Good Old War talk about recording their latest CD in the city -
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Members of Good Old War, Tim Arnold, Keith Goodwin and Dan Schwartz. Visit beginning tomorrow to watch a performance from the band.
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Good Old War members Dan Schwartz - Guitar, Vocals, Tim Arnold - Drums, Keys, Accordion, Vocals; Keith Goodwin - Vocals, Guitar, Keys. Photo credit: Andy Patch is the photographer on all photos.
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Good Old War talk about recording their latest CD in the city
By Kevin Coffey

Beginning tomorrow on, watch the band perform "Better Weather" and "Not Quite Happiness" backstage at the Waiting Room.

* * *

The Philly boys are familiar with Omaha after recording their album, "Come Back As Rain," at Omaha's ARC Studios.

The band spent about a month here recording while they lived at ARC's adjacent guest house and spent a lot of time hanging out in Dundee and eating at Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob and an "incredible" Moroccan restaurant that I can only assume is Casablanca Moroccan Cafe.

"Omaha has a special place in our hearts," Tim Arnold said in an interview. "It's wonderful there."

Q. Who produced the album?

A. Jason Cupp. He's a legend. It's great. He comes on the road with us, too, and he does our sound live. He's pretty much the fourth member of the band. He's also got that outside perspective. He can give us advice about our live show.

It's really good. It's really helpful. It's a family thing.

Q. Most people who have their own engineer get better sound.

A. It could be an amazing sound guy, but if he doesn't know the band. Jason knows exactly what we sound like, so it's the best of any world. It's the best of all worlds.

Q. What was the writing process like with "Come Back As Rain?"

A. This one was written a little bit more collectively. On the past records, Dan and Keith would come up with songs and present them.

This one kind of unfolded. I was writing a little bit more. Whenever anyone brought a song to the table, we'd all sit there — and Jason, too, sometimes — and take it apart. We'd rewrite the lyrics all together and the chord changes, and where the song would go. After awhile, it wasn't one person's song, it was a Good Old War song.

That's gonna be the vibe on the next one, too. Maybe we'll sit down and write together. We always have ideas coming to the table, so maybe we'll keep expanding on that collective vibe. It's good and healthy and makes it our own sound even more.

Q. On the record, you guys have quite a full sound for only three guys. How do you pull that off?

A. That's what we were trying to do. We don't want it to be too much of a departure from what we want to do live, so we always think, "How are we going to make this sound awesome?"

It needs this keyboard part, so I'll be like, "I'll figure out how to play keyboards and drums at the same time." We'll do a guitar solo and it needs a rhythm part at the same time, so he needs to figure out how to strum and pick at the same time.

It's interesting. It makes us do different things because we don't want to add any more members and we want to make it as big-sounding as possible.

At the same time, there's a lot of percussion on this record and it would be impossible for me to do everything. I pick the most important parts and add those in. We really want to keep it a three piece. We work well together and we don't want to pay eight people either. I don't want to make it all about the money, but we gotta eat.

Q. With bands like you guys, the Head and the Heart and some others, it seems like there's a sort of resurgence of folk-rock bands. Have you noticed that? Where do you think it comes from?

A. I do notice that. I don't know where it comes from. I'm not necessarily sure if it's the artists that are creating the comeback or the people who are listening in and demanding that kind of music.

I'm not sure who the catalyst is for this resurgence, but it's cool.

I don't necessarily consider us folky, really. We do acoustic stuff and we're trying to make sounds with acoustic instruments. I guess that is sort of folk, but we try to make good, catchy songs with harmonies. If we fall into that folk niche, that's fine especially because it's booming right now.

Q. You mentioned the harmonies, which sound great on the album. Do you feel like you've gotten those down?

A. Totally. Coming up with the harmonies has gotten a lot easier. Being able to sing and play at the same time is a lot of practice. We practice four or five hours a day when we're not on the road.

We need to get to a point when we're not thinking about it any more. Once you get to the point where you're on autopilot and you can start feeling it and not even think about what's going on, that's when you know it's good.

We definitely take a lot of time to rehearse and drill these things in so they're the best they can possibly be.

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

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