Q&A with Guy Wall of Aarythmers, a New Orleans Rock Ensemble with Blues, Americana, Folk, and Funk rhythms

"Music moves and inspires me. I think my creative drive comes from the desire to create emotions in others or to inspire others to take action."

Guy Wall: Cardiac Rhythms of New Orleans

Aarythmers is a band that showcases some of the best songwriters and musicians in New Orleans playing songs written by Guy Wall. The group just released their highly anticipated second album “Cardiac” (2024). Guy wrote the songs on the record, sang lead on most songs, and played guitar on some of them. Guy played guitar (self-taught) in various rock bands in the 1970s and 1980s, during which time he obtained a law degree. He stopped playing in the late 1980s to raise his children with his wife Lisa and build his law practice. After the kids went to college, Guy sought formal guitar and music instruction and found it in Vince Marini. Vince Marini received formal training in classical guitar at the University of Connecticut and in jazz guitar in New York city. Vince played in rock bands, orchestras (e.g., Tommy and various television talk shows), jazz bands and had a successful solo career. Vince played classical guitar at various venues including Yale university. He also obtained a pilot’s license and developed a successful courier service. Vince played guitar on most of the songs, played bass on a couple of songs (e.g., Better), sang back-up vocals, and acted as the sound engineer for the recording.                                           (Photo: Aarythmers - Guy Wall & Vince Marini)

The rhythm section consisted of Moses Eder on drums and David Gilman and Dave Pomerlou on bass, all of whom have been in numerous successful bands. Emma Moates sang lead vocals on WTF and Lover Forever and backing vocals on most of the songs. Rick Nelson added keyboards on some of the tracks. Aarythmers’ second album evolves from the rhythm and blues feel of their first album, “Below Sea Level” (June 2021), to a modern rock sound with new songs and new members on bass, drums and keyboards.

Interview by Michael Limnios           Special Thanks: Billy James (Glass Onyon PR)

How has the music influenced your views of the world? Where does your creative drive come from?

Music moves and inspires me. I think my creative drive comes from the desire to create emotions in others or to inspire others to take action.

How do you describe your sound, music philosophy and songbook? What is the story behind the project/band’s name: Aarythmers?

Our sound is rock expressed in various sub-genres, including 1960’s rhythm and blues and British Invasion, folk rock, 1970-80’s punk and new wave, psychedelic rock, and progressive rock. Our philosophy is to eschew guitar strumming in favor of single note lines where appropriate and to emphasize vocal harmonies. The name “Aarythmers” came from “rhythm” and blues. We dropped the first “h” in “rhythm” and added “AA” to put the name at the top of alphabetic lists.

Is there a message you are trying to convey with your songs? How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

Yes, all songs convey a message, sometimes humorous (e.g., WTF), sometimes serious (e.g., Stand), and sometimes just fun (e.g., Miss Right Now). We prepare for recordings/performances with practice, practice, and more practice. For each song on the album “Cardiac”, each band member was given a rough recording of it, a chord chart with lyrics, and, in some instances, a notated vocal, bass, and/or guitar melody. We played through the song a few times in the studio and then began recording. After each take, we discussed the various aspects of the song and how it could be improved and then recorded again incorporating the improvements. The final vocals, harmonies, and guitar leads were recorded after we had finished the basic rhythm tracks. Then we would periodically listen and amend the tracks until we liked the finished product.

"New Orleans is the home of jazz and an eclectic place to live as it has numerous cultural influences. That attracts a lot of musicians who tend to be a creative lot.  So the music coming out of here is better for it." (Photo: Aarythmers' second album "Cardiac", Guy Wall wrote the songs on the record)

What moment changed your music life the most? What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

The Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan. I was 10 years old and astounded at how moved people were by their unique sound. As for lessons, I learned to be honest in lyrics and to use beautiful melodies because that combination has always provoked emotions in me.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future?

I miss the days when musicians were fairly compensated for their recordings. In the past, musicians could make money off of their recordings. Today, few if any artists can make money off recordings as most music is delivered through streaming services which pay next to nothing for song plays. Moreover, most people don’t listen to the whole album, preferring to listen to only a few songs and missing out on songs that don’t grab you all at once but grow on you as you listen to them more. I hope that in the future that the songwriters and performers would get a bigger share of the revenue from streaming services.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?

I don’t write much to have a socio-cultural influence. I want music to make people happy and to love each other.

Why do you think that New Orleans music continues to generate such a devoted following?

New Orleans is the home of jazz and an eclectic place to live as it has numerous cultural influences. That attracts a lot of musicians who tend to be a creative lot.  So the music coming out of here is better for it.

"I miss the days when musicians were fairly compensated for their recordings. In the past, musicians could make money off of their recordings. Today, few if any artists can make money off recordings as most music is delivered through streaming services which pay next to nothing for song plays."

(Photo: Guy Wall)

Life is more than just music, is there any other field that has influence on your life and music?

Science. I love science. There is so much to learn about ourselves and the universe. Science has had a major impact on my life.

Also, I am influenced by spirituality. I think learning to love yourself and others is important. I believe that by examining my life, enhancing my good characteristics, and minimizing my bad characteristics, makes me a better, happier person and the world a better place.

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