Not all college bands come out as successful as Arms Akimbo. You may have seen their song “Michigan” come up on many emerging artist playlists over the past few months or heard it on Spotify’s US Viral 50. We were lucky enough to have the band come in to the Culver City studio to record the 5th WA Session episode.
Arms Akimbo began during their time at Loyola Marymount University where the band members said their college days were spent juggling schoolwork and music. “We met through the recording arts program,” said singer Peter Schrupp in their interview with WorldArts.
Guitarist Chris Kalil explains that they were studying studio recording and he needed someone to play for his senior thesis. Chris was working on music with Pete for a while and was already in a band with drummer Matt Sutton and it made sense to combine the two paths. “I just decided why don’t I just record these guys and my senior project turned into our career,” Chris said. “I spent most nights in the studio, so I think [being in school and recording music] helps you carve out the excess and surpurfulious from your work and it gives you the time to actually make something worthwhile.”
The band members agree that going to school together was the foundation of their band. “Everybody who has worked on stuff with us pretty much is a connection we’ve made through school… I think one of the best things about playing at our school is that there’s just a fan base of people going to see their friends and I think that the best goal is to just go there and surprise people,” Chris said.
Arms Akimbo met many milestones over the past year including opening for Walk the Moon at LMU’s Fallapalooza, earning #11 on Spotify Canada’s Viral 50 playlist, and playing a sold out show on a Tuesday at The Study in Hollywood for the “Little Insensitive Single Release Show.”
In their WA Session, Arms Akimbo graced us with “Yoko,” “Seven Mirrors” and of course, “Michigan.”
“Michigan is a song I wrote as just an acoustic track maybe four or five years ago and I really had no idea what to do with it until I met these guys. What the lyrics are about are a little hazy,” Chris explains. “It’s a little bit about my family and a little bit about some people in my life but I think the overall theme of that song is connecting with other people through a love for yourself.”
“It’s done the best for us out of all of our music, so definitely lucky you were down to play something you’ve been playing for four years,” Pete says to Chris.
The band informed us that they just wrapped up recording a new single, which we look forward to hearing in the following months. Right now, Arms Akimbo says they’re focusing on releasing singles gaining more outreach.
“We’re excited about the next single coming out, it’s definitely more of a semi-radio-friendly song, a little bit of bad words,” Pete says. “We’re doing singles to focus on one song at a time.”
Arms Akimbo just launched their new website where you can find tour updates and band info.
Check out their WA Session below and click here for more photos of their performance.