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  • Writer's pictureThe Real Ding

GET TO KNOW: Green Arthur

Photo: Maaike Bernstrom

After the rousing response to his much-loved offering 'Pine Needles' last year, Rhode Island-based artist Green Arthur returns once again to deliver his breezy new single 'Rest In Reverse'.

Channelling the same woozy aesthetic as the likes of James Taylor, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Carly Simon, 'Rest In Reverse' makes for a brilliantly rich and passionate listen. With his vibrant vocal style spread across a rustic indie-rock groove from start to finish, he continues to shine as one of the more dynamic names on the rise right now.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.

What was the first band or artist you fell in love with? 

As a teenager, I loved that band Live from Pennsylvania. They released a great record called Mental Jewelry that really made an impact on me. I was also really into Stone Temple Pilots. My producer -- Wes Hutchinson – he’s an amazing musician and friend. He and I were recently reminiscing about their record, Purple (1994). It’s pretty immaculate from beginning to end. They were sort of grunge but also influenced by Bowie and that whole scene, so it made it much more nuanced and interesting than some of the other mid-90s bands.

Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like? 

In high school, I was the singer in a band called Relish. The name seems so silly now, but maybe also kind of awesome? Haha. We played the high school talent show and some local shows, as well. As silly as it sounds, those experiences played a big role in helping me feel comfortable on stage. We played a lot of Red Hot Chili Pepper covers – I remember learning ‘Soul to Squeeze’ and ‘Give It Away’ for the talent show. Those are good memories. Later, in Nashville, I was the drummer in the art rock band, Jetpack. We had a moment there for a bit and played some really fun shows. 

What has been your primary inspiration in writing music? 

That’s a great question. I suppose I am most inspired by the idea of creating music that is a true reflection of the human experience. The idea that life is a straight line with a beginning and an end – neat and tidy – that idea is eventually sort of shattered. I like the blurry lines in between the neatness and I hope that comes through in my music. Whether consciously or subconsciously, I believe our daily experiences, relationships, etc. come through in the writing.

What is a song you wish you had written yourself? 

I love the song, ‘Late In The Evening’, by Paul Simon. It has such an addictive groove to it. You don’t need a song to say too much if people can really feel it. There is a swagger to it that is appealing. You know, ‘I'm feeling all rightI'm with my boys, I'm with my troops’. That’s a vibe.

If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be? 

There isn’t one particular moment, but I would say that I am most fulfilled when collaborating with others. I have such talented friends and I am so grateful for their contributions to my songs, whether musical or artistic. I have a friend named Isaac Alexander who is an amazing songwriter and artist and he is really good at giving honest feedback. I released a cover of his song, ‘Pine Needles’, last year. He also does all of the art design on my releases. He just has a really keen eye and ear and it’s great having friends like that – who will tell it like it is.

Which artist would you most love to share a stage with? 

I have a pretty hefty man crush on Kurt Vile. His whole vibe is pretty great. It would be amazing to play a show with him. I love how his songs often have a meta quality to them – as if he is sort of narrating the process of songwriting. ‘Strummin’ a song, that teapot wants to sing along but I don’t mind’. I like that sort of thing. 

And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well? 

I really admire Damon Albarn and his career. He always seems to find new ways to be challenged and inspired – writing and recording with artists from around the world. It would be a dream come true to collaborate with him. 

Where do you see yourself in five years time? 

I hope to continue to have the opportunity to write and record music and that my music moves people in some way. Anthony Bourdain used to talk about the idea of being terrified of making mediocre work. He was obviously referring to his work in television, but the same applies to music. You sort of want a strong reaction, whether positive or negative. It’s the bland in the middle that terrifies me.

Green Arthur's new single 'Rest In Reverse' is out now. Check it out below.


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