The Walters Shared Stories Behind New Songs, Upcoming Album, and PELUPO, Straight Outta Sauna

by Montipa Virojpan

The Walters, the America’s sweetheart pop band from Chicago, Illinois (now an LA residence), just gave us an exclusive moment to chat with them about their new album which will be out this year after releasing 2 singles ‘Running Around’ and ‘All of Our Days’, also what to expect in their upcoming Thailand debut show at PELUPO 2024, straight outta sauna.

Luke: [Inside the sauna] Sorry, they just texted me just now then ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I forgot’. Thanks for having us.

The COSMOS: Is it okay if you bring the phone to the sauna? Normally they don’t allow it.

Luke: It’s the sauna in our backyard. We’re sauna boys. Have you ever sauna before? Is it popular there?

The COSMOS: Yes, we have saunas in the gym and spa almost everywhere.

Luke: We’re so excited. We’ve never been.

Walter: Yeah, we’ve never been. And it’s really exciting for us because a lot of people we know, most of my family, we’ve never been to Asia. So it’s gonna be an amazing experience and it’s crazy we have fans over there.

Walter: Honestly. the food, for me. We love Thai food. There’s a whole lot of it in LA. Actually I just had some last night.

Luke: We’re super excited to come. You gotta give us recommendations.

Luke: I grew up listening to Jack Johnson a lot. And Parcels, they’re super good.

Luke: It’s gonna be a lot of energy, fun, running around, dancing, and hopefully people like it. We’ve been practicing a little bit. 

Walter: Yeah, hopefully to get audience participation.

Luke: We got some parts that have the audience sing. We’ve been waiting to play for you guys so we’ll give our best.

Luke: I think we just got a little phase of coming back together, and just trying new things…

Now the connection was disconnected and they tried logging back in

Luke: [Inside the house] It said the temperature is too hot, so we gotta come out. We’ll continue. I’m sure this is one of our memorable experiences for an interview that you’ve ever had.

Okay, we’re talking about our sound, and so yeah we just try a few things. But a lot of songs we’re making now are kind of more just classic ‘I Love You So’ Walters style songs… So you know the last couple (‘Stuck in My Ways’, ‘By the Water’) are just like an experiment really. 

Walter: And the next stuff will be a little more classic Motown style. It’s our first full album so it’s gonna be 10 or 11 songs, and it will be out this year. I think by the time that we play, it might be another song out for it.

Luke: Those songs will be the part of the album we’re still making, and one of them ‘Running Around’ is like old-school, upbeat, fun Walters and ‘All of Our Days’ is the nice ballad with a nice sweet sound in the song.

Walter: ‘All of Our Days’ is kind of like going back to the sound that we started with experimenting with different instruments. You’ll notice some different layers of synthesizers. I just got this guy [Showing us a black Otamatone]. I just saw the video of the guy using it so I think I need to get one… or probably not gonna be on the album.

The COSMOS: Maybe at the performance?

Luke: Yeah, we’re gonna bring it for sure… There’s just gonna be an interesting sound in this album. I guess they’re just like love songs. That’s kind of what we write right?

Walter: Yeah, we tried to write what we know. We don’t know a lot.

Luke: But we know about love.

Luke: I think just growing up our parents introduced us to this kind of music, and for us we feel like it never goes out of style. It’s the classic sound in songs we just wanna emulate artist we love.

Walter: It’s something about a simple song with simple chords and simple melody that If it’s done right then it’s just… my personally favorite thing… I like a lot of types of music, but that’s the music that means stuff to me.

Walter: Well, funny enough, we had the honor of playing The Beach Boys’ song with Brian Wilson, the singer’s daughter. We just did that 2 or 3 weeks ago. We played ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ which was a crazy experience for us. But I don’t know how it is where you are in Asia, but The Beach Boys seem like, in America, they’re just as famous as the Beatles. It’s just kind of like everybody knows The Beach Boys as long as I remember. Maybe that’s just why I love them. 

Luke: Same.

Luke: Yeah, kind of. You always have new music for people to listen to, and like it just as much as the song like ‘I Love You So’, but it’s not easy for sure. People grow attached to your first song and it’s kind of hard to get back to that. As long as we’re making stuff that we love and releasing music that is the most important thing. Everybody has their favorite song. We’re gonna put on a lot more music. I’m sure some of those songs will be people’s favorite, and hopefully we get another big one like ‘I Love You So’.

Walter: Everybody would be lying if they say they didn’t want their career to get more and more popular. We’re always thankful for that song. ‘I Love You So’ is the first song we’ve ever made as a band. We weren’t really a band yet when we made it. This kind of gave us the opportunity.

Luke: It’s been crazy changing our lives for sure, that song. We love that song.

Luke: ‘I Love You So’, when it started to go viral on TikTok, people were approaching us, offering us things. We just thought it was a good opportunity, and the timing was like the message from the universe that we should put our differences aside and try to do this again.

Walter: Yeah music is like our favorite thing to all of us, and the idea of being able to actually career out of it, it’s just something that none of us were willing to turn down. So we were really happy we did. How long has it been? 2-3 years since we started back and this year the album we have coming out. I’m the most proud of it since the start of the band. So it’s really like getting back to it, feeling new and fresh. So excited

The Walters: Yeah

Luke: I feel it hasn’t changed how we make music, but I think it changed how everybody, like music labels, don’t want to deal with you unless you have TikTok success. So it definitely changed in that way that it’s very dependent on TikTok. It worked out for us for ‘I Love You So’, but there’s also a downside like ‘Everything’s TikTok’ now.

Walter: And for us it’s a very interesting phenomenon because it’s such a big wave. We didn’t have TikTok and we didn’t make a post on TikTok, but people just started using the song. So it’s been like that in there without us knowing actually. And since then we have TikTok, but we’re 32 and we’re not using it, and we didn’t grow up with TikTok. But if you ask the younger band, it will be interesting because I think it’s all they know. TikTok doesn’t really influence us the same way as younger bands I think.

Luke: We cannot wait to play for you guys. It’s gonna be fun. Thank you for your patience. The Walters are coming.

Walter: And we’re looking forward to coming back many times after this so thank you so much. 

Luke: And if you have food recommendations, DM the Walters instagram, thank you. See you at the festival.

This year PELUPO push forward the environmentally friendly concept with ‘Small steps, big impact!’.

At PELUPO, caring for our environment and community is the heart of our values through intentional eco-friendly practices. That’s why we’ve invested in aluminum drinking cans. Our aim is to wrap up the event with minimal waste, and ensure any left will be completely sustainable. Green and clean and caring for the community, that’s the PELUPO way! Because even the tiniest steps create great impacts!

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Read more:
Bangkok Community Radio: The Platform That Not Only Amplifies Inclusivity in Music But Strives to Help the Community Flourish

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