles back-to-back while simultaneously having a dance party in your living room after watching it, well, you might not be human.
They’ve got some stiff competition with Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Florence and the Machine’s “Ship to Wreck,” Arctic Monkeys’ “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” and Fall Out Boy’s “Uma Thurman,” but we think “Shut Up and Dance” could win on the fun factor alone.
Here’s some things to know about Walk the Moon, the band behind the song.
1. Their name was inspired by The Police
“It’s a record from The Police,” frontman Nicholas Petricca said of the name Walk the Moon in a FaceTime interview with Interview magazine. “The Police definitely have a mystery and playfulness that we try to have as well.”
2. Petricca was largely influenced by other ’80s bands, too
Surprise, surprise! The musician also counts Talking Heads, David Bowie, Tears for Fears and Phil Collins as his major influencers.
3. They’ve already opened for a timeless and legendary band
Earlier this summer, the band opened for none other than the Rolling Stones. “Some rock ‘n roll pipe dreams do come true,” Petricca said of the show, according to broadwayworld.com. “We’ve called our moms, we bought new shoes and we are honored and ecstatic to open for the legendary Rolling Stones.”
4. They’re not afraid of a little manscaping
At least the band’s bassist, Kevin Ray, isn’t.
5. Sean Waugaman has a strange obsession
Waugaman, the band’s drummer, seems to have a fetish for a certain creepy little hand and he isn’t afraid to wield it — even if Walk the Moon’s tour manager isn’t so stoked on it.
6. Their fans’ artistic creations might just be the fan art to end all fan art
Fan art on point. pic.twitter.com/bBa3YHYAtI
— Eli Maiman (@brosemaiman) August 10, 2015
I mean, this rendering of guitarist Eli Maiman is downright eerie, isn’t it?
7. “Anna Sun” was named for a professor with a beautiful moniker
Petricca says he named the hit single because he was totally inspired by the sound of his teacher’s name. “She just has a really inspiring name, I think,” he told Interview.
The content of the song, however, doesn’t have anything to do with his former professor. “I think it’s about nostalgia and maintaining the sense of being a kid into adulthood,” he said of of “Anna Sun.” “It’s about keeping that or losing that.”
8. Their ritual of painting their faces before every show was inspired by fans
The guys are known for taking the stage donning colorful face paint, and they say it’s all because of their faithful followers. “People started coming to shows in face paint and, so, we started bringing it. It just became this tradition,” Petricca told KROQ.
9. Petricca loves kitties
And that makes us love him even more.
10. They lived in a commune while working on Talking Is Hard
Well, sorta. While the band was jamming and coming up with material for their second major album, they stayed in some interesting living quarters. “We rented out a former Masonic lodge-turned-artist commune in Kentucky for a few weeks,” Waugaman wrote in a blog for Modern Drummer. “There we started fine tuning these jams into songs and really started the process of making the album.”
11. They do a rad cover of “Burning Down the House”
They’re definitely giving the Talking Heads a run for their money.