Good Old War
have been busy. Aside from touring excessively with Anthony Green
's Beautiful Things
tour, providing back-up band assistance to Green, they've been working towards the release of their new album, Come Back As Rain
. The album officially drops tomorrow[March 6], and we couldn't be more excited to share these eleven, gorgeous tracks with you. This is an album filled with passion and insight, stories of love and hope, and plenty of soul-turning folksy melodies and grassroots instrumentation. Here, the band sound off on the meaning behind the album, touring with Anthony Green, and their own headlining tour with The Belle Brigade
and Family of the Year [which kicks off March 8.] Spin the album, read the Q&A, and make sure to catch them
when they hit your city.
PureVolume: So, you were playing back-up band for Anthony Green on the Beautiful Things tour the past few months. Now that that’s behind you, what’s one stand out moment you’ve taken away from working with Green?
Good Old War: We had this show in Pomona, California which sold out, so we had to move to a bigger room. Anthony got all these lighting people in there, and got video equipment to make a live video, so that was amazing. I’ve never played a show where there was an insane production going on, so it was exciting to be on stage, going crazy. I mean, every show on that tour was really fun. Anthony’s an old friend, and we just kind of jam with him. It’s very free -- a lot more off the cuff than with straight Good Old War songs. So, it was fun, but it’s going to be good to get back to doing Good Old War songs.
PV: You’re jumping into that headlining tour almost straight after ‘Beautiful Things’ wrapped. How are you feeling about that?
GOW: Yeah, that starts right when the record comes out. We have two great bands [The Belle Brigade and Family of the Year], the album will be out -- it’s going to be really big. I’m really excited for that tour. It’s always fun to play with other great bands.
PV: How do you think the performance vibe will differ on this tour, now that you’ll be playing with The Belle Brigade and Family of the Year?
GOW: Well, it’s going be a different kind of style and sound. What we did with Casey [Crescenzo; of The Dear Hunter
] and Anthony was very different from this. This is going to be more of an organic, folksy side. When you do these kind of tours, though, you end up jamming with everyone, so it will be fun.
PV: It sounds like you guys are really passionate about integrating some improvisation into your shows. Do you find that slight break from the setlist helps to keep you more energized and excited?
GOW: It is fun to expand on the ideas of the plans, and setlist, that you have for that night. I personally [started out] playing drums with jazz musicians, and playing a lot of jazz stuff, so I get a lot of satisfaction from improvisation. It’s kind of a cool way to connect with people on this kind of weird, spiritual level. You’re basically having a conversation with other musicians, except you’re not speaking, you’re jamming.
PV: How do you find a constant in the midst of such a rigorous tour schedule? Is there anything you travel with, or a routine you need to go through, to bring you back to your roots or that sense of stability?
GOW: No, there’s nothing that makes us feel stable ever [laughs]. We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just a part of our lives now. People always ask us how we manage to be away all the time, but I feel like I’m in my element when I’m on the road. It’s what I want to do. I like performing, and I get real antsy when I’m home for a long time.
PV: The title of your new album, ‘Come Back as Rain,’ is very earthy and unique. Can you talk about any meaning it may have in relation to the songs you've written for it?
GOW: That’s actually the title of a song that we’ve been working on forever, and it’s not on the new record, but we thought it was a great title. The original idea for that line was about a family member that died, and the lines [to the song] were “give your body back to the sea, just like you told me/ I’ll come back as rain, water is free.” It was the idea that you put something to rest, and then you come back in a new way, and it felt symbolic for this record. We did our last record ourselves, and it was awesome, but we’ve put that style and approach to bed. We’re kind of coming back in a new way.
PV: How would you say it differs for you as a band, from your past albums? Specifically, what was something unique you experienced while writing this new one?
GOW: I think that we really took our time on this record. Before we even went into the studio, we had everything pretty much planned out. We sat around and worked on lyrics together, which is something we hadn't really done before. But with certain songs -- like this one song, “Loud Love,” -- we all wrote a verse. So, as our band grows, there’s just more opportunity for us to collaborate on every song. This record was a first time for us to write with each other, and really create something with the three of us. We did have a producer [Jason Cupp] come in and do some stuff with us for this one, and we were in a big studio which was really nice. Everything kind of came together and I think it worked -- I hope everyone else does too. It means a lot to us, and we’re very proud of it.
Purchase Come Back As Rain from iTunes