Arms and Legs (USA)
From Music-China Wiki
|This is a foreign artist - performing or touring in China - not a Chinese artist|
CT/NYC-based Arms and Legs (Scott Daly and co.) are signed to China's largest independent record label, Modern Sky (www.modernsky.com). They are currently mixing their new album in New York with Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony and The Johnsons, etc.).
Arms and Legs have performed with the Yeah Yeahs, Deerhoof, Panther, Joanna Wang, Maximo Park, The Lemonheads, and others. Arms and Legs recently supported Retribution Gospel Choir (feat. members of Low) in CT and in New York at Mercury Lounge. Arms and Legs are a featured headliner at the 3-day Strawberry Festival in Beijing in May, also featuring Xiu Xiu, Radio 4, and others.
"Dreamers Do" from their debut album Everything Is Gonna Be Ok is currently featured in a national TV commercial for Dayquil.
Video from China:
From the Stamford Advocate
Even though Scott Daly was raised in Bethel, he experiences a severe case of culture shock every time he returns to the quaint, northern Fairfield County town.
"It's been a rough two weeks," he said during an interview from Jacqueline's Restaurant & Bakery in Bethel last week. "Here, there is like 15 feet of downtown. It's so weird not being able to walk to the subway.
"Not only that," he added, "I can talk to anybody I want."
Indeed, Bethel is a much different place than Daly's home for the past six months -- the bustling, congested metropolis of Beijing.
But the size, the subway and ease of communication aren't the only differences. In his hometown, the Danbury-born rock musician performs for small audiences at intimate bars and clubs; in Beijing, he plays for huge crowds at the biggest festivals in China.
"It's so ridiculously weird," said Daly, who three years ago signed to Beijing-based Modern Sky Records, one of China's most prestigious independent labels. "For the audience, they get to see all these Chinese bands. Then, all of the sudden, there is this white kid up on stage playing guitar."
Back in his old stomping grounds, Daly, who goes by Arms and Legs on stage, will play a pair of concerts this weekend. The first gig takes him to Danbury's Heirloom Arts Theatre Friday, where he will perform with long-time friends and bandmates, drummer John Hripak and keyboardist John Laranjeira. Then on Sunday, Daly and Hripak will appear at a benefit concert at Cousin Larry's Cafe in Danbury. They return to Beijing in the spring.
Arms and Legs' trans-Pacific journey began in 2004 when Daly, then just 21 years old, opened for indie rock band Kiss Kiss at 169 Bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side. It was there that he met his future manager, Michael LoJudice, who was impressed with Daly's acoustic guitar set.
Two years later, LoJudice, who had earlier accepted a position as general manager at Modern Sky Entertainment, USA, asked Daly if Arms and Legs would fly out to Beijing to join the company's thriving record label. Daly accepted the offer and shortly after his arrival, he was handed a guitar and shoved on stage in front of 15,000 people at the famed Modern Sky Festival.
For Daly, who had toiled in the Danbury music scene since his late teens, it was totally unexpected.
"I thought I would go (to China) and have to pay my dues all over again," he recalled. "But then, they put me on the lineups for all these festivals. I became friends with other bands and played backup during their encores."
This proved a boon to Arms and Legs. Along with Hripak and Laranjeira, Daly appeared at many of Beijing's premier rock venues, including the trendy Mao Live House, where Arms and Legs played a headline performance for an audience of 1,200. The band's debut record, "Everything is Gonna Be Okay," has also sold well in the burgeoning Asian country.
"You can get a wider audience a lot faster than playing in dingy bars," Daly said, laughing. "It was actually kind of nerve-racking."
Living and working in Beijing has also informed Daly's artistic approach. When he first landed in Beijing, he performed the pastoral indie folk he had come to develop after years of listening to singer/songwriters Marc Bolan and Elliot Smith. But the style "didn't quite fit in," Daly observed, adding that Beijing's acoustic guitarists covered '60s-era rock songs "and nothing else."
Arms and Legs' new sound, however, is rooted in the electronic music that has filtered into China's fledgling DJ scene. Daly described the style on the six-track "Nothing Ever Was" and soon-to-be-released follow-up record, "The Baggage Wheel," as "Radiohead meets Joy Division" for its somber blend of atmospheric techno and experimental punk.
"The Chinese love electronic music but they adore and worshop British and American rock bands," Daly said. "We're trying to produce a mix of both."
Now that Daly, Hripak and Laranjeira are back in Fairfield County, they are refocusing their efforts on the scene that nurtured them. Beginning with this weekend's gigs, Daly plans to "be a part of revamping the Danbury music scene," referring to the early to mid-'90s, when the city was a hub of independent music in the region.
Daly said that although many local bands gone big are loathe to admit their affiliation with the area -- many proclaim New York City roots -- Arms and Legs takes pride in its place of origin. It may not be as exciting as Beijing or the Big Apple, but as Daly explained, the area has long served as the band's base of support.
"We make it a point to tell people in China how far away Danbury is from New York City," Daly explained. "Without this place and the people here, we never would have made it to Beijing."