The bluesy rock band, Welshly Arms, is from Cleveland, Ohio. The band formed back in 2013 and blazed the music industry with their debut EP, Welcome. The band then released another EP in 2015 which was self-titled and the band has been rockin’ out ever since. I got to chat with the frontman, Sam Getz, about the band’s early days, their time at BottleRock, and more.
TYF: Before we dive into the music, can you tell us a little bit about how the band formed?
Sam Getz: Brett, Jimmy, Mikey, and I have been friends since high school but had never played all together in the same band until 2013 when I invited them over for a barbecue and a jam session. We had so much fun that we did it again the next week and the week after that. We then decided to start recording the ideas and call it a band. A year and a half later, we met Jon and Bri and had them sing with us on a couple songs for our self-titled LP. They fit right in and joined the band from then on.
TYF: The band’s sound has midwestern roots tied to it. Did you guys find your sound right away or did it take some time to figure out?
Getz: The base of our sound has remained bluesy and soulful just like the first couple EPs, but we have evolved as a band the more we’ve played together and explored new sounds and musical ideas. It didn’t take very long for all of our styles and influences to gel.
TYF: Is there a story behind the band’s name, Welshly Arms?
Getz: We borrowed it from a Saturday Night Live sketch with Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon. It’s the name of the hotel where they are in a hot tub. It’s a good reminder to us to not always take ourselves too seriously.
TYF: You guys just released your debut album, No Place Is Home – what was the most challenging part of putting together the album?
Getz: We had to write and record the album while we were touring heavily. We would go into the studio whenever we had a couple days off. Because of this, we had to work hard to make sure that it wasn’t just a bunch of disconnected songs but rather one cohesive album.
TYF: What was your writing process like?
Getz: Every song came together in its own way. The most common process on this album was that I would bring in a basic lyric and melody to Jimmy, and the two of us would arrange and start to produce demos. Then the songs would really come to life once the whole band put their individual touches on the song.
TYF: Do you guys usually come up with the lyrics then the rhythm? Vice verse? Or is it a mix of both?
Getz: It’s a pretty even mix, but I typically write a lot of the lyrics after playing around with the phrasing of the melodies. I often will unintentionally stumble into a lot of the permanent lyrics that way.
TYF: You guys played at BottleRock on the same day your debut album released. What was that like having two major events collide?
Getz: It was pretty great to be able to celebrate together on stage by debuting some of the songs! I couldn’t think of a better place to do it either.
TYF: Was this your first time playing at BottleRock?
Getz: It was. Hopefully not the last!
TYF: How do you guys make a festival show still seem so intimate?
Getz: It might have something to do with being a large band. Six members can spread the stage pretty well. We also really have fun together up there, and I think that might keep it feeling warm and intimate.
TYF: If you could describe your BottleRock experience in 5 words, what would they be?
Getz: Refreshing. Rewarding. Entertaining. Fun. Beautiful.
TYF: Did you guys have any time to enjoy the food and wine or even check out the other music acts at BottleRock after your set was done?
Getz: We stayed pretty busy with an acoustic set, the main set and an after party set, but we still managed to take in all of those things. We couldn’t pass up on the great wine and food that was all around us and got to catch a few great performances by some of the other artists that day.
TYF: Speaking of large music festivals, how do you guys usually prep for big shows such as BottleRock?
Getz: We usually talk through the set and figure out if there are any special tweaks we want to make to a song or fresh transitions we’d like to try. We like to keep things exciting and try not to do the exact same thing every night.
TYF: Any pre-show rituals you guys like to do before hitting the stage?
Getz: We have a little handshake thing we do together right before we walk on the stage called “the Welshly whisper.”
TYF: Now that BottleRock has passed, I noticed that you guys have a tour coming up with a Thirty Seconds to Mars. How did this opportunity come about?
Getz: Yeah! We’re honored that Thirty Seconds To Mars asked us to join them, Walk The Moon and K. Flay on the second leg of the Monolith tour!
TYF: What can fans expect from your set on this tour?
Getz: Energy. We bring a lot of that to the stage. We will also be playing a lot of the brand new songs from No Place Is Home.
TYF: Switching gears, I was reading that you guys performed “Legendary” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! What was that experience like?
Getz: It was a great way to make our US late night debut! They really love the music on that show, and they made us feel right at home, which helped take some of the nerves away.
TYF: How do you guys prepare for on televised performance vs on stage? Is there any difference in the process?
Getz: We try to keep it as close to the same as possible. Each venue has little differences though and sometimes you just need to be able to be a little flexible in your preparations.
TYF: So it’s pretty clear that you guys have played at various venues – do you guys prefer to play smaller, intimate shows or large festivals?
Getz: Both settings offer something unique. My favorite shows are the ones whether big or small, that the audience is up close and really engaged. Making them a part of what we’re doing on stage. An audience’s energy and enthusiasm can have a big impact on the show, and I like when we can be as together as possible. Sometimes that’s easier in a smaller venue, but festivals and big stages can still have intimacy too.
TYF: Lastly, I like to end my interviews on a fun, light note. With summer approaching, do you guys have any fun summer plans besides playing at more awesome venues/shows?
Getz: Having barbecues in my backyard as often as I can. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the summer and also sort of how this band got started in the first place!
For more information on Welshly Arms, check out their website here.