There are a lot of bands who have never been and never will be big fans of YouTube. They often shy away from playing songs from upcoming albums onstage because they don’t want over-exposure for songs that might not be officially released for months.
Other bands view it differently.
Walk off the Earth, an indie-pop band from Canada, is one of those at the other end of the spectrum. The five-piece group, which will be in Philadelphia on Jan. 30 for an all-ages show at the Electric Factory, is known for putting videos on YouTube — original songs as well as a variety of pop songs.
The video of the band’s cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” went viral on YouTube earlier this year and logged more than 135 million views in four months.
Walk off the Earth — Gianni Luminati (guitar, bass, ukelele, banjo, theremin), Sarah Blackwood (guitar, bass, ukelele, banjo, piano), Ryan Marshall (guitar, bass, trumpet, piano), Mike Taylor (keyboards), Joel Cassady (drums) — also released “Somebody That I Used to Know” as a single and it has already gone platinum in Canada.
The quintet’s list of covers — some very well-known and some more eclectic — ranges from Adele’s “Someone Like You” to Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
“We have our own YouTube channel,” said Marshall, during a phone interview last week. “We started putting stuff on YouTube in 2008 and have a lot of videos on our channel now.
“In Canada, because there are such huge distances between cities, it’s hard to get music out to the people. With our first video, 10,000 people watched it and we’d never played a show to 10,000 people. It was something that allowed us to get a large variety of fans — and to go global.
“With the Gotye song, there was a lot that went before it. So, it wasn’t like a talking cat video or a kid with teeth video — a one-and-done thing. When it went viral, people watched it and then discovered our older videos. Had it just been a one video thing, we wouldn’t have gotten the interest.”
Internet music fans weren’t the only ones showing interest in Walk off the Earth. Columbia Records signed the band and the group released an EP of original songs called “R.E.V.O.” in 2012 followed by the “R.E.V.O.” album last year.
Walk off the Earth has two full-length albums from the past along with the EP and LP on Columbia. All its music has been totally D.I.Y.
“We’re working on a follow-up to R.E.V.O. but we’re not going to rush it,” said Marshall. “We’ll see if we can get it out by the end of the year. With the new album, we don’t want to pigeon-hole the band. We try not to give it a genre. We make a song and then let it go where it wants to go.
“We’ve been on the road — and we’ve been making videos for YouTube. We’re not a typical touring band because of the amount of time we put into our YouTube channel. We really try to bring the YouTube world to the stage. But, our live show is more exciting than our YouTube videos. There are guitars flying all over the stage.”
Walk off the Earth will perform tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the Electric Factory (421 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, 215-627-1332, www.electricfactory.info). Tickets are $25.