The Walkmen are five friendly New Yorkers who have played rock music diligently since the 5th grade. Now they span the ages 23 and 28, and have been playing together for a little over a year. All five are originally from Washington, D.C. where they attended the same high school and played loud music in several bands.
In the spring of 2000, Walter, Matt, and Paul (whose band had recently broken up) rounded up enough investors to rent a Harlem industrial space, and convert it into a 24-track analogue recording studio. Dubbed "Marcata Recording", the new space became the birthplace and home of the Walkmen. Joining with Walter’s cousin Hamilton and his friend Peter (who had for years been slaving away in the East Village as the Recoys), the lineup was complete by the summer of 2000. Over the course of the next year the band sedulously wrote and recorded late in the evenings after work. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
During this time, a few of the most helpful influences included: Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman, the Pogues, the Cure, Bjork, the Smiths, Joy Division, Neil Young, and John Lennon.
The first show took place at Joe’s Pub in the East Village in September of 2000. Onto the tiny stage the band had lugged an upright piano, a bass cabinet that was taller than the bass player, three amplifiers, an organ, a lap steel, two tape machines, three guitars, and a set of drums. The show was a great success, so they decided to stick together. Since then the boys have remained dedicated to their instrumentation, and even got their hands on an over-sized, rotting upright in London which nearly ruined trip (one show was on the third floor).
In the summer of 2001 the band released its first single (which somehow grew into an "EP")–a somewhat hasty collection of four early songs–and, simultaneously, an 8-song vinyl as a slightly more thorough representation of the group’s music. Since then the five have been recording steadily and now are scheduled for a bunch of new releases. The culmination of this past year’s efforts will be Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone, which will be available in March on Startime International. But even before that, a companion to the original 8-song vinyl will be released on Troubleman Unlimited this winter. Featuring 8 new songs, it will include a few tracks from the forthcoming album and several others.