Needtobreathe: The Reckoning 2012 Tour

Needtobreathe: The Reckoning 2012 Tour

Good Old War, Matthew Mayfield

Sat, November 3, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Grand Canyon University Arena

Phoenix, AZ

Reserved $30, General Admisson $25 - GA Day Of $30

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Needtobreathe: The Reckoning 2012 Tour
Needtobreathe: The Reckoning 2012 Tour
Bear Rinehart (vocals, guitar, piano) - Bo Rinehart (guitar, backing vocals)
Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals) - Joe Stillwell (drums, backing vocals)

“We wanted to make an important record in the way that people used to make records. Bands rarely have the time that allows them to create a game-changing album like Born to Run, Rumours, or Damn The Torpedoes. So we said, ‘Let's set ourselves up to do that. Let's believe in the songs enough that we're willing to take the time they need and really push ourselves. It may sound naïve, but we still have a dream that we're going to make a record that's going to change everything for us.”

When NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bear and Bo Rinehart set out to write the songs that appear on the band’s new album, The Reckoning, they felt something bigger awaited them. It wasn’t just commercial success either. The band’s last album The Outsiders hit No. 9 on Billboard’s Rock Albums chart, went Top 20 on the Top 200, saw the band sell out venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Chicago’s House of Blues, and score an impressive number of placements in blockbuster films and numerous prime time television-shows. Bear explains “There was always this creeping reminder that we needed to show what the last ten years on the road had taught us. If we couldn't do that, everything we had worked for was meaningless.”

With their reputation as a must-see live act built from non-stop touring, the Rinehart brothers, pastor’s sons who hail from the rural South Carolina town of Possum Kingdom, along with drummer Joe Stillwell and bass player Seth Bolt, were determined to create a statement-making album that truly captured the magic behind this genuinely appealing rock band.

“We considered every note, every sound, and every lyric that went on this album,” Bo says of their fourth album The Reckoning, which was co-produced by the band with Rick Beato (who worked with the band on their records The Heat and The Outsiders), and was recorded over seven months mostly at their Plantation Studios in Charleston, SC. “Everything was put through the ‘Do we really believe in this or not,’ filter. We never settled. We were looking for a spark. Sometimes in the studio you’ve got to keep searching until something happens that feels magical. We were waiting for that moment to strike on each song before we called this album finished.” Bear adds, “At one point, we had done 10 different versions of the same song, but that process is what the record came to be about. We felt like no one could take this moment from us. I think you can feel the pressure we put on ourselves in every note of this record. The songs and the album became something much bigger than us ... something we had to live up to.”

Lyrically, all roads lead from the album’s title, which Bear says has several different meanings, one of them being the justification of accounts. “I like the idea that you put in all this work and at some point it comes to a peak -- that’s the reckoning time.”

What the band emerged with is a timeless-sounding album rooted in classic American rock and roll, unafraid to veer off into unexpected directions. Songs such as “Maybe They’re On To Us” address the paranoia of wondering whether people know too much about the band. “It also asks, ‘Are we still driven in the same way?’ We’re always questioning ourselves,” Bear says. Even the songs that may sound light-hearted on the surface, like “White Fences,” “Slumber,” and “Drive All Night,” explore serious themes. “’White Fences’ is about the American dream of growing up in a big house with a white picket fence, but when the dream is broken and things don’t pan out the way you planned, asking who’s going to fix it,” Bo says. “’Slumber’ is meant to be about how beauty is all around you but you just can’t see it because of the funk you’re in,” Bear says. “It speaks to something that we really care about which is giving yourself a chance.” And there’s “Drive All Night,” a galloping barnstormer that Bear sees as a statement on the false idea that one can run away from one’s problems. “The truth is, the more you run away, the worse it gets, whereas if you embrace the things around you, the more joy you’re going to have,” he says.

With their intriguing melodies and bright choruses, the songs on The Reckoning are certain to translate in the live setting, something that is crucial to the band. “The worst thing that could happen is you get done playing and people don’t think about you again. We’ll do whatever it takes to force people to make a decision about our band, whether they love us or not. It makes for more passionate fans.”

