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Good Old War’s Schwartz on five benefits of friendly bandmates


Most professions don't allow for work and personal matters to cross over, but the members of Good Old War are welcome to bring their metaphorical baggage to the office every day. A trio-turned-duo after drummer Tim Arnold took time off for his newborn daughter, Dan Schwartz and Keith Goodwin (pictured above, from left) excel at using their personal connection to fuel the band's creative energy. Introduced by Arnold in 2007, the pair have since formed a strong friendship, in and outside the band. Their return to Boston's Brighton Music Hall is a special one: It's where Good Old War the trio played its first concert, back when the venue was Harpers Ferry. In advance of Tuesday's show, we asked Schwartz to list the five best things about working and writing music with a close friend.

Being a part of Keith’s family

Keith has kids, and I love visiting them every day. So that's a cool thing for me; I'm just part of the family because I'm there so much. He's got two little boys, 4 and 2, and they are just awesome little dudes. When he started saying, "I'm going to have kids," we were a touring band, and we didn't know how it was going to turn out . . . but it's a great work environment.

Knowing what the other person is going through

Since our lives are so intertwined — we're close enough that we know what each other might be going through. Helping each other with lyric and music ideas is easy, with both of us being in the same room together.


It’s not competitive

The competitiveness is just basically trying to impress each other. I know Keith is going to sing and he knows I'm going to play guitar, so there's not much competition there. Like any relationship, there are going to be heated moments. But since we both have the same idea in mind and we're both trying to do the best possible, we try to never let those other things get in the way.


Letting Keith have the final say

One thing that I don't think a lot of bands do is give someone the final say. Keith gets the final say, since he's the singer. And that's a really good thing for a band to have. Keith has always been that kind of guy. Usually when he brings in a song or whatever, I'll play it and he'll push me to get it to where he wants it.

Knowing the band is complete with just two people

One tour, Tim had to leave in the middle of the show, and we were kind of just forced into it. When we [go] up there as just the two of us in a room full of people, and our music sounds so full because everyone's singing along, I think that's been our goal all along. We get up on stage and it doesn't feel empty, because we know we're going up there with songs we're proud of.


Good Old War performs at Brighton Music Hall on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Tickets: $18. 800-345-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

Mallory Abreu can be reached at mallory.abreu@