Good Old War's 'come a long way'

They’re a sweet, jangly band with a happy sound and a Philadelphia background, and they’re coming back to Lancaster Aug. 13 for the Live on Vine event.

Started in 2008, Good Old War isn’t new to music. Both members Keith Goodwin and Dan Schwartz have been in various bands respectively, including Unlikely Cowboy and Days Away. They’ve performed at South by Southwest, and have recorded with the likes of Circa Survive’s Anthony Green – another Pennsylvania native –and Maps & Atlases member Dave Davison.

But they’re local kids who still reside in Pennsylvania. Schwartz says he’s turned his wife onto using Philly slang like “jawn,” or pronouncing “water” it like “wooder,” inciting a collective groan from the rest of the state. After coming off a three-month tour, Good Old War’s only other concert in the near future is in Washington, D.C. Aug. 6, with more regular shows picking back up in November. Which means, of course, Lancaster has the band at a prime time. Blayne Waterloo: Both you and Keith have been in several different bands, and they all have very distinct sounds. What do you think you’ve brought to Good Old War from those bands? Dan Schwartz: Really, I think the interesting thing about it is that we finally found a way to totally be ourselves in this band. You know, when you’re in a band and there’s a lot of people, and the sound is determined by making sure everyone has a part in it. We kind of chose to work together for the things that we liked about each other. I really loved the way Keith sang, and I wanted to make music that complemented that by playing the way that I play. We were drawn to each other because we thought we could complement each other. I love to sing harmony and play acoustic guitar, so it just worked perfectly with his beautiful melodies and sweet voice. It was more like us coming together and getting to be ourselves, finally.

We are touring with @joshuaradin in November. Tickets on sale on Friday. A video posted by @goodoldwar on

BW: The Philly music scene has continued to grow, especially since Good Old War came up. Which bands are you looking at right now from Philly?
DS: I think The Lawsuits are one of my favorite bands in Philly. Obviously, The Districts, who we’re playing with, are awesome. There’s TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb, Hop Along [and] Cheers Elephant are great. There’s a million great bands.
It’s kind of unfair; I was in a million local bands, and there really wasn’t a scene to get into. And, I think, even for us, we never even became a local band. We just got on the road right away, and then all of a sudden, it was like Philly was finally behind us. I think it took getting out of the city to get them to say, “Oh, they’re from here.”

BW: How would you describe your fan base?
DS: I feel like they’re such nice people. And I always ask the venue at the end of [the show], “How was our crowd? Were they nice?” Everybody always says they’re really nice people, and everybody loves them. I think that’s a good reflection of us, because we try to put that out into the world. You’ve got to be a human being out there.
And also, I think people would be surprised how cool most of the people that they meet in their favorite bands would be. Especially now, because there’s not a barrier between us anymore, with social media. We’ve had so many awesome experiences meeting bands that we like and have toured with. I have only good things to say about pretty much everybody we’ve been on the road with.

BW: In an alternate universe, what genre do you think Good Old War would be?
DS: I would say there’d probably be a little bit more electronic influences in there. There’s definitely a little bit on the last record, but I think we all get into the production side of things a bit more than maybe gets onto the records.

Good Old War will play with Brian Fallon and The Districts at Live on Vine August 13. To buy tickets, click here.)

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Posted in Articles, Headlines, Lancaster, Lancaster Headlines, Music, Music – Lancaster

Blayne Waterloo is a reporter for Fly. She loves food, books, her dogs, her husband... and food.

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