Life Is Beautiful Spotlight: Welshly Arms
welshly arms made a huge impression on us at Life Is Beautiful with their sound, which is a mix of many genres, + the energy they brought to the stage playing tracks from their album no place is home, released this past may. The cleveland-based band holds a special place in our founder (who’s also from NE ohio)’s heart. we caught their set + had the chance to sit with lead vocalist Sam Getz + drummer Mikey Gould to chat about cleveland, playing the fest + saturday night live. Be sure to catch them in LA Tuesday, October 23 at the Troubadour.
// interview by Leah Perrino, photos by Linda Wang + Leah Perrino
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on playing the fest! That was an amazing set. So first, I have to ask: ‘Welshly Arms’ is from Saturday Night Live’s hot tub sketch with Will Ferrell–how did you decide that would be the band’s name?
Mikey Gould: Thank you so much. When we were younger, Sam and I were obsessed with watching Saturday Night Live. We had the Best Of Will Ferrell DVD, and we would watch it all the time. So, when we started the band, ultimately coming up with the band name was the hardest part. So, we were throwing out all kinds of names. Randomly, Sam said ‘Welshly Arms’, because we were quoting Saturday Night Live earlier that day, and we were like, ‘Pencil it in. We’ll circle back.’ But then we had a show coming up, and we had to call the band something, so we called it Welshly Arms. And then after we did the show, we couldn’t call it something else, so it stuck.
AM: Knowing that you’re from Cleveland, OH, we were so stoked when we first discovered you were playing this fest. Do you think Cleveland comes through in your sound?
Sam Getz: It really does in a lot of ways. Cleveland is a working class city, and there’s a sense of hustle in everything you do. That really feeds into our lyrics, style of music, and the way we play shows. I think it definitely comes through that we come from a grittier, underground town.
AM: So speaking of your style, it’s a very unique hybrid of lots of genres. How would you describe your sound?
SG: That’s the best question, because none of us can ever answer it. Naming your band is the hardest thing you can do, and describing your sound is the second hardest. There are blues elements, gospel elements, soul music and Motown influences, and there’s a lot of classic rock and roll and punk in there, too–especially in the way Mikey plays drums. We definitely like pop songs, too. We all come from different backgrounds, and it really spreads the whole spectrum. I like to think we incorporate all of it.
AM: What other musicians are inspiring to you?
SG: There’s so much great music being made right now, so it’s easy to get inspired. There’s a lot of art being made again, too, which is really exciting. And even if our sound doesn’t necessarily show it, we’re inspired by a lot of different bands. Radiohead and Beck were huge influences when we first started producing our own records.
AM: Anyone you’re excited to see this weekend at the fest?
MG: There are so many good artists just today. We’re really excited to see Foster The People and St. Vincent.
AM: Congrats on your recent album No Place Is Home. Do you have a favorite track you like to play live?
SG: I think mine is Indestructible.
MG: Mine is usually Down To The River. It usually falls in the middle of our set, so for me, it’s always the turning point like, ‘let’s kick it into overdrive.’
AM: We felt the energy during that song for sure!