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Walk Off the Earth’s Orbital Interlude

Walk Off The Earth

Photo courtesy of the artist

Walk Off The Earth's Orbital Interlude

Walk Off the Earth is carving out a new niche for the cover artist and adding a fresh element to modern music. Producing one-shot wonders with a looping pedal and some clever choreography is nothing new, but their emphasis on process over product is what sets this band apart. Along with their use of anything from guns and knives to giant acoustic guitars to make their music, a sort of modern Tin Pan Alley, it is very clear that while their work is fun and lighthearted, Walk Off the Earth is a truly innovative force producing genuine art.

Walk Off The Earth, beard guy

The Beard Guy

That a cover band can recycle megahit pop songs that get millions of YouTube views only to get millions more with their deconstructed, tweezed and reassembled versions is a testament to originality that strikes a chord so resonant as to make it original all over again. Most of these videos are studio tracks layered over a live shot in one take until the performance and recording are synced so perfectly that it’s like an exquisite musical sleight of hand card trick. The “How did they do that” aspect is another layer of appeal that makes the overall piece snap, crackle and pop.

...studio tracks layered over a live shot in one take until the performance and recording are synced so perfectly that it’s like an exquisite musical sleight of hand card trick.

These well-executed videos straddle performance art, often involving intricate moves, such as instruments floating mysteriously in frame, played briefly, then passed to another member who plays it—again in perfect time—only to float out of frame. The complex percussion and even ceiling cymbal kicks are tossed off nonchalantly over a really catchy pop song, combining to make a single piece of especially viral content that rivals the 1918 flu pandemic.

They describe the song selection process here.
It has to be a bit different than what our sound is like. We want to bring the song, whatever it is, into a different direction and make people listen to it. Take a Taylor Swift cover for example; we like to take it away from the way it is as the original artist did it and make it sound different. But if there’s a song that any of us wants to cover he just brings it in and if everybody’s in, we just do it, you understand? It’s not that it’s a big elaborate process; we just make things. If we think it’s cool, we just do it. It’s almost a natural process.