Keeping it Simple with Good Old War

>>Philadelphia based three-piece Indie Folk band Good Old War told us their story before playing a show at the Bug Jar. The band consists of Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, and Dan Schwarts. The band name Good Old War is a sort of portmanteau which combines each band member’s name; Goodwin, Arnold, Schwartz. While every member is versed in a unique but overlapping set of instruments, each member contributes vocals. While they have been an item for 10 years they promote themselves primarily through shows with a generous sprinkle of Instagram action. We asked them how their sound has changed over time and we learned that they saw their music as fundamentally the same as where they started.

Tim: “This may sound pretentious but Picasso wanted to learn how to paint like a child. That was his goal. To be able to get back to that pure state of art, and that’s what we try to do too. Keep it simple.”

Keith: “For me, it’s always been about the song. You write songs in different kinds of ways and about different things and try different ways of writing, but once we put them together we usually put them together in the way that the three of us can play it.”

The creative process for Good Old War is dynamic and collaborative. They work together on their content and that collaboration is brought to life in their sound.

“At the time of its birth a song is about you, then it becomes something that you want to share with people. Then it becomes about the fans.”

“Honestly, if the crowd is cool, it can make the worst city in the country seem like the greatest night of your life.”

Good Old Wars music is the soft rain that pats your face on the first step out the door. By tapping into the core of folk, these three musicians craft an experience

Sounds and messages are employed by the band as an act of creativity and mischief. Playing with the vibe and the message of a song to add depth and mystery to the experience. The weighty message of Calling Me Names is twisted by the highway speed tempo and cheerful energy.

When it comes to influence and inspiration, Good Old War draws from many baskets. “There are weird influences that make their way in." They wanted to pull the energy from classic folk-rock and use it to guide their sound. A patchwork of other influences like literature. Reading weird new-agey books from Terence Mckenna.

When asked about a failure that has ultimately become an inspiration, their response, "It’s hard to think of a failure that was an inspiration because after it becomes an inspiration it is no longer a failure".

We are so thankful for the time they spent talking with us before their set; As thankful as Good Old War is to play their music to people who are willing to listen.<<

Good Old War

Favorite place they have toured: Canadian Rockies

Time together: 10 years

Have they had a garbage plate yet: No

Best performing experience: Touring with Alison Cross

Favorite Philly Bands: Dr. Dog, Amos Lee, War on Drugs

All-time favorite venue: Motor City Music Hall