Interview with Good Old War
Despite being at shows five or six nights a week, I tend not to burn out from it because I never cover similar genres two nights in a row. I’ll go to a metal show to then interview Good Old War the next night when they were playing not their own songs but performing with their main collaborator Anthony Green of Circa Survive.
The boys have been dipping their hands into Anthony’s solo project from the beginning with his first record ‘Avalon’ and the most recent record ‘Beautiful Things’ as well as making their own new record ‘Come Back As Rain’ which will be arriving on March 6th.
As well as consistently working on new music, the band has been touring and hopes to spend the rest of 2012 consistently doing so. Be it with Anthony as his live band or on their own headliner later this Spring playing some of the some rooms they just finished playing with Anthony. Considering Anthony just announced another round with The Dear Hunter in June, Good Old War is sure to be around a time or two more before the year comes to a close and I’ll see you there!
Artist: Good Old War
Title: Come Back As Rain
Release date: 03/6/12
Label: Sargent House
Good Old War
Buy at: Amazon
So obviously you’re out right now with Anthony who’s new record just came out yesterday. How has the tour been so far?
It’s been so good. We pretty much play the record out. All eleven songs. Shows have been really crazy.
Then you’ve played on both of his records. How did it first come about-being an ongoing collaboration?
The first thing we ever did as a band was open for him. Actually, the other two guys in the band were a band called ‘Days Away’ and they were billed to be the opener on his tour and the band sort of crumbled, well I guess not crumbled, but they didn’t want to do what they had done before right up to that tour so they called me up and asked if I would do it and we were still doing acoustic versions of our songs. Anthony really liked it so by the end of the tour, we were playing songs together and the next week, he was like ‘I’d love to have you on the record with me’ and it’s just been like that ever since. We’ve always been friends. Keith and Tim have been friends with them since forever. He’s just always been so supportive. Given us so many chances to open for him. The first long tour we did that was six weeks long was opening for him. So the first tour I ever did, my first like full on tour, and it was me getting to play our songs then playing for two hours a night. It was so much fun!
And then how did the record go this time around? Did the recording process change?
It was a lot different then the first one. We were really collaborative. The first one, we came in and it was already there. This one we sort of worked together. It was always easy but this time we had two stations set up. We like had a downstairs station for like midi stuff and keyboards, electronics and then upstairs all the set ups like drums, guitars so we had two sessions going on at the same time. Anthony was incredibly supportive. He just sort of gave us the demo’s and was like ‘Do anything!’ We did! So there’s tons of guitars and tons of drums. We tried so many cool interesting ways of recording songs. No process was not allowed.
It was really good.
Really were able to put your hands in the pot.
Yeah he really let us try crazy things. We wanted to do things where no body would ever think ‘That’s Good Old War’. We didn’t want to do anything anyone would expect from us. Anthony was so supportive and I think it’s just so incredible. He’s putting his name on it and he was so willing to let us try things. Came out to be one of my favorite records I’ve ever been a part of.
And then a little soft one. I see that you guys consistently tour. You’ve been steadily touring with your own project Good Old War, Anthony. What are three things you must have while on the road considering you’re on tour all the time?
Three things I must have? A band, obviously! I would actually take that one out. I must have a chance to get a place to sleep. It doesn’t have to be a bed necessarily. Must have you know my best friends and that’s a big part of it. Having the band be really getting along and being best friends and I think I just must have good, friendly vibes. These aren’t solid things but I think really the only things that it comes down to is people you can count on. That’s what touring‘s like. Being friends. Giving each other space but also just helping each other and being close.
Then we can separate this into two interviews since it is a Good Old War interview.
It’s okay, you can put it all together!
Okay, I wasn’t sure!
We have two records coming out!
That’s what I thought! So then the new one comes out in March.
Obviously that’s been a while in the making because you’ve been talking about it for a while. In terms of writing the record, how would you say it maybe compares and differs from the last one?
Oh, they’re so different! Which is really exciting because with Anthony’s record, what we did was at the same time but kind of separately. So with Anthony’s stuff, every January, we’ll go away to Avalon. We live in this house and we record. Stay for two weeks, three weeks, whatever we can make time for. Based on whatever schedules he and I have but with us, it’s very constant. So with our album, we did a lot of pre-production. We sat down for a month of just learning the songs, writing the songs, rearranging the songs with a producer and then we went to the studio to record it but this was in like a very professional studio in Omaha and we basically did all of our album in one chunk. We did have to go back and do a couple little things but it was for the most part done all at once and very live. Where as Anthony’s album isn’t done live at all. It’s very piece by piece. Trying things. Even some of the drum stuff was done one drum at a time which is kind of interesting. The guitars, everything like that. There’s tons of guitars, ukele and keyboards that we all just sort of stacked.
And then what would you say, I know you may not want to have the song titles out but-
Yeah, sure! I don’t mind talking about song titles.
So maybe what’s like the most familiar sounding song for Good Old War fans?
I think that’s interesting. I think the record its’ very much what we’ve done before but its’ better. Anybody who’s seen us live knows we’re much more upbeat. Sort of jump up and down. A good time kind of band. On the records, we hadn’t really given that out yet but now we’ve made a record that is bouncy. One song that we’ve been playing is “Loud Love” even though it’s just an acoustic. It’s very much us and I think our first single ‘Calling Me Names’ is one of the most different songs we’ve ever done. Slick production but its’ still just us live. With a couple little things.
Then obviously, you guys are songwriters. You’ve been working on all these records. Did the writing process change for you on this record? Was it pretty similar to the past?
Yeah, it did change! With this one, Tim had a lot more of a hand 2/23/12in the writing when he hasn’t had as much when we started. He’s written parts of songs which is very important and we all got to sing a verse on one song which we’ve never done before.
You all sing individually?
Yeah individually sing one verse and we wrote our own verses too. Just been sort of giving each other a subject and being like ‘Okay you write about this and this’ and we all came back and sing. Also, Keith started to write more in the process. We tried a lot of different processes this time where before, it would be a situation where some one would come in with a full song but this time it was very, very collaborative. We’re really starting to enjoy each others’ writing styles.
And then, it may be Anthony because you’ve doing it for so long, but who would be your dream person to work with if given the opportunity? To write with, to have produce?
I’ve always wanted to work with one who would be a dream. There’s Paul Simon because I think he works so hard on every song. Like you can hear that he wrote the song and edited the song. He really thought about every little detail and that’s something that I’m really into. We like to go back and fix it till it’s perfect and usually that happens on tour.
And then personally, what was your first CD or cassette that you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you ever went to?
My first CD I ever bought, well, there wasn’t CD’s when I was a kid but my first tape-. Well, I guess there was but they weren’t really popular just yet. There were still tapes then. I think my first tape was Def Leoppard or Bobby Brown or maybe I bought them both at the same time. But then my first concert was him and I was ten and my dad took me.
Do you think any of those influenced you at all? Those experiences?
Bobby Brown? Oh yeah.
Bobby Brown? All about it! Both projects? Bobby Brown!
So obviously you have ‘Beautiful Things’ which just came out. You have the Good Old War record coming out ‘Come Back As Rain’. Two records coming out with in two months of each other. You are on the tour now with Anthony, you go right back on the road headlining with Good Old War. Is that just what 2012 is going to be for you? Touring?
2012 is going to be touring. Lots of touring. We will be every where man! We’re going to try to make ourselves a house hold name. Hopefully people will start to sing with us. Well, more and more people will keep singing with us.
"Come Back As Rain" by Good Old War - release date: 03/6/12..