Philadelphia-based folk trio Good Old War has been making waves in the indie music scene ever since their 2008 debut album Only Way To Be Alone. Formed from the breakup of the rock band Days Away, Good Old War has been described as having “captivated countless audiences with their acoustic-driven, sing-along inspiring live performances,” according to their website. Their newest CD, titled Come Back as Rain, was recorded in 2011 and released to rave reviews, being stated as having “a rousing intensity that will certainly be familiar to anyone who’s witnessed their live show.” MUSE got the chance to interview Tim Arnold, drummer and vocalist for Good Old War. Good Old War will be performing at Freeborn Hall along with NeedToBreathe on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
MUSE: How did you first get involved with Good Old War?
Arnold: Keith and I were in a band before Good Old War called Days Away. That didn’t really work out, but we met Dan in Philly and we decided to do something simpler with acoustic guitars.
Which musicians or bands would you say have inspired you and the rest of the band?
I think everything inspires us in a good way and a bad way. Everything we’ve ever listened to is an inspiration. Of course, The Beatles, we can agree on that.
How does Good Old War’s creative process work?
Someone comes in with a song; it’s usually Keith or Dan. They’ll come in with a demo, and then we’ll sit down and make it a Good Old War song. It’s a very collaborative process. It all starts as a seed in someone’s brain, and then it grows.
How does the experience of playing live differ from the recording studio?
There’s more energy, and you’re put on the spot. It’s more of a calm setting in the studio; when it’s live, it’s being presented and you’ve got one chance to do it. They’re both fulfilling experiences, in my opinion.
In addition to the drums, you also play the accordion. What do you feel this unique instrument brings to the band’s sound?
Well, I try to play the accordion; I’m not a virtuoso in any sense of the word. But it’s a new color to add to your painting.
The band’s music has been described as “sing-along inspiring.” What part does the audience play during a live performance?
A huge part. We want it to be a party situation, where everyone is having fun and [is] involved. It’s not necessarily us just putting on a show, it’s us hosting a party.
What can we expect from Good Old War in the future?
We’re probably going to start our new record in the winter. We’re also going to tour as much as we can, but anything can happen.
To hear some of Good Old War’s music, visit goodoldwar.com. Tickets are available at the Freeborn box office for the Oct. 30 concert.
BRETT BUNGE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.