GREAT MISTAKES REVIEWS
ROLLING STONE – 4 Stars "Paper Arms have finally got it right"
THE BRAG – 4 Stars "One of the strongest Australian punk releases this year."
KILL YOUR STEREO – 4.5 Stars "A triumphant album."
THE MUSIC – 3.5 Stars "Paper Arms are embracing their finest hour."
Over the last 7 years, Paper Arms have acheived a great deal. Touring Australia relentlessly with some of rock music's best, appearing on Australia’s Big Day Out, Soundwave and Hits & Pits festivals, releasing two classic albums and touring Europe three times. But the feather in the band’s hat came in 2015.
While most people were relaxing over the Christmas break of 2014, Paper Arms were locked away in Adelaide’s Capitol Sound studios recording their 3rd full length album, Great Mistakes. It’s an album written in spite of the 800km distance that formed between the band and vocalist Josh Mann. It’s an album that was written in spite of the loss of a founding member. And it is an album that is hopelessly optimistic in spite of it all. If 2013’s often heartbreaking, ‘The Smoke Will Clear’ was a funeral, Great Mistakes is a celebratory wake.
Running the gammut from punk-rock to grunge to spacey epics, the album sees the band taking their wide range of influences, and weaving them together as if they we always meant to be. With lyrics ranging from a final farewell to old love to a cathartic “fuck you” to out of touch politicians, Great Mistakes is the album Paper Arms have been working towards since their first show in 2008. The smoke did clear and this is what they found.
Paper Arms are one of the winners of our Soundwave competition. This beardy 4-piece will be bringing their “Gainesville-style” punk rock to Adelaide's Bonython Park on March 5.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
I think that, like a lot of the bands in our genre, our sound is the sum of all our musical parts and experiences. There's elements of melodic punk, but it's not melodic punk. There's elements of hardcore, but it's not hardcore. There's elements of rock, but it's not straight rock. etc. etc. I think that's what really draws me to it. There's enough wiggle room in the sound to try new ideas, and push yourself creatively without facing a backlash of people complaining that you're breaking out of a certain genre. There's things we've learned in all our previous bands culminating here. I don't claim to be re-inventing the wheel, but I do love that what we do doesn't really have a "set in stone" name. I hope it never does.
You’re one of the winners of our Soundwave Competition. What can the Adelaide Soundwave audience expect from your show?
Sweat. Broken drum sticks. Vocals pushed till my voice starts breaking like a 14 year old. A bit more sweat. You know. The usual.
What are you most hoping to get out of attending and playing the 2011 Soundwave Festival?
It's a massive honour to have been chosen. It's also going to be amazing to share a stage with so many bands and musicians that I've grown up listening to and learning from. I'm probably just hoping to get out of it what every other punter there is. Except I guess the backstage pass and free drinks might make it a little more special this year. haha.
Tell us about the bands and people in the Adelaide music scene that inspire you.
All the bands I love in Adelaide at the moment are ones that are dancing to the beat of their own drum (so to speak). Grenadiers. Kind of a brother band to us. Started doing rock and roll in a hardcore town and blew a few people's minds. Stolen Youth. One of the longest serving and hardest working punk bands in Australia. Weightless. Started doing chilled out 90's emo when most people weren't aware that even happened. Hightimes. Somehow made ska-punk okay again. haha. Craterface made hardcore humerous. Coerce got angry. And there's a bunch more. A lot of really young interesting hardcore and post-hardcore bands starting up now too. Exciting times in Adelaide.
What’s your greatest memory of touring Australia?
It was really awesome touring last year with Strike Anywhere. I'd toured once before with them in God So Loved The World, and feel like we're really tight now. It's an awesome feeling when you realize, you're actually friends with a band you idolized as a kid. Great guys and great shows. Also have a lot of fun on the surprise shows like a couple we've done in Hobart, when you may not have had huge expectations, and they turn out to be some of the best nights with the best people.
What’s coming up in 2011?
Supporting Against Me and Off With Their Heads soon. Also honoured to be playing one of the final Arthouse shows in April. I'm doing a solo show with Tim Barry and Chris Wollard which should be fun too. Long term 2011... We're aiming for a new full length and hopefully an overseas trip of some form.
Australian music is?
In need of a Midnight Oil reunion. haha.View Profile Hide Interview