“We've always bought into the fact that anything worth having is going to cost you a lot, so I think we were prepared to lose everything. The Reckoning is our investigation into everything we believed to be true and a justification for everything we still do.”
Good Old War
Good Old War
The second self-titled album by Pennsylvania indie-rock trio Good Old War is at its lush heart, an album of immense growth. A natural evolution from the band's debut Only Way to Be Alone (Sargent House), Good Old War radiates with warmth and vulnerability, both qualities undoubtedly cultivated by the band's hands-on self-production, and the environment of solitude in which the album was created.
Holed up in a remote house in the Pocono Mountains through the white winter month of February 2009, Keith Goodwin (vocalist/guitarist), Dan Schwartz (vocalist/guitarist), and Tim Arnold (vocalist/drummer) coalesced into a dynamic harmonious unit, using their time in complete isolation to explore new approaches to their music-making process: they learned new instruments; they wrote about subjects like love, loss, and addiction; they explored musical conventions far outside indie-rock/folk territory. Good Old War's sophomore album doesn't just maintain the intricate vocal harmonies, infectious sing-along melodies, and pop-song writing foundation of Only Way To Be Alone, it expands them. The results are a collection of songs that could translate from a living room to an arena without losing their heartbeat.
"This record is different because there's more shake, shake, shake," explains vocalist/drummer Tim Arnold. "The songs came from all over the place. They range from loneliness to domestic violence to drug addiction to true love. There are more instruments being struck by artists who know how to strike them. There's more strings being plucked by pluckers who know how to pluck them. There's more vocal chords vocalizing and there's more lungs breathing. There's more sun shining and there's more clouds forming. There's a constant amount of push/pull dynamic yet it reflects everyday, natural life."
"Individually, Keith and I wrote some of the best songs we ever wrote," explains vocalist/guitarist Dan Schwartz. "And, Tim completely murdered his drum tracks - all with only brushes! Collectively, we became a very tight group. We talked about everything: the words, the rhythms, the notes, which microphone to use. We learned from each other and got more confident in our songwriting and on our instruments together." Unlike their debut, which was extensively pre-planned and rehearsed, Good Old War was created from scratch in the studio. Rather than recording live as they did on Only Way To Be Alone, the album was recorded track by track, allowing the musicians to discover intricacies in each other's work.
Goodwin took on the bulk of the engineering, showing impressive talent at the mixing board and embracing the freedom of self-producing. "We wanted to make a record unlike any other. It was exciting to rely on and nurture our own production skills, which was a new experience for all of us. Because the core of our sound is about simple elements: guitar, vocal harmonies, and percussion, the production is simple and organic” he notes. "We discovered we had the ability to be largely self-reliant in the making of a record. I love that we can record whatever we want, whenever we want." With Goodwin steering the direction of the recording process, Good Old War is an album made with great conscientiousness to live performance; all arrangement on the record can be performed live and there are no guests on the album. The Final mix was provided by Jason Cupp
Good Old War's songwriting process has spontaneity, intuition and collectivity at its roots. The band first toured with Anthony Green in December 2007 (in lieu of Days Away which had recently dissolved). All of the songs that made their way onto the bands debut Only Way To Be Alone were written in a van on the way to those shows. Amidst the process of writing and touring, an innate musical kinship developed between Good Old War & Green; by the end of the tour the band was following their own set with a complete performance as Green's backing band. Months later Good Old War appeared on Avalon, Anthony Green's debut.
Only a month after officially choosing a name, Sargent House signed Good Old War and the band recorded the songs they had written on the road with Rick Parker and Jason Cupp. In May 2008, Sargent House announced a national tour during which the band would play a set of their own followed by a second set with Green yet again. The tour ended with a performance on Last Call with Carson Daly and the band released their debut album, Only Way to be Alone, which helped garner a loyal fanbase and overwhelmingly positive response from the press. Upon the album’s release, the single “Coney Island” began gaining attention at Triple A radio, while the video won MTVU’s “The Freshman” award and maintained heavy rotation for over three months.
Throughout 2009, Good Old War found themselves in a whirlwind of touring including dates with The Gaslight Anthem, The Heartless Bastards, Rx Bandits, and The Honorary Title. Towards the end of the year, Good Old War were seemingly everywhere; they sang "God Bless America" at a hometown Phillies game, played a multitude of radio events including WXPN’s XPoNential Fest, headlined their first tour (while also playing as the band for Cast Spells' Dave Davison), released a split EP (with Cast Spells), and jetted over to the west coast for a set of holiday shows with Anthony Green, continuing their long standing double-set tradition.
After just three years of existence, Good Old War has released their self-titled highly anticipated follow-up with lyrical topics ranging from love and loss to living life and everything in between. The album urges listeners to be aware of their own mortality by spending their days doing what they love; after all, it's a product of Good Old War doing just that.
Matthew Mayfield
Matthew Mayfield
Hi. My name is Matthew Mayfield and I'm a two-faced son of a bitch.

Sometimes I write quiet, folky ballads. Those songs rip my heart out.
Sometimes I write riff-driven rock'n'roll anthems. Those songs make me feel alive.

It's all honest. It's always done with every ounce of heart I can give because when it's all said and done, the human element is the only thing that truly connects people to music. You probably have a cousin who's a better singer than me and an uncle who can play circles around me on guitar. That's great. I'm happy for you. And for them. But I want to write the song that makes all three of you close your eyes and feel that feeling again. The song that knocks you on your ass. The song that tugs at your insides in a way nothing else ever will.

I'm a child of the 90s. I'm a child of Birmingham, Alabama. I'm a homebody and I'm a touring musician. I Twitter. I Facebook. But I believe social media is the round that went straight through the magical, mysterious heart of the Rock'n'Roll Unicorn and left future generations star-less and dreamless. They'll never know how amazing it was to have ZERO access to your heroes unless they were on television, the cover of Rolling Stone, or onstage in your hometown arena.

If I had been born in '73 instead of '83 I would be an even larger train wreck of a human being than I am now. I'd have a house full of platinum records, a lingering drug habit, and I sure as hell wouldn't be writing my own bio! I'd have one of my minions do it just like Axl does. Just like Mick does. Just like Prince does. I wouldn't be carrying my own gear or pushing cases into a trailer behind a van for the tenth year in a row. I'd be on a jet making blueprints of stage spectacles on cocktail napkins and hopelessly dreading the mobs of fans at the airport who might notice all my imperfections when their flash is on or see something oddly human in the way I pick my nose.

The truth is that it's 2012 and everything has changed. I've signed a big record deal. I've been wined and dined by the big wigs. And none of it matters. The only thing that ever lasts is the song. If you truly believe the guy who's coming through your speakers, then something beautiful and truly miraculous is happening.

I don't have a plan B.

I believe in miracles.

-MM
Venue Information:
Grand Canyon University Arena
3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85017-3030