Walk Off The Earth is an indie band from Burlington
, Ontario. Their biggest claim to fame is producing low budget viral videos of both their own music, and cover versions of popular songs. In January of 2012 they hit it big with a video of five band members playing Gotye
's "Somebody That I Used To Know" on one guitar
. Within days of posting the video had over 4 million views. Current view count sits at over 150 million
When not sharing a guitar, the group incorporates multiple instruments into their songs, ranging from the ordinary (guitars, drums, shakers, harmonica, trombone), to the quirky (theremin, ukelele, cigar box guitars, beat box vocals), to found objects (water jug, microwave, handgun
). Many songs also feature heavy use of the loop pedal. How these instruments enter and exit the videos is often a draw for video watchers.
While many videos feature guest appearances from friends in the music business, the core band members are:
- Gianni Luminati – Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Banjo, Kazoo, Keys, Drums, Vocals, Theremin, Beatbox, Xylophone, Cigar box guitar, Cigar Box Ukulele;
- Sarah Blackwood – Guitar, Electric Guitar, Kazoo, Ukulele, Banjo, Bass, Vocals, Piano, Glockenspiel, Tamborine, Cigar box guitar, xylophone;
- Ryan Marshall – Guitar, Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals, Trumpet, Drums, Bass;
- Mike Taylor – Pianos, Vocals, vibraslap, digeridoo, drums
- Joel Cassady – Drums, Cigar box guitar, ukelele
The band is currently touring Europe and North America
Tropes associated with Walk Off The Earth:
- Approval Of God: Taylor Swift thought "I Knew You Were Trouble" was good enough to pass on via Twitter.
- Ascended Meme: Mike Taylor's Memetic Badass status apparently led to him being cast as the antagonist in the video for "Gang of Rhythm".
- Badass Beard: Mike Taylor
- Band Toon: A fan made puppet versions of Gianni and Sarah. The puppets have shown up in a couple of videos.
- Camera Abuse: Once or twice a tossed instrument hits the camera
- Chorus-Only Song: "Corner of Queen"
- Christmas Songs: Fairytale of New York filmed in New York City as well.
- Concept Video: For their original songs.
- Cover Version: Most of their Youtube videos, although they do have many original songs
- The Cover Changes The Gender: Most. "Somebody that I Used to Know" is a notable exception.
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: Their version of "Whip My Hair" is not exactly the kind of song you'd let your 10 year old sing.
- Crossover: With Roomie for "Edge of Glory"
- Day in the Limelight: Marshall sings "I Gave You All". The only WOTE video he's in alone.
- Everything Is an Instrument: As mentioned earlier, "instruments" have included water jugs, sharpening knives, guns and cutlery. See a bunch of them here.
- Fan Nickname: Mike Taylor, based on his stoic nature in the Walk off the Earth video, has become known as "Beard Guy", "Chuck Norris", "Leonidas", "Beard Man", "Sea Captain" and "Sparta guy".
- Iconic Song Request: A few of their newer videos are made in answer to requests, Party Rock Anthem starts by highlighting a few of these requests.
- Impractical Musical Instrument Skills: Many videos feature ukeleles, drumsticks, and even regular sized guitars being tossed onto and off of the shot with no break in the music. Ukelele-tossing skills were lampshaded in this Superbowl parody video.
- Five people on one guitar anyone?
- Instrumental Weapon: The handgun mentioned earlier.
- In the Hood: The black and white hoodies from the Backin' Up Song by Auto-Tune the News are featured in Walk Off The Earth's version of the song here
- Limited Wardrobe: Grey tops for everyone!
- Motor Mouth: Gianni in "Magic"
- Ode to Intoxication: More of "Odes to alcohol" are Cheers (Drink to that) and Sunny D and Rum
- One Woman Song: "Polly"
- Self-Backing Vocalist: A symptom of heavy loop pedal use, but especially seen in "Yesterday" when Gianni sings with a total of five versions of himself.
- Self-Parody: Five Peeps One Guitar has evolved!
- Street Musician: Referenced in "Corner of Queen"
- The Stoic: Beard guy aka Mike Taylor
- Stop and Go: When the band briefly disappears during "Backin' Up"
- Stop Motion: The video for Money Tree is made from a series of photos strung together in a stop motion story.
- Suicidal Gotcha: Towards the end of "Gang of Rhythm".
- Theremin: The Coolest Theremin Video Ever
- Tick Tock Tune: The clock in Little Boxes
- Title Drop: The band comes close to title-dropping their name in the song "Gang of Rhythm": "There's no worries on the Earth tonight/We're all walking off the world tonight."
- Vocal Tag Team: Gianni, Sarah, and Ryan all sing lead vocals, some combination of two of them tend to sing lead each song, trading off verses.