Welshly Arms have been on the cusp of Cleveland, Ohio’s rock scene for the past few years now. It’s not until recently that the band has broken through nationally with their incredible feel good song “Legendary”. Many alt rock stations across the nation have begun to add the song to its playlist rotations. Sam Getz, Brett Lindemann, Jimmy Weaver, Mikey Gould, Bri Bryant, and Jon Bryant make up the diverse sounding collective known as Welshly Arms. The band is not just noted for their rock, but blues sound as well. Modern Frequency recently talked to lead vocalist and guitarist Sam Getz and drummer Mikey Gould about the history behind the band’s name, their “Legendary” status, and how Motown inspired them to become better musicians prior to their Rockwood Music Hall show here in NYC on this coming Tuesday.
Where did the band get its name from?
Mikey Gould: The name Welshly Arms comes from an old 90’s Saturday Night Live sketch with Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon. We used to sit around watching that show when we were teenagers and we always used to quote that sketch. I think we originally had the name as a placeholder… but then we liked it so much it just stuck.
“Legendary” is an amazing song. I heard the song is about LeBron James, but feels like the song is more of a kiss off to those who doubted you.
Sam Getz: Well, I actually started to write it in my shower (you never know where and when inspiration will strike)… It’s about overcoming struggles and challenges to do something great, whatever that may be. Could be an athlete who has trained all their life to win a championship. Could be a musician who has practiced for hours on end. It’s really for anybody who has something to prove and is up for the challenge.
The band’s sound is definitely rock, but has a blues/soul touch to it. Where did that particular influence come from?
SG: We are all big fans of blues and soul music! We are very inspired by Motown and Stax. I started playing guitar so that I could play the blues. The rock n roll stuff that I loved as a kid all had so much blues influence so I dug in to the early American blues stuff and was hooked. We all have some different influences, but I think we meet at soul music, which is why you will probably pick up on that.
The band is from Cleveland—what other bands are coming from that area and is there a growing rock scene there?
MG: There are a lot of great bands coming out of Cleveland right now. The scene shifted a few years ago and there’s been something special starting to brew. Our friends in The Lighthouse and the Whaler come to mind…The Teddy Boys…The Modern Electric…too many to name!
What is the Welshly Arms live show like?
MG: Our live show is a good foot stompin’, whiskey drinkin’, rowdy sing along. We love the energy when the crowd gets involved and we consider everyone in the room as part of the band for the night. We have a rule to never play the same show twice. We always try to mix it up live, coming up with jams on the spot and trying to always keep it fun for us and the crowd!
What are your expectations for the future? It seems like the music industry are just using rock bands for one hit wonders now.
SG: Our expectations have more to do with what we do next rather than what the industry might do. I have no way of knowing if anybody will like the music that we put out next, but I can tell you that we’ll dig it (laughs). I think that’s the only way you can create art and enjoy making music. We’re incredibly thankful that “Legendary” made its way on to people’s radars and it gets them out to shows where they can really see what we’re all about! I can only hope that our next batch of songs does the same.