Interview: Walden at Shaky Knees 2019
Interview: Walden at Shaky Knees 2019
By Luis Rodriguez
Walden was the very first act that I saw perform Saturday, and I emailed them immediately after for an interview. This group of guys from Athens, GA had instantly stolen my heart with their electric energy, intense passion, immense stage presence and of course their musical prowess. It is rare these days that I find a band that truly encapsulates the essence of what a rock band should be, but man, this crew has it all. You can tell just how much they care about music and how they want to make everyone feel just as strongly as they do. I felt like I had gotten to know them through that performance, and hopefully this interview helps everyone else get to know Walden a little bit too.
So you guys just released your new EP, The Static, about a month ago now. So how do you feel about its reception?
Eric: I hate it, i hate the ep (laughs) just kidding.
Richard: I think the reception has been fantastic. Everyone who listens to it appreciates the songs and how much work we put into it. I mean we worked our assess off on this thing, and even though it’s four songs we’ve been working on it for months and months. Spending nights just constantly up until the day we recorded lyrics, breaking down the lyrics making sure this is exactly what we want to say and making sure the music conveys that message. Everyone who heard it really liked, but I don’t think enough people have heard it yet. I don’t think it’s reached its full potential yet. We’ll be playing these songs for a while, and I just want to get it out to more people as well. We’ll be promoting it all through the fall, hopefully be touring through the end of the summer/fall, and we’re gonna work on some new music for the summer. So well have a bunch of new songs to be playing live and we just think it’s important for people to go home after a set, after they’ve really enjoyed something, and be able to listen to it on repeat.
Is it a surreal experience to be playing at a festival like Shaky Knees, considering your humble beginnings of debuting at a Pizza Hut back in 2012?
Eric: Well, I think it feels great. It feels right. I think a lot of people look at us like we’re a young band, but we’ve also been doing this for a long time, that’s the truth. We started doing this at the tail end of high school and we’ve just been putting our heads down, getting better and minding our own business just trying to climb this crazy ladder that is the music industry. You know our whole goal is to do this for a living, so any way we can make that happen we’re all about it! Today just felt like a great, natural progression of things and it feels nice.
Being from Athens, you guys have been around since Shaky Knees’ inception in 2013, so how do you feel it has grown over the years?
Andrew: I think Shaky Knees is cool because it’s one of the few rock driven festivals left that still caters to an audience where almost everyone can love a band here ― a lot of bands here. There are very few festivals left that have a lineup like this and for us, being from Atlanta, to be able to go from playing some of the lower festivals, some of the smaller festivals to make it here and play Shaky on Saturday is definitely a cool feeling. We’ve watched it from its inception, so it’s definitely a hometown dream come true kind of thing. We had that last year when we played 420 fest, and a lot of the other festivals, but this is a special one. Especially for a rock band. Rock is in an interesting place right now and to have Shaky still carrying the flag here in Atlanta is awesome.
Who is your favorite artist at Shaky Knees 2019?
Eric: Tame Impala.
Andrew: We’ve all been waiting to see Tame Impala for a long time. We’ve seen Cage [the Elephant] before, but we’re stoked to see cage again.
Eric: Cage for me. We saw Cage at Bonnaroo, that was my first time. They are just a true rock and roll act, which I love, and they bring such a raw energy. So anytime I can catch them, I’m going to.
Andrew: I don’t count how many times I’ve seen them (Cage the Elephant). I’m just gonna go.
What about your favorite artist at Shaky Knees ever?
Andrew: For me, my favorite set ever was The XX in 2017. Their whole vibe is one of a kind and it was just a magical, magical experience. They were headlining and it was just a one-of-a-kind set.
Richard: This is our first time (in reference to Jamie and himself).
Eric: I saw St. Paul & The Broken Bones a few years back and didn’t even really know who they were at the time, but they just put on such a phenomenal show. It was great. Young the Giant was there that year and they were great as well. So many great acts.
Alright, now we are going to get to the hard hitting questions, what is the definitive list of Walden’s top 5 favorite snacks?
Everyone: SNACK FOODS?
Andrew: Alright number one Extra Toasty Cheez-Its-
Eric (interrupting): Wait is this our collective opinion on that?
Yes this is your collective opinion. I know it’s difficult.
Andrew and Jamie: Extra Toasty Cheez-Its-
Eric (interrupting again): This is in no particular order.
I need an order. It’s very important.
Richard: I don’t think we will be able to agree on an order.
Eric: I may be outvoted on the Extra Toasty Cheez-Its
(At this point I give up on an strict order)
Andrew: Rips sour belts candy, you can find them at gas stations
Richard: Bold party mix
Jamie: From Aldi’s!
Eric: Yeah from Aldi’s, not Chex Mix. We used to eat the bold Chex Mix, but Aldi brand bold party mix is the best.
Richard: Reese’s cups
Eric: Mini Reese’s cups! It’s a better ratio between chocolate and peanut butter-
Jamie (interruption #3, with a lot of passion): I disagree with that.
Eric: Gushers! We have Gushers in our green room here today and I will say that we are a little pissed off. We’re not usually high maintenance but we saw the strawberry only Gushers and we know Cage and Gary Clark Jr. have tropical in their green rooms so… we’re not trying to start any beef but we might sneak in and grab some.
It’s disrespectful honestly.
Eric: Yeah it is disrespectful. We felt so welcomed here. Then, we got to our green room and it was strawberry Gushers only. A bit of a slap to the face, but oh well.
Okay, last question, now I don’t know if you all play smash or-
Andrew: Oh we play smash
I mean don’t we all… What are your mains?
Eric: What generation, like melee or ultimate?
Eric: We are assuming its melee.
Andrew and Richard: Captain Falcon
Jamie: I’m Samus
Eric: And I’m Pikachu. Every now and then, just to piss these guys off, I’ll play Jigglypuff and I’ll sweep with Jigglypuff.
Eric: Of course! Man this guy has great taste.
Bonus pic of me and the band looking cute:
These guys are truly talented and fun people to be around. I’m here to make this official statement that WUSC loves Walden and if you want to learn more about the band, their music, tour dates, etc., you can visit there website at:
You can also check them out on Spotify here: