In a recent conversation with Nathaniel from Walking Shapes we discussed their new album Taka Come On and got hip to the band's wild idea to take on New York City and play 24 shows…in 24 hours…on April 24. The logistics are vague, but there is talk of an acoustic performance via a Citi Bike ride across the Williamsburg Bridge, crashing NYC gyms, a performance at McCarren Park, a gig at a classroom in NYU, a shop in Soho, subway stations, clubs, restaurants, pubs, and venus like Baby's All Right and Pianos. Regardless of how the gigs shake out during the day, “24/24/24” will close out with a big party at the The Bowery Electric with Har Mar Superstar, Cold Blood Club, and Appomattox. Follow all the details and movements via Walking Shapes' Facebook and Twitter.
Check our full conversation with Nathan below, in which we discuss the new Walking Shapes album and, of course, this crazy “24/24/24” stunt:
“Winter Fell” evokes the kind of cabin fever anxiousness of being shut in during cold NYC winters. What inspired this song for you guys?
“Winter Fell” was inspired by sitting in my apartment looking outside at our one tree and thinking about how fortunate I was to have all my friends and family in my life. At the time I was feeling a little trapped and had nowhere to go and felt like I had no one to see. It's easy to get down on yourself sometimes and always refreshing to sit back and realize there's up and downs, but its all good.
How has the transition from winter to spring in New York been for you?
Its been so easy! We've been on tour for March and April, mostly on the west coast and in the south. This winter was pretty brutal at times—hunched shoulders and too much money spent on cabs. We're very excited to get back to the city for May and happy to have skipped the end of winter. Summer in the city is a beautiful thing.
In what ways do you feel that the legendary [producer] Gus Oberg's contributions to Taka Come On affected the sound of Walking Shapes?
Working with Gus was a solid experience. Things got weird and spirits were always high, we worked late late nights and would consistently go in with an open mind and an eagerness to “fuck things up.” We sent him 60 songs we had been working on and he choose what he thought would make the best album. It was exciting to work with someone we all trusted to hone in and help us put an album together. Gus is a brilliant person, let alone killer producer, so his knowledge and good vibes are really what made this record gel.
What inspired the album's name?
How does one name a child, why is the sky blue, why is the grass green? One can't really put words to such things. I think this album probably named itself, but i'm sure at some point it will reveal itself, although it could take years.
Do you feel that he added some of that Strokes cadence, or just brought out more of Walking Shapes' New York sound?
I think Gus's attitude brought out our personalities and helped us capture that. I can remember at one point I was working on a vocal and he said, “Think of the streets, get out of the jungle,” so maybe that's what you're picking up on for that New York reflection.
How did the Alexander Evan Morales and Adam Erick Wallace video happen, showcasing the 8mm dance moves of Karolina Wallace and Darla Baker?
Adam and Alex have been working on a full length 8mm film that streams the entirety of the album that we'll be releasing this soon. They are dear friends of ours, and we share a rehearsal space and miso soup recipes with Adam and Karolina who play in the NYC band Radiant Reveries. The concept for doing a full length album stream came together from Adam coming to the studio and photographing us while recording “Taka Come On.” Darla and Karolina were sweet enough to be involved and allow us to capture their artistic expression. Big thanks to all of them, we truly love those guys.
What else are you guys working on that we should know about?
On April 24 we are going to be doing 24 shows in 24 hours, which is going to be a little crazy considering the tour ends April 25. For “24/24/24” we're going to be playing at different boutiques, publications, and NYC venues and landmarks. The last show of the day will be with Har Mar Superstar at Bowery Electric.
Spring/summer plans for Walking Shapes?
We're finishing up our spring tour and working on a video right now for “Feel Good,” track 10 on Taka Come On. We're also prepping plans to head on the road again late this summer and writing music for the next record.