Welshly Arms Review and Interview with Bassist Jimmy Weaver by Allee Futterer
Dark. Stormy. A favorite drink of mine but also a set of adjectives I would use to describe weather that mixed with “cold” and “snowy”- I believe leads to creating fantastic music. Awful weather is what all the rock ‘n roll greats have in common. Ohio rockers Welshly Arms are no exception but when compared to their kinsmen, The Black Keys, give them a run for their money!
While that is a particularly radical statement for todays scene… I have my rather bias opinion (and a few others) to back me up. Their debut release “Welcome” is a 5-track EP that has already landed them a publishing deal with music licensing all-stars Position Music based in Los Angeles.
The dark undertones of this generally cheery music bring a sense of youth and adventure that one can only get from music. It’s the type of album that will make you think, “I want a cigarette and a whiskey” while you fully acknowledge you’ve never drank or smoked before. Leaving you feeling ultimately cooler than all your friends and have a sudden love for leather jackets and all things Steven Tyler.
After being mildly obsessed with Cleveland, Ohio’s Welshly Arms I was very excited to interview their bassist Jimmy Weaver… What a rad dude!
How long have you been playing?
I have been playing guitar since I was about 8 years old and bass for the last 8 years.
Why’d you start playing?
My dad was kind of a bad ass on the guitar and bass when I was growing up… so, naturally, I couldn’t resist. I also had a neighbor girl that I really wanted to impress.
Who was your first love? (On bass….)
Best thing that’s happened to the band so far?
Two things come to mind…
First, our signing with Position Music has been a huge leap for us into the next level. They are a great company with a lot of really cool people that are very dedicated to their artists.
Second, our first headline show in our hometown, Cleveland, sold out! It was the first time I ever saw an entire room sing songs I’ve co-written as loud as they can. The smiles, cheers, energy, and respect the crowd gave us is something I will never forget.
Well, up until a year ago, I didn’t even own a bass. I just used whatever the studio or other band members had lying around. I actually think that was the best way to learn how to play the instrument. The imperfections of each piece of crap that was available at the time taught me to really focus on my right hand and make sure I was hitting strings consistently and musically, while my left hand had to work extra hard to hit the right notes. Then, on the morning of my wedding day last August, my wife surprised me with a ’78 Fender Jazz. I was speechless! I may have cried a little…with excitement of course. That bass and I have been inseparable since then.
The amp setup I’m liking right now is a blackface Fender Bassman AB165 head paired with a 4X12 Marshall cab. Right now it is loaded with a Celestion Lead 80 and Vintage 30 while the bottom two holes are empty. I also use a Fender Bassman AA165 that I built. It has a bit more dirty sound, which is always fun.
Endorsements? Nothing yet…
Favorite Bass Players?
John Paul Jones
How often do you practice bass?
I lucked out and got a job that requires me to play everyday. I work for American Greetings on their audio team, and write and record jingles for greeting cards all day. When I’m not doing that I’m producing other Cleveland bands and working with other aspiring artists around here as well as practicing and writing with Welshly Arms.
One of the cooler things about your band is that you guys are very much “homegrown” in all aspects. Aside from building all your own mics, could you elaborate on the whole process that you have gone through from being a garage band to being where you are today? And how you think that would have been different had you had “more help” along the way?
It all started with Sam and I laying down some demo ideas in his basement with drinks in hand. He would come to the table with a melody and lyrics, and then we would build a song together out of it. The most fun part was that we had no pressure and no time or money constraints. We were just two guys having fun making music at his house. The day we started working on “The Touch” was the day we knew we had to make a band with this style. It seemed to come naturally. We had the exact same vision and ideas for the song. We also knew that Brett Lindemann and Mikey Gould were in need of a phone call.
Where do you see Welshly Arms going in the next few years? Where would you like to be in a few years?
I want to be out in the world sharing the music of Welshly Arms. I have the most fun when I’m on stage with those guys, and I want to be doing it everyday. I also see us continuing to write and record music for future records and other mediums. I’ve always wanted to see a song that I’ve been a part of writing/producing, played over movie credits!
Being from Ohio and in a similar genre I’m sure you get compared to the black keys quite often… What are your feelings on this?
It’s definitely a compliment. They are from Ohio –We are from Ohio. They are handsome – We are??? Well anyways… They like dirty sounding vocals – We like dirty sounding vocals. I truly think people compare us to them because the genre we lie in is so new and unsaturated, and the Black Keys are the closest thing that they know of. We do get a lot of inspiration from the Black Keys, but I also feel we have our own spin on that style of music.
A birdie told me that you’re all massive Will Ferrell fans and that the name “Welshly Arms” came from one of his skits.. Is this true?
Haha yes you could say that!
How did you guys know that it was the right name for the group?
Actually, the name choice was the result of a few beers and some joking around. When “Welshly Arms” was thrown out there, we all laughed and then thought, “actually, it works!”
Upcoming tours? LA?
Right now we are starting work on a full-length album. Once that is all wrapped up, I definitely see a tour of some sort happening. And yes, LA needs to happen soon. Have you seen a winter in Cleveland?
Please follow the links below to check out Welshly Arms!