Walk Off The Earth tries to top 140 million view viral videoon December 11, 2012 @ 1:42 pm (Updated: 2:00 pm - 12/14/12 )
Canadian indie-rockers Walk Off The Earth had been making videos for years when they cooked up a clever idea for a cover of Gotye's massively popular "Somebody That I Used to Know." So they had no idea that within two weeks it would suddenly have 35 million hits on YouTube.
"We don't really know how it happened. It was just another idea. It was just another video that we put out and we were like 'cool there it goes', and then all of a sudden, boom'," said Sarah Blackwood, one of the band's singers and multi-instrumentalists, during a visit to KIRO Radio for Seattle Sounds and Holiday Magic.
The video of all five playing on one guitar has now been watched nearly 140 million times, landing them worldwide attention, a major-label record deal, and plenty of high profile gigs including the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
But don't call them one-hit wonders. They have already made tons of videos and music since starting in the Toronto area back in 2006.
"That's kind of what may have tipped the scale. But it's because we had all that other stuff that people took us more seriously and it wasn't just like a football to the groin video or a one-hit wonder kind of thing," said bandmate Gianni Luminati.
Walk Off The Earth defies most conventions. All of the band members sing and play a variety of instruments from glockenspiel to horns. And they're unapologetic about playing and recording a number of covers along with their original songs.
Besides the Gotye song, they've put out dozens of clever, uniquely arranged covers and videos, ranging from Nirvana's "Polly" to a ska-infused version of Adele's "Someone Like You."
"If you look back in history, a lot of your favorite bands were mainly cover bands. Elvis and Dolly Parton used to play tons of covers," said bandmate Marshall. "A good song is a good song."
The band has no shortage of good songs of its own. Their new EP R.E.V.O is a joyful, upbeat, and infectious collection of indie-pop that showcases their diverse skills and influences (who knew a xylophone could rock so hard?!). Wisely, Columbia Records left the band alone for its major label debut.
"We knew we wanted to keep doing what we were doing," Marshall said. "It was working. "A lot of the labels want you take it in a different direction and Columbia was the one label that let us keep doing what we were doing."
So after getting nearly 140 million views on YouTube, do you even try to top such an expected milestone?
"Absolutely," laughed Sarah, who said the band's next goal is a simple one. "World domination," she joked.
They're certainly giving it their best shot. Walk Off The Earth is heading home for the holidays before venturing back out for another round of touring in Europe and the U.S. They also plan to keep cranking out the songs and videos. But the only thing predictable about the unique songsters is it won't be predictable.
"We just have lots of ideas we haven't done yet. You're not going to be seeing five people playing guitar again."
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