How WALK THE MOON Knew “Shut Up and Dance” Was “Special”

Image Courtesy of RCA RecordsWALK THE MOON is riding high on the charts thanks to their platinum, top-10 hit "Shut Up and Dance"; they'll perform it on May 12 on The Voice. While the band had some initial mainstream success a couple years ago with their song "Anna Sun," the super-catchy '80s flavored "Shut Up and Dance" has taken them to the next level.  So why is it connecting?  Frontman Nick Petricca thinks it's because the track is both emotional and nostalgic.

"The song is kinda based on a true story and so it’s got a lot of heart in it," Nick tells ABC Radio. "And, you know, at the time we were listening to a lot of influences in the mid-late-‘80s, like The Cars and Pat Benatar...bands that have been timeless, you know? So we wanted to incorporate some of those elements into it. Maybe that has something to do with it."

But WALK THE MOON had a feeling that the song would be a hit even before they recorded it, because of the instant reaction it got when they debuted it at a concert.

"The first time we played 'Shut Up and Dance' right before we went in to record, we were at a college show," Nick recalls. "And there was just this feeling in the room. It was the first time we had ever performed it and the kids certainly didn’t know the song, but by the second chorus they were singing along and so we knew that there was something special about it."

As for that true story, Nick says it happened when the band was in L.A. writing songs for their current album, TALKING IS HARD.  They were working on the song that would eventually become "Shut Up and Dance," but they still needed a chorus.  That's when fate intervened.

"I went out with some friends to go dancing and kind of blow off some steam and maybe get some inspiration," Nick recalls. "And there was actually a girl there with a backless dress and beat-up red Chucks and she told me to shut up and dance with her. And that night I came home and wrote the lyrics for the chorus."

The girl's outfit found its way into the song's second verse, and what she told him became the chorus.  Nick says that girl is still a part of his life, so it seems he got a romance out of the incident, as well as a hit single.

WALK THE MOON continues their tour in support of TALKING IS HARD in New Orleans on Wednesday.

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