Essay: Arms Akimbo, the Only Band Stupid Enough to Make a TV Show

Arms Akimbo © 2021
Arms Akimbo © 2021
Today, LA indie rock band Arms Akimbo open up about creating a TV show around their upcoming album, and how that experience rejuvenated the group in their darkest moment. Out now, the intimate and smoldering new single “Make My Bed” arrives today as the third release off Arms Akimbo’s forthcoming debut album, ‘East LA ETC.’
“’Make My Bed’ is a perfect heartbreaker about all the little errors you can make that lead up to a breakup,” Arms Akimbo’s by Peter Schrupp tells Atwood Magazine. “Things like forgetting an important date, not making the effort to clean up for your partner or any other number of faults by omission, and how those mistakes can culminate into something bigger than one event.”
:: stream “Make My Bed” here ::
Oh how could I forget again
I knew u were coming over
But I forgot to make my bed
Oh how could I let it slip my mind
See I got u something better
But it’s shippin over night

•• ••

Arms Akimbo, the Only Band Stupid Enough to Make a TV Show

by Peter Schrupp, Arms Akimbo

Make My Bed - Arms Akimbo

What’s even a band anymore? That was one of many questions we tossed around at the beginning of 2021 when we reassessed ours. People might be completely unaware of the fact that although band meetings do consist of discussions about tours, merch giveaways, “digital marketing” (whatever that means) and so many more uninspiring, business topics. But the truth is, no one is going to care about your music unless they care about you.

In the wake of the mess that was 2020, Arms Akimbo as a band really turned a corner.

A few key pieces of the story that you need to know before we get into it are as follows. Since 2015 we’ve been a road dog band rooted in a strong live performance and our sob story, much like most other folks, included a cancelled US tour, the departure of a key band member to pursue his own project, and our bassist Colin moving from Los Angeles to Richmond, Virginia. Just like that we went from 4 band members in one house to two in LA and one member living three time zones away, with no upcoming shows or means to perform.

The funny thing about adversity is that the feeling of desperation inspires creativity. All of a sudden the worst possible outcomes feel pretty trivial and we found ourselves on a new path laden with deep conversations that led to the earlier question – what is a band? To us that was always the adolescent, romantic notion of a bunch of white boys in a van. We had to redefine this concept and I have to say that despite all of our fears this has been such a refreshing conquest!

Arms Akimbo © 2021
Arms Akimbo © 2021

After gathering all of our material (i.e., songs we haven’t released spanning as far back as 2018), we noticed a lovely little trend. All of our tracks seemed to fall into one of three categories.

  1. Folk Songs
  2. Pop Songs
  3. Rock Songs

This is cool… Maybe we would drop a few EPs or something. And then as I procrastinated and watched Ted Lasso for the second time, I noticed how aesthetically pleased I was by the Apple TV subtitles and immediately called my drummer and yelled, “We should make a TV show!” And we started spitballing the premise that we would do a 12 song record with 12 minute-long music videos. Each video would be a narrative continuation of the last and each grouping of genres would be its own Season of the show. We pulled in a team of creatives led by our friend, director Will Houlihan (Hot Ones), and mapped out how to film and create a TV show around our album.

Mind you, this is an album we had yet to even RECORD. But since we started the project we have been recording all of the songs, shooting music videos to demos, and releasing each song monthly. This complete revolution has totally invigorated our band, and we are so proud of the work that came out of some of our darkest moments.

We have since released two songs/videos, one Halloween holiday special and are about to wrap up Season 1 of East LA ETC with our new single, “Make My Bed.” “Make My Bed” is a delight to release because as we exit the folk section of the album, we begin to incorporate new pop and electronic elements. This album has a wider breadth than any of our previous releases including a production feature from our EDM producing friend, Starbuck, along with mandolin and violin performances from Aaron Jorgensen and Rebecca Augustine respectively. This album is a barrage of firsts for us. The first time we’ve produced ourselves. The first time we have had other artists outside of the band perform on our records. The first of many future successes.

So what is a band? That was the initial question. For us right now it’s a creative collective – a group of folks doing everything from songwriting and performing, to shooting a TV series and designing art. Either way I know that we felt our legs get swept from underneath us last year and now we’re making music that we’ve never been more proud of. We’re working with our best friends and most importantly we’re smiling a lot. And to anyone following our journey we hope to make you smile as well.

As we near the end of the year/season 1 of our show we are actively working on both the music and videos for Season 2. Season 2 is the sickest music we’ve ever made…

Oh how could I lose track of time
I can get you in a minute
Or I’ll just pick you up tonight
Oh how well do you know him again
I mean I knew you too were friendly
I had no clue to what extent
i saw you on the front lines
you left me for dead again
I saw you on the other side
I knew that we better than…this
Oh how could I let my finger slip
I missed it by a letter
I won’t call you up again

— —

:: stream “Make My Bed” here ::
Stream: “Make My Bed” – Arms Akimbo

— — — —

Make My Bed - Arms Akimbo

Connect to Arms Akimbo on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © 2021

:: Stream Arms Akimbo ::

Written By
More from Guest Writer
Alternate Endings: Life and Music in Quarantine with Artist Lennon Stella
Lennon Stella reimagines songs from her debut album ‘Three. Two. One.’ and...
Read More