Interview: Good Old War (8/3)

Fresh off the release of the first of three EP’s set to come out this summer, Philly’s very own Good Old War will take the stage on Thursday, August 3rd for a show you don’t want to miss! We conducted an interview with the band members to help you get to know more about these talented musicians.

What is your creative process like for writing songs, and how has your dynamic as a group evolved since the release of your first album, Only Way to Be Alone?

Dan Schwartz: We almost always start with an idea one of us has brought in in various stages of completion. Usually Keith or I will have a song in the works and then we flesh it out together. We’ve always felt that the music comes out better when everyone in the band is a part of its creation. I’d say more than anything, we’ve gotten better and better at helping each other realize songs that have been brought in. 

Keith Goodwin: When we made Only Way to Be Alone, Good Old War and Come Back as Rain, Dan and I brought in complete songs and we would make minor changes to them together with the exception of a handful of songs we wrote together. 

During the writing process for Broken Into Better Shape the label asked us to work with some outside writers. Being in a room with other talented songwriters helped us realize our individual strong suits and where we could use a little help. 

Since then everything we’ve been writing has been much more collaborative from the very beginning of the writing process.  We are way more open to taking ideas to new places and trying any idea to get to the best version of the song. 

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Dan: Yeah, we always huddle up and just put our heads together and say this thing, “toi toi,” which is something Tim’s sister told us is an opera thing. I’m not even sure if it is but we’ve been saying it for so long that it would be impossible to play a show without saying it. It would be like going out the door without your pants on or something. 

You guys have toured alongside diverse artists such as Alison Krauss, Guster, Brandi Carlile, and Dr. Dog! What were some of the highlights, and do you have any other artists you aspire to perform with?

Dan: Every tour has its highlights and we’ve been so lucky to tour with such incredible and diverse acts. Dr. Dog has been one of our favorite bands since Easy Beat and we’ve always thought of them as one of the best bands in the world. we would just watch their soundcheck in awe. Alison Krauss was incredibly professional and we basically went to school on that tour, both musically and how to be a pro act. Brandi and her band are the kindest people and treated us so warmly. Her fans are just unreal as well. I’d say the same for Guster, who we’ve had the opportunity to tour with more than once. They just rule. I’d personally do anything to tour with Punch Brothers. They are the greatest live band I’ve ever seen.

Keith: Dr. Dog makes killer Matte in a cooler they call Matte Man. 

On the first day of tour with Brandi she came into our dressing room while we were huddled up singing through some songs and she listened for a while and hung out like we’ve known each other forever. That really made us feel welcomed and comfortable right away. 

I have a vivid memory of being in Boise Idaho with Alison Krauss. We were soundchecking our song Window and at the end when the drums kick in I looked out into the yard and Alison was horse galloping across the field in front of the stage and doing twirls. Meanwhile Dan Tyminski was watching from stage left and Ron Block was on stage jamming along with his banjo. Also on the last night Jerry Douglas came out during our set and ripped an awesome solo over our song Loud Love.  

All of the guys from Guster gave me great advice on fatherhood when I was about to have my first son Louis. 

Would love to tour with Dawes, Lucius and so many more.

Speaking of touring, you played some shows in Europe for the first time last year! Did the crowds there differ from those in the US, and did your experiences abroad have any impact on your new music?

Dan: The crowds were great. We were opening for Brian Fallon who was the lead singer for Gaslight Anthem. They were one of the first bands to take us out on a long tour and we’ve always loved those guys. My only wish is that we could have gone out there full band and shown them what we were made of. We played acoustic, just Keith and I-which was great but without Tim on drums and vocals it felt like we were missing a crucial element of our band. Now that Tim’s back, I can’t wait to get back out there and rock again.

As Philly natives, you have witnessed the changes and growth of the music scene here over the past few years. How do you feel about the current state of the Philly music scene and where do you see it going?

Dan: I’m not totally sure we’re qualified to say. I’d love to say we grew out of the scene here but we basically started out as a touring act and have continued that path the whole time we’ve been around. That said, I absolutely love the bands I see coming up. The Districts are obviously amazing, as well as the Lawsuits, Levee Drivers, Ali Wadsworth and I used to be in a band together and she’s got the kind of voice that stops you in your tracks. I hope that Philly can become the kind of place where you can rise to the top of the scene and break out nationally. We certainly have enough talent going around for labels to start to take notice.

What is your favorite song to perform live?

Dan: That changes all the time. Obviously playing the songs people know best and sing every word to are always going to be a blast because you see joy in a crowd. But also getting to play a song with such great players as Tim and Keith can make lesser known songs incredibly fun to play. We have a song called Woodies Hood Boogie Woogie that’s like that. It’s just so fun to be in a band with these guys and that song shows some of our best elements. Three part harmony the whole time, a rockin beat, a drum solo, an electric guitar solo and 12 string. Plus Keith’s lyrics are awesome. It’s just the kind of thing that is so uniquely us. 

