JM – We’ve been doing well. We are all working like crazy and it gets tricky balancing working full time and doing music but it’s a calling and we love it so we’ve been busy.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Into The Gray”?
JM – It means different things for each of us. We got to a point where we felt there was so much going on in the world and we are from different parts of the world and believe different things so it was hard to stand by and watch the last few months play out with what’s going on in this country. Moe called me up one day after a tragic incident in his family and told me how much this song helped him through it and we decided that we really had to share it.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
JM – For me one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn was to let people go down their own path even if it means they get hurt sometimes. They have to walk it on their own and the only thing you can do as hard as it maybe, is just to be there for them no matter what the outcome of their choices. And I had a couple friends go down paths that I wouldn’t have chosen for them but in retrospect they needed to sort through their stuff and my role was simply to let them know they were loved unconditionally (insert Katy Perry Song here). So in essence “Into the Gray” was my coming to terms with my roles in their lives despite how it affected me cuz that’s what you do for the people you love.
How was the film experience?
JM – We worked with Dan Brink Productions and we shot it at Pienix Studios in Hollywood. It was a really great experience working with professionals but also guys who genuinely cared about what we were doing. It was a very fun vibe on set because the song in itself is quite emotional so we kept it light in between takes as we usually do and the whole crew fit right in.
The single comes off your new album Body Language – what’s the story behind the title?
JM – So when I moved to LA I was about 315lbs and I decided to get healthy and to just feel better about myself and to finally have the confidence I always wanted. I decided to stop making excuses and just work each day to get closer to the life I wanted. As I started losing weight and the guy in the mirror began to change it was almost like relearning how to communicate with the world in a new way and it coincided with us beginning to work on this project, so the songs on Body Language reflect that and are a little sexier and more physical than anything I’d ever written cuz it was a new experience for me.
How was the recording and writing process?
JM – It was interesting because the guys were used to doing things a certain way just as I was so recording this project was almost like us finding a new flow. Some started as acoustic songs that I wrote at like 3 am in my bedroom and others were inspired by jam sessions or Moe (the bassist) usually has a knack for creating or finding cool sounds that can spark some ideas and then we all get like mad scientists and tinker with the parts until we are satisfied.
How did the 80s influence the writing of this album?
JM – Well we are all children of the 80’s who grew up on the sounds and the artists so they’ve definitely influenced us. It’s the era we were introduced to melodies and grooves so it’s definitely embedded in there. It did influence production choices as well because there was definitely timeless music created back then. The 80’s I think also inspired Ian’s love of big guitar solos and David Foster and our joint obsession with Disney and Alessio’s drum fills J
What cultural backgrounds did you get to explore on this record?
JM – Well most of us are immigrants and so we naturally hear music differently, so the way we play and our influences are also very different so finding that balance was cool. But more specifically on the title track Body Language for instance, there is a culmination of a bunch of things. The sound of it stemmed from this haunting line in a Latin song that Moe played for me. Also towards the end of us producing this song, I couldn’t stop hearing that steel pan line and maybe it was because I was homesick for the Caribbean but I couldn’t stop hearing it so we tried it out and we liked it. It’s just amazing to have so much cultural ammunition to draw from and it keeps the music making fun.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
JM – They all come from real life experiences of living, loving, making music and chasing this life that we want so badly here in this crazy city of angels and where ever this journey takes us. So the songs always mean something whether they are more emotional or more fun. I think for all of us the production ideas come from the stuff that inspires us and the new stuff that intrigue us on the radio or any good Spotify or apple playlists or the more underground stuff coming out of the indie scene cuz there’s a lot of dope stuff.
Any plans to hit the road?
JM – I think we always plan to hit the road but the reality is that extended touring costs money. So any opportunity that comes our way we definitely look into because we did go on a short East coast tour last fall and it was a hell of a good time. So nothing set in stone yet but who knows!
What else is happening next in WALLA’s world?
JM – We are working on some new stuff that we really love and exploring more sounds and styles. The beauty in music is it’s always evolving so we decided not to fight it and just see where the exploration takes us so 2018 is gonna be a good year full of new music.