Tim Arnold [Interview]
July 24, 2012 3 Comments
On a very personal basis, Good Old War is a stellar example of a few of the brighter sides of the technological advances we have experienced in the last few years. Specifically music streaming. I know the moment I first heard Good Old War. I was outside at the beginning of the summer hovering over a grill littered with steaks when “Not Quite Happiness” caught my ear via Pandora’s perfect suggestion based on my listening to The Weepies station. I was hooked instantly. Beer in my belly and excitement in my brain, I turned to my wife and told her I dug this guy. She then informs me that they are all over The Lumineers station as well. She dug “Amazing Eyes”. Who are these matadors of the Pandora world? Where did they come from? And where the hell have they been all our lives?
Now, in thanks to modern technology, I cashed in and purchased their latest album Come Back As Rain, and Good Old War is becoming a staple in my household. Even my three small children can dance and laugh and enjoy these happy, interpersonal, and extremely exciting tracks. Good Old War is that band that you simply can not help put fall in love with and feel as though their songs are the soundtrack to your own personal life. Their songs are inviting and enticing. They are an eccentric bunch to say the least. Whether in good times or in bad, once you accept the beauty of Good Old War, you will be blessed with the idea that life is always going to be alright. Someway, somehow.
I was fortunate enough to steal a few words from the very funny and insightful drummer of this band of rising stars, a Mr. Tim Arnold (he puts the “AR” in Good Old War”, look it up!). So sit back, let the sun shine onto your electronic device of choice, grab a strong espresso, and learn a little bit about a trio that is certain to teach you how to love again. Or, at least entertain you beyond all matters of reason. Enjoy!
How did Good Old War come to be?
The first thing we ever did as a band was open for Anthony Green. Keith and I were in a band called ‘Days Away’ and we were billed to be the opener on his tour and the band sort of fell apart so we called Dan up and asked if he would come out with us and do an acoustic sort of thing. Anthony really liked it so by the end of the tour, we were playing songs together and the next week, he asked us to play on his record as the backing band and it’s just been like that ever since. Keith and I have been friends with him since forever. He’s always been so supportive.
If you could perform for any non-musical historical figure (alive or dead), who would it be?
I would perform for Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn. Two classic sexy ladies. I think I would play the best I ever have.
If you were to perform in front of audience completely composed of one type of animal, what animal would you like to entertain?
Wolves. They would howl along with us.
You have debuted some of your music videos on Country Music Television. Your style of music is very different from the likes of Toby Keith or Sugarland. Why do you believe your music fits on such a channel?
All I know is that it is the “country music channel”. I’d say we have some country influences. They may not be Toby Keith or Sugarland, but that’s fine. I’m sure they have similar influences as well. It’s hard to get away from a style of music that is so ingrained in our souls. We’re an American band, it’s American music, country music channel is fine with me.
Your songs all seem extremely personal, but still vague enough in the lyrics department to leave fans with the ability to interpret as they wish. That being said, how personal is the songwriting process and development for you guys?
The songwriting process is deeply personal. I think that we create vague situations as a result maybe of not wanting to put it all entirely out there. I’ve always loved songs that kind of set up a situation and leave you to insert said situation in your life somehow. It’s a good way to deal with stuff or appreciate things on a different level.
What do you believe sets Come Back As Rain apart from your previous work, if anything?
Come Back As Rain, to me, is a special album for many reasons. It was the first record we made in a big fancy studio and we had a producer Jason Cupp (Maps & Atlases, Danzig). We actually did some pre-production before we went in to the studio which was a bit different. The previous two records were made slightly hastily with the first one being a situation where we made it in a week and were very new and trying to figure out our sound. Our second record was made by ourselves in a home in the Pocono mountains and we pretty much showed up with song ideas and what we wrote right there, we recorded. come back as rain was worked on heavily before we even saw the studio. lyrics were rewritten and changes/structure of songs we were fine tuned weeks before we went in and all of the changes were made as a group. In the past it was usually Keith or Dan coming to the table with a song and we say “that’s great, lets record it!” This time we really examined the songs and worked as a group to build them and all did a bit of writing. It was a great experience and I think a natural progression for a healthy band. We’re getting to really know each other in terms of the art we are creating and can lean on and trust each other. It’s a good feeling.
You’re only a few months from hitting the road with the legendary trio Dispatch. Are any of you long time fans of them? What is your fanboy status? (Explain)
None of us really listened to Dispatch (sorry), but we are definitely new fans. Our fanboy status is that of the kneeling, bowing and thanking them on the regular for the wonderful opportunity to play with them and for their fans in some of the best venues in the country. Fanboy status = stoked.
You’re pretty steady when it comes to record releases. Should we expect some new material in the near future? (if not, why not?)
Oh yeah. We never stop writing or working for that matter. We’ll be in the studio asap to make a new record. Count on it.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
A cold beer after a hot bike ride. I’m still sweating.
Tim Arnold is also an Ambassador for the wonderful travel blog, Matador Network. Check out his wonderful tales from the road HERE.