Keith: I really love playing Amazing Eyes. It feels so good to sing it.          

Where’s your favorite place to grab coffee?

Dan: Milkcrate Cafe on Girard! It’s the best. Plus it’s a record store!

 

-Interview conducted by Dana Schwartz, Marketing Intern

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Now Hiring: Fall Marketing Internship

Want to get your start in the music industry? We’re looking for some awesome interns to join our team this fall! You’ll be working directly under our Marketing Manager.

Qualifications:
Google Docs, Spreadsheets
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Strong written and organization skills
Ability to work independently as well as collaborate with a team
Interest in music/familiarity with Philadelphia music scene
Flexible schedule: available to work at least 10 hours/week

Responsibilities:
Generate content for venue blog and social media outlets
Write press releases for upcoming shows to be distributed to media outlets
Enter relevant data into marketing spreadsheet
Archive press clips from print and online media
Research marketing and cross-promotional opportunities
Coordinate and distribute street team materials
Display and maintain in-house promotional materials
Update promotional website listings

Benefits:
College credit, if applicable
Opportunity to attend concerts
Gain experience with a wide variety of music and events
Make valuable connections in the music industry

Submit your application here.

Staff Pick: Dia Frampton 7/9

From NBC’s hit show The Voice, Dia Frampton is coming to World Cafe Live to light up the stage on July 9th at 8 pm! With her unique and captivating voice combined with brooding lyrics and melodies swirling around concepts of life, love and loss, it’s no surprise she quickly stole the hearts of Americans nationwide. Dia Frampton started her music career with her sister, Meg, as the duo Meg & Dia, before Dia took to her journey as the eventual runner up on the first season of The Voice. Dia instantly captured the attention of viewers with her eccentric and vastly different renditions of songs by Kanye West as well as R.E.M., which both became the highest charting iTunes digital songs by any contestant on The Voice at the time. Her own original song “Inventing Shadows” topped the charts at No. 1. Shortly after, her infectious energy led her to win the title of Entertainment Weekly’s 2011 “Favorite Reality Show Personality.” After her time on The Voice, she released an EP with a band she had formed called Archis, and is currently embarking on her solo career that hasn’t slowed down, with her latest album Bruises debuting this past March. The album starts with two uplifting tunes “Hope” and “Out of the Dark,” one being instrumental and one not, but both inciting a feeling of renewal and resilience. The two songs set the tone, a very nostalgic and cinematic one at that, for the rest of the album. One of my personal favorites off of the album is “White Dress,” which has an eerie melody laced with droning harmonies that really forces you- in the way music should- to feel the message she’s trying to convey. Don’t miss your chance to see her in our intimate downstairs venue here at World Cafe Live!

-Rachel Goldstein

Coming Up In July

Is there a better way to welcome July than coming to hear some live music? Didn’t think so. Check out our monthly Spotify Playlist to familiarize yourself with these talented artists!

Tank and the Bangas “Oh Heart” (July 11)

From Tank and the Bangas 2013 album, Think Tank, “Oh Heart” is the perfect blend of rhythmic soul and spoken word. Unique instrumentation paired with the various musical techniques of the Bangas is what makes them one of the most distinctive groups to emerge from New Orleans. It’s not surprising that NPR recently named the band as the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest Winners- their style is unlike any other. Hope you got your tickets to their July 11th show because it’s sold out!

Okkervil River “Lost Coastlines” (July 26)

“Lost Coastlines,” from Okkervil River’s album The Stand Ins, features the beautiful voice of lead singer Will Sheif, as well as layered string and horn instrumentation. With a sound similar to Neutral Milk Hotel and The Decembrists, this indie-rock and folk-rock group makes music that is easy on your ears. Their 2016 album, “Away” was deemed one of the best records of 2016 by media including Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. In order to promote this new album, the group has announced a special limited run of intimate acoustic trio shows, and we’re excited to host their performance.

FORQ “Starchy” (July 31)

With Rudder founder Henry Hey on keyboards, Snarky Puppy founder and Grammy Award-winner Michael League on bass, Foe Destroyer founder and fellow Snarky Puppy member Chris McQueen on guitar, and Jason “JT” Thomas on drums, FORQ is an, “all-star ensemble of sorts – but with the spirit and cohesiveness of a garage band.” Straight off their debut album, FORQ, “Starchy” is an upbeat and catchy tune with the same playful and soulful energy which characterizes the rest of their music. Come to World Cafe Live to see them on their first-ever international tour!

-Dana Schwartz, Marketing Intern