Review Fix Exclusive: Walla Talks ‘Into The Gray’ And More

Photo taken downtown Los Angeles on 10/14/15.

Review Fix chats with Jean Marc Tardieu (Lead Vocals), Ian Charlie (Lead Guitar), Mauricio “Moebeats” Carcamo (Bass Guitar), Alessio Balsemin (Drums) of Walla, who discuss their creative process and goals for their upcoming EP and single, “Into The Gray.”

Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?

MB: My family is mostly to blame lol. They bought instruments but never learned to play them. As I got older, I learned how to read and write music and later I finally found use for the stuff they had bought years ago.

AB: I was in middle school, and I was surrounded by friends that were starting to play music, or getting involved in their first projects. Some classmates started this funny project and there was a spot available as a drummer, so I jumped on it right away. The project was really sarcastic and when you are 12 you don’t take anything seriously… Well after many years I’m still here playing drum so I guess I took it seriously after all.

JM: Singing has always been part of my life as my mom discovered I could sing while wearing her stage costumes in the mirror one day at 5 years old. She enrolled me in The Love Movement Ministry Children’s Choir shortly after and I also began to learn the steel pan and piano and it began a love affair with music that I will never get enough of.

Review Fix: What are your influences?

IC: Well, we all come from different countries. Trinidad & Tobago (JM), Italy (Alessio), Mexico & El Salvador, and Indonesia (Ian). So culturally we have different influences but I was very influenced by everything Disney and David Foster as well as ’80s Rock.

MB: Old and new music. From The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, to King Krule, Future Islands, Porter Robinson

AB: I grow up with the Americans tunes, especially rock, was the grunge era. But of course since I’m from Italy I couldn’t avoid some popular song. Plus I got involved in some disco and funky music project. I’m also always been fascinated by new and weird sounds like synths or some unearthly guitars sounds, most likely distorted.

So the whole ‘80s period fascinated me, I’m just glad the quality of sound got better since sometimes some production from the early ’80, sounded a bit cheesy to me.

JM: I was raised on a healthy diet of Caribbean and Gospel music as well as The Beatles, Celine Dion, Elton John, the BeeGees and ‘70s disco ‘80s rock and ‘90s pop and alternative.

Review Fix: How has your sound evolved from when you first started?

MB: We started off indie pop and a lot of young kids enjoyed our music. I feel now, our music has matured and it has an older audience. We talk more adult things now and the sound is more on the Pop side.

AB: Well, as in almost every band, when we first started there were different musicians. During the years, things happen and members changed. When anyone goes through something in their life it makes them grow and we’ve grown and the music has gotten more mature. Like the good wine when it gets older!

Review Fix: What makes your brand of music special?

MB: It’s a mix of different cultures from around the world. Our different cultures give our music a different flavor.

AB: WALLA has always put in the foreground that we are a band from different parts of the world. Literally far away and that means different culture, different countries, different places and weather, different background and different languages. This is a mix you need to keep in consideration, sometime is not easy, but it brings a lot of musical receipts.

JM: I’m also very much about being honest and writing music that is heartfelt and meaningful as well as fun and uplifting and I believe that our life experiences give us each a unique element that we bring to the music.

Review Fix: Why do you think people should enjoy it?

MB: Right now times are difficult. There is a lot of sadness in the world. People can find refuge in this song. It can help lift spirits just as it did for me recently.

I believe it’s also just really a strong song and really different from others that we’ve put out.

AB: MOE the bassist insisted we release this track for personal reasons and I agreed because “Into the Gray” could be one to touch your heart, no matter what you have been through, whether something sad or something happy. Everybody sees how sad this world can be.

Review Fix: What inspired Into the Gray?

AB: For what I know JM wrote the lyrics about some of his friends. He saw them going to the wrong path and no matter what way you chose they still your friends… But I let him answer this one :D

JM: that’s almost close haha… for me, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn was to let go and allow the people I care about to make their own mistakes even if it means they get bruised in the process because we all have to live our own lives and learn from our choices. So in essence writing “Into the Gray” was my coming to terms with my role in the lives of the people I love even when it’s hard and takes a lot out of me and hurts but that’s what love is a promise to be there no matter what for those that mean the world to you and we need more unconditional love in this world right now.

Review Fix: I love the vocal harmonies in the song, how did those come to be?

AB: I probably said something or gave some ideas during production, but as usual I’m just a drummer, nobody listens to me.

JM: Well the truth is I’m obsessed with harmonies. I was raised on the BeeGees, as well as Choral and Gospel music so it’s like second nature for me. I walk around singing harmonies to everything so it was a no-brainer for this song because they add such emotional texture to the experience of the song.

Review Fix: How do you want that song to affect people?

AB: Personally I’m a guy that reacts first in life. I fall on my butt so many times. So I hope that the song could bring people through some sadness, at least bring hope and joy to the listener, so they know that they are not alone and that other people feel the same.

JM: Like Alessio said to bring hope! I hope that when people hear this song it gives them just little more strength. We put this single out to add just a little more goodness into this world because the song has helped each of us in our own way and we were very heavy-hearted because of the crazy things going on in this country and the world. So I hope they are filled even if in the smallest of ways.

Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?

JM: Music, Music, Music and hopefully shows in all different parts of the country and who knows maybe the world! We’ll see J

AB: More music, of course… And more interviews, these things are funny.

Review Fix: What’s next?

AB: Record the new EP

JM: Yes we are definitely working on new stuff and very excited about it because it’s very groovy and soulful

Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?

AB: I’m Italian, good-looking, and I’m still single.

JM: See why we can’t take him anywhere hahaha. I’d just like to thank all those who’ve supported this record because it means a lot to us.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9946 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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