Walk the Moon, the Ohio-based band behind pop-rock hits “Shut Up and Dance” and “Anna Sun,” announced an indefinite hiatus.
“The time has come for us to take a good long break from touring and making records together,” frontman Nicholas Petricca said in an emotional video posted to the band’s YouTube page. “When we do reconvene, that will be a glorious day. And the truth is, we don’t know when that’s gonna be.”
Reflecting on the number of shows the band has played together — and miles they’ve traveled — Petricca said Walk the Moon is “filled with love, gratitude, appreciation, and some heartache” as they announce a “hibernation.”
“It is an enormous act of love to carefully lift something like this from the center of our lives and place it gently to the side, out of focus, and let it rest for a moment,” Petricca said. “It’s a choice we made powerfully to follow our truth, to make space for new creations, for family, to serve our well-being and, in the long run, even serve the well-being of our community… to hopefully come back one day stronger than before.”
It’s not just the end of a chapter, as Petricca announced some new developments as well, including a livestream of the final date of their tour and some new music on the way. The band currently has three remaining tour dates, the last being a show in Arcadia, Wis., on Aug. 12. Walk the Moon guitarist Eli Maiman also has “a new musical collaboration in the works,” and Petricca is “creating a solo project universe.”
Petricca started the band in 2006 as a student at Kenyon College, but the current lineup formed around 2011, with Eli Maiman on lead guitar and Sean Waugaman on the drums. (Longtime bassist Kevin Ray departed Walk the Moon in December 2020 after Petricca announced on Instagram that Ray had “acted out of alignment with our values.”)
With their 2012 self-titled studio debut, featuring the collegiate indie anthem “Anna Sun” and “Tightrope,” Walk the Moon became a festival mainstay and a major player in the 2010s alt-rock scene. The band was known for wearing colorful face paint onstage, sparking its tight-knit community of fans to follow suit. “Shut Up and Dance,” from their 2014 album “Talking Is Hard,” catapulted the band to international success and landed them a Top 10 Billboard hit that remained on the charts for over a year. With nearly 1.4 billion plays on Spotify, “Shut Up and Dance” became one of the most-streamed songs of the decade. In 2016, the group released a live album, “You Are Not Alone,” recorded from their show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater.
Walk the Moon returned in 2017 with “What if Nothing,” featuring the electronic pop single “One Foot,” and released their fourth studio album, “Heights,” in 2021. In 2022, Petricca, Maiman and Waugaman embarked on a limited U.S. tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Walk the Moon.”
In the video announcing the band’s hiatus, Petricca personally thanked bandmates Maiman (“for being the most overqualified guitarist possible”) and Waugaman (“for standing out amongst all the drummers I’ve ever played with”), as well as himself.
“In 2009, when all the other members had left, I was a band of one when my dad was getting sick, and I was at the bottom of the darkest corner of my life,” Petricca said, fighting back tears. “I could have just let Walk the Moon die and disappear. Instead, I made the choice to keep going. From that point forward, Walk the Moon has been the greatest gift to me, this vehicle through which my pain and joy and memories and experiences have been transmitted to millions of other human beings in this magical way.”
Wrapping up the video, Petricca said, “With all the love in our multicolor hearts, thank you for whatever you’ve done to make this music what it is… We love you. See you soon.”
Watch the full video below.
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