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 foursomelead 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 bands 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. Theyre 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
. Theres been a large community that has been following us, and now were basically telling people, get ready, were coming back, says Dave
In keeping with the bands fiercely independent spiritwhich is, after all, the essence of punk-influenced rockPartly 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 everythings 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 wasnt focused enough. But Misery had that cool punk influence and high energy rock sound and thats been the vibe of everything weve written since then.
The songs are largely autobiographical about the bands rollercoaster of experiences these past few years. The fiery title track captures their attitude of fighting for whats right, and if you know its worth fighting for, that this is what youre meant to do. Helpless takes a shot at people who take pleasure in always playing the victim, while
But To Me Its Everything is about Partly Cloudys dedication to persevering even when detractors want to bring them down.
Before we called it Arm Your Weapons, we were going to title it Im rubber, youre glue, because anytime you put your blood, sweat and tears into something, there are still people who can dismiss you, says Dave. Of course well always get negative criticism but this is what were meant to do. Were 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. Were proud that were not like everyone else.
While Dave and Jon Harms spent some key formative years in Radcliff, Kentuckywhere Dave formed his first band, Decision, in high schoolthe two were army brats who moved every few years. As they grew up, they lived in New England, Ohio, Illinois and Germanyall of which gave them a broader experience of life than most American kids. Aaron Smith, who recently replaced Partly Cloudys 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 anyones guess. The best part of all this, says Dave, is proving to people that were 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 dont listen to those who say we cant do it. We all love recording and performing live, and its the ultimate payoff to get to do it with your good friends. Our hard work speaks for itself.