|Webster Hall (?)
The one thing I absolutely love about Great Time, is that they literally seem to be having a great time making music and such. Their “do-it-yourself” promos and music videos show a lighter side of… everything. With influences from Nirvana to Little Dragon, their music is creatively inspired by a “kaleidoscope of emotions not to mention dance moves”. Anyone will definitely think it is worth the while to listen to their music, well at least that’s what the people who helped make their Kickstarter campaign successful thought. Thanks to that campaign, they now have a recording studio built on a farm outside of Philadelphia.
Great Time sounded like more of a big “Great (Experimental) Time” in the beginning, in which Zack Hartmann, Donnie Spackman, Jill Ryan with Mike Halderman and Rahm Silverglade started to write and produce music from scratch. “Our original method was to set up the studio, press record, and jam for hours and hours, just accruing material. We’d later go back through the sets and cut out the gold, either to sample it into a track or use it as a basis to re-record some of the ideas” Great Time tells me. So the overall process started with jam sessions, that turned into editing, which turned into collaborating, then piecing the parts together, and that would eventually become a song. “Other times, we take a more “producer” approach by starting with a beat and doing most of the work on the computer. We have lots of weird toys and gear in the studio and sometimes a simple idea can turn into a full thing” they tell me. So how did they manage to produce the Great Album within the 4 years of making it? Well, it was produced through the ways I mentioned previously… However, “as we got songs closer to being ‘finished’, we realized how much better we had gotten at recording and producing, so we’d end up going back and making changes to things steadily over time. Some of the tracks are newer and didn’t require as much back and forth, though it took a good chunk of time to get to that point” says the group.
The one impressive fact that I want to emphasize is that these guys basically taught themselves the skills that would help them to produce the music that is on the Great Album (except for a few lessons in New York City). “We also took almost two years to build the studio, so we weren’t working on the music full time. At a certain point, we set a date for ourselves that the music would be done, and we stuck to it. I think the next album shouldn’t take nearly as long” they tell me.
Zack, Donnie, and Jill tell me they love their fans and are “always grateful for the support (we’ve) received. Fans on Spotify shows that One.Thirty.Seven is the favorite with almost 5K listens (as of 9/26/2018), and Jill agrees because it was “pretty fun” to make. However, Zack has a “soft spot” for Treebeet although all of the songs are special to him, and for that reason Donnie doesn’t have a favorite. For me, I have weird obsessions with That 70’s Song, Dag’ron, and Lazy Lilly. In fact, Lazy Lilly was actually originally going to be titled “Lazy Song” due to simplicity/laziness of the tuning and fingering, but Lazy Lilly matched the tone of the songs and “plus all the L’s are fun to say”. Ultimately, the song is about the “complexities of a relationship, while the music remains simple and childlike” they tell me.
I ultimately didn’t like the album after my first listen, but that is mostly because I was listening to the music with crappy headphones. Another reason why I didn’t find the music appealing at first, is probably because I have been listening to a lot of mainstream music like pop and EDM… So an album with elements of lo-fi rock and hip-hop sounds almost foreign to my ears. It’s as if I was waiting for a song to have a good bass drop or something.
Tonight at 8pm Great Time is kicking off their Fall 2018 tour at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC with Sales. They are then traveling to Brookelyn, New York to play at C’mon Everybody with Madam West and Erik Kramer. They are also playing on September 28th (at 6pm) and 29th (at 4pm) at the Philly Music Festival. They will then take a break until October 27th and November 20th. These shows and tickets can be found here! Great Time are planning more music sooner after finishing their tour as well. “The album came out 3 months ago and already so much has changed” they reflect.
I would sincerely thank for Zack, Jill, and Donnie’s interest in getting a review from me, and I will obviously continue to follow them on Instagram and Facebook. This post (same with many others) will be updated in the future when new material is released either prior or after the official release, so stay tuned!
|Great Album (2018)
by Great Time
Top Song: That 70’s Song