Arms Akimbo is a 4-piece indie rock outfit based in Los Angeles. After meeting in college, Peter Schrupp, Chris Kalil, Colin Boppell and Matthew Sutton decided to form a band inspired by artists like Local Natives, Portugal. The Man and Hippo Campus. Their debut EP, Vignettes found immediate success and the band soon opened for touring with Walk The Moon.
They have since hit the studio and just released a new EP entitled, The Wrong Kind Of Dance Party (the name was pulled from a playlist they used in college to wrap up their parties).
We spoke with the band about their latest track, “Seven Mirrors,” the formation of the band, and why small venues make the best shows. Read what they had to say below.
How did the band come together?
We all met in college. Chris was recording a thesis project for his music production class and I (Peter) came in with an EP. Colin and I were living together and started writing some of those songs together. Matt was out of town at the time and we just kind of assumed he would join the band when he got back. Luckily we were right.
Who or what has inspired your sound and your latest track, “Seven Mirrors?”
We have a ton of influences. Primarily in the indie rock genre from Whitney to Hippo Campus to Portugal. Seven Mirrors is all influenced on the mere idea of using the delay effect as the basis of a song. It’s a long track with Bleachers-like production, but we wanted to focus on the dynamics shifting – pulling down the instruments when I’m belting, or pushing into the chorus full swing if need be.
What is your favorite show memory?
Playing on the Santa Monica Pier with Eric Burden & The Animals was surreal. They’re such an influential band and it was a treat being able to open for them in our own backyard.
What would be your dream tour and why?
Honestly touring small clubs throughout the US with any two or three bands we’re good friends with is the dream. I think small clubs have the best energy. Everyone going is a fan of the band and you don’t lose any of the intimacy to size or unwanted noise. And no tour succeeds more than one with good buds. There’s always room for buddies in our minivan.
Tell us about your writing process; any unusual quirks?
Chris and I write our songs slightly differently. I like to use a loop pedal and sing over it a bunch. It tends to be written instrumentally, then I work out the melody, then the lyrics and THEN I bring it to the band, and we edit and workshop from there. Chris is more of a traditional “vocals and guitar” kind of writer.
What’s your favorite song to cover?
We just did an acoustic show and swung through a folk version of “When You Were Young” by The Killers. That was rad, and Chris even learned harmonica to play it.
If you were to create a “soundtrack to your life,” what songs would be on it?
All of the songs on our “Splash Zone” playlist. It’s a bunch of songs we like to belt in the minivan on the way to shows. It’s ever changing to so we have everything from “The Black Parade” to “Unwritten” by the great, Natasha Bedingfield to “Ultimate” by Denzel Curry and “Short People” by Randy Newman.
Would you like to add anything else?
We’ll play your living room if we can crash on the floor.