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Elizabethtown, KY
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Portrait of partlycloudy
BIOGRAPH
PARTLY CLOUDY

Arm Your Weapons

Some three decades after The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones blistered out of nowhere to redefine the rock landscape, the spirit of punk is still alive and thriving thanks to edgy and aggressive, passionately defiant bands like Partly Cloudy.

The Lexington, Kentucky based foursome—lead singer Dave Harms, bassist Jon Harms, guitarist Aaron Smith and drummer Chris Brim--has been in a nonstop, restless recording and touring mode, playing some 100 shows a year all around the country since breaking out in late 2004 with “Misery Loves Company,” the first single off their LIR Records debut State Of Mind. With the help of CMJ (College Music Journal), Partly Cloudy received a ton of regional college airplay; later, Notorious Radio came on board and helped the track get commercial airplay on stations everywhere from St. Louis to Terre Haute, Illinois to South Dakota. Wherever it was spinning, Partly Cloudy hit the road and started playing

Gearing up to roll out Arm Your Weapons, the band’s completely self-funded, DIY five-song EP, Partly Cloudy is hitting the road with a vengeance again. Starting with gigs in New York, Philly, Boston, The Carolinas and Florida, Partly Cloudy is going on an “outlining America” tour. They’re booking some gigs themselves and getting their fans involved in the process, too, asking their thousands of supporters nationwide to “help us book” via their popular myspace page, www.myspace.com/partlycloudyrocks. “There’s been a large community that has been following us, and now we’re basically telling people, get ready, we’re coming back,” says Dave

In keeping with the band’s fiercely independent spirit—which is, after all, the essence of punk-influenced rock—Partly Cloudy parted ways with their Lexington based record label after some clashing opinions over creative direction. They decided to start from scratch and completely self-fund the tracks that evolved into Arm Your Weapons. Of all the songs they recorded for State of Mind, only “Misery Loves Company” ultimately struck them as a cut that truly defined their vision as a band. But everything’s an evolution, and Dave says that first album was a great learning experience

“State Of Mind was a much more experimental record,” he says, “and in the recording process we were toying with a lot of different sounds and styles. There was a ska element, a punk element and a bunch of progressive ideas which reflected the way we went nuts having fun with the writing process. Once we got on the road to promote it, people loved the songs and our performances were a blast, but we kept thinking it wasn’t focused enough. But ‘Misery’ had that cool punk influence and high energy rock sound and that’s been the vibe of everything we’ve written since then.”

The songs are largely autobiographical about the band’s rollercoaster of experiences these past few years. The fiery title track captures their attitude of fighting for what’s right, and if you know it’s worth fighting for, that this is what you’re meant to do. “Helpless” takes a shot at people who take pleasure in always playing the victim,” while “…But To Me It’s Everything” is about Partly Cloudy’s dedication to persevering even when detractors want to bring them down.

“Before we called it Arm Your Weapons, we were going to title it ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue,’ because anytime you put your blood, sweat and tears into something, there are still people who can dismiss you,” says Dave. “Of course we’ll always get negative criticism but this is what we’re meant to do. We’re just not pop, Top 40 guys. We like to think outside the box and we grew up listening to punk and against the grain bands like Foo Fighters. We’re proud that we’re not like everyone else.

While Dave and Jon Harms spent some key formative years in Radcliff, Kentucky—where Dave formed his first band, Decision, in high school—the two were army brats who moved every few years. As they grew up, they lived in New England, Ohio, Illinois and Germany—all of which gave them a broader experience of life than most American kids. Aaron Smith, who recently replaced Partly Cloudy’s longtime guitarist Kyle Keith, was also a military brat from Radcliff, while drummer Chris Brims’ parents were missionaries who took him for months at a time to Mexico and South America.

The four current members of Partly Cloudy met when they discovered the exciting underground punk and hardcore scene going on around Louisville. When Dave was kicked out of Decision, he launched the original Partly Cloudy; Chris’ band at the time, karousel, opened for them. Meanwhile, Aaron played with Jon in a punk band in Elizabethtown. For a few years, Partly Cloudy was a threesome, with Dave, Kyle and Chris; when Jon joined as the bassist, Dave was able to focus totally on lead vocals.

With a natural creative chemistry, strong friendships and an intense work ethic, Partly Cloudy stands poised to emerge as a major American-bred punk influenced rock band. Once they get on the road and Arm Their Weapons, what happens next is anyone’s guess. “The best part of all this,” says Dave, “is proving to people that we’re going to do what we say. In the music industry, so many people just talk and do nothing. Others just want to put you down. So we have to have a strong spirit where we don’t listen to those who say we can’t do it. We all love recording and performing live, and it’s the ultimate payoff to get to do it with your good friends. Our hard work speaks for itself.

 
 
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