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Introducing... Open Arms


Open Arms are an indie pop band based out of Birmingham that are currently unsigned, hell bent on doing everything on their own terms it really shines through in their music. Their tracks have the distinct tone of perfectionism, creating a sound that feels like the deepest depths of summer, the ultimate indie pop anthems. "Honey" is a personal favourite as it clearly portrays their individualism. I had the chance to chat with frontman Ben Farmer regarding their rise up until this point...

Question. Hey Ben, so what message do you feel that Open Arms are trying to portray?
Open Arms:
Hi Karl - I think our ethos as a band is to create music that can translate to a wide audience. We are a totally self made band so for us its really important that we create in a free way and our music is an embodiment of that.

Q. When going into the studio are you purposely trying to create a certain sound or do you let it naturally flow?
OA:
We don't tend to do the stereotypical studio session - we like to create our tracks on laptops and evolve them there before we take them into a studio environment which allows us to create a much purer and original sound


Q. Are there any problems you seem to always encounter when writing and recording?
OA:
If we sit down to write a record from scratch it doesn't tend to happen. Usually we accumulate ideas and experiment with them - sometimes it can take months before we finish a song and it goes through hundreds of changes but that's the benefit we have with the way we record and produce our own records on laptops.

Q. And how do you feel rising in the Birmingham music scene is helping you grow and develop?
OA:
I think if you're a grass roots band then you really have to get stuck in. We've been a band for 4 years now and we've covered the Birmingham scene inside and out. It offers a chance to see what life could be like in the future and to see how others react to your music and that's been vital to us in keeping us going.


Q. The Birmingham music scene is buzzing at the moment, why do you think that is?
OA:
I think there's a lot of other cities that get a staple credit for producing bands - Manchester and Liverpool for example. I don't think Birmingham has been given that chance to shine yet and bands like us are trying hard to change that and show that we matter.

Q. "Honey" and "Telescope" are both very dreamy, sun-glazed indie pop. What are your thoughts and feelings behind those songs?
OA:
They represent our personal and professional lives. One thing I love about creating music is offering a Polaroid of an experience for us, but also music that can mean something to others in different ways.
We knew we wanted to write music that matters to people and I think we achieved it in those songs.

Q. "Honey" is phenomenally well produced and written. What was the process of writing and recording that song in particular?
OA:
Thank you very much - it took about 9 months from its inception to becoming the track you can hear now. It started as most of our songs do with a lyrical idea and we wrote the music to suit the style of song we wanted and then wrote vocals for it.
We were looking for a more abbrasive track that pulled from 80s guitar pop like INXS and modern indie music.

Q. And how do these songs transfer to live shows?
OA:
We always write with a performance state of mind. Playing live is so important to us and we don't want to write songs that we cant perform. We are always expanding our technology and possibilities to keep things fresh.
You can tell hopefully when hearing our tracks that theres certain moments in the records that really are written for a crowd to join in with and that inclusion in our music is so important for us.


Q. How would you describe your live shows?
OA:
Energetic, unique, very visual and above all else - interactive. We pride ourselves on offering something to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Q. Has there ever been a gig in particular where you've thought to yourself "That was the best one we've ever done"?
OA:
It does happen but it tends to be for different reasons. We had a choir perform Telescope with us recently and that was very emotional - but we won a competition this year in Nottingham at a festival and I think that was the best show we've done so far.
You could see everyone in the crowd totally understood who we were and what we were about and we got such a vibe from the audience - it was almost spiritual.

Q. What lies in the future for Open Arms?
OA:
Who knows? Id like to be able to answer that but the past month alone has totally turned us upside down in the best way possible. What I do know is its going to be special.

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