Great Time doesn’t want to fit in a box. Living up to their name, the band just wants to have a great time making music that they love. Tired of being advised to “pick a lane” by some of their industry peers, Great time set out to create music that celebrates their wide-ranging sound, incorporating genres from synth-pop and electronic to jazz, punk, rock and R&B.
Their most recent releases are a series of EPs titled “Sounds Like ____”. The band had the idea to turn the EP titles into a Mad Libs type of game “so that someone could put their own adjective or descriptor for the EP in the blank space,” explains singer/multi-instrumentalist Jill Ryan. The projects explore some of the different sounds and styles that influence Great Time. “Some people thought [our 2018 debut LP] ‘Great Album’ was all over the place, so with the ‘Sounds Like’ series, we decided to lean even further into our multi-genre tendencies and place the option of categorizing or putting us in a box on the listener.”
True to their vision, each EP carries a different sound. On Vol. 1, Great Time create a blissed out atmosphere, with R&B and neo-soul melodies. For Vol. 2, the band zones in on its electronic and pop influences, creating a livelier soundscape that feels ripe for dancing. Whereas Vol. 3 shows a guitar-heavy, more traditionally rock-influenced side to the three-piece group, with individual tracks ranging from punk to acoustic folk.
With their “Sounds Like _____” EP series completed, Great Time‘s next project is a live album that features the new material, allowing existing fans and new listeners who haven’t had the opportunity to see them perform yet enjoy how the band stunningly transforms their songs for live performances.
Great Time are stoked to share “80z Slo Jam”, the first single from this exciting project on October 19th.
Here’s what they had to say about it: “The original studio recording of this song uses a lot of industrial sounds and has a bit of a robotic feel which I love, but playing it live allows us to explore different timbres and soundscapes which bring out more of a raw and natural, yet intense feeling. I want listeners to blast this new live version of ’80z Slo Jam’ as a form of cathartic release from everyday vexations like your shitty day job or an annoying roommate. Time to let it all out!”
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Jill: We like making music that blends together different genres.
Donnie: Creating musical aesthetics that feel both familiar and new at the same time.
- Advertisement -
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Jill: Our dream is to open for this band that’s based out of Gothenburg Sweden called, Little Dragon. We are so inspired by the music they create and it has influenced us greatly. We’re actually releasing a live cover of their song, “Feather” on November 9th as a part of our upcoming Live album. The full album was recorded live in Philadelphia earlier this summer and drops December 7th!
Donnie: Little Dragon for sure
What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?
Jill: I can’t imagine doing anything else! But I guess if I hadn’t gone down the path of music, I would have followed my childhood dream and tried to play in the WNBA.
Donnie: I also can’t imagine doing anything else but I’d probably be an electrical engineer/designer.
Zack chiming in here: No idea lol, maybe living in a cabin somewhere
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Jill: I feel like so many of my mentors and friends have given such great advice over the years. So much of their direction and support has helped shape where I’m at today, but I recently had a conversation with Anna Wise and she told me, “enjoy where you are right now in this moment” and that’s been keeping me present, focused and grateful lately.
Donnie: I feel similarly very lucky to have had countless mentors helping me along the way. A piece of advice I’ve heard recently that I am trying to practice is to “create on the edge of your understanding”. Being willing to jump into a creative space where you don’t feel fully comfortable forces you to grow. It’s hard, but something I’ve been trying to do more.
If we were to peek over your shoulder, what does your studio look like? What gear do you typically use?
Jill: There’s lots of stuff in the studio! Drum kits, an upright piano, a bunch of cables, pedals, amps, and keyboards. I feel like we’ve accrued so much gear over the last 8 years from craigslist, and Facebook marketplace, to the side of the road. A couple of years ago we found a guitar amp in someone’s trash on the curb in Brooklyn, took it home and fixed it up! Works like new!
Donnie: The centerpiece of our studio and probably the most used piece of gear is our heavily modded soundcraft ghost console. It’s been a part of everything we’ve released. Aside from that, there’s a constant rotation of any and all quirky stuff we find on FB marketplace, eBay, reverb, etc.
If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be? (you could do this for each band member.. I think that would be fun)
Jill: My spice handle hmmm…haha um… Probably @comfyspice !? When we’re not touring, I like to be comfy cozy in the studio – robe, slippers, and a cup of tea working on new tracks in the mix room.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
Jill: Omg, as someone with anxiety there is truly not only one single question I would ask my future self LOL. I have so many!!
Donnie: I don’t want my future spoiled so I’d just say a good job for making it there. Maybe I’d make my future self take me out to dinner or something.
If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?
Jill: I studied Portuguese in college and only have kept up with it a little bit via Duolingo. But I would love to be fluent!
Donnie: Probably Spanish as I have a huge family in Chile.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
Jill: Lucky items? I don’t know… I mean, other than my saxophone and flute (which I’d be devastated if lost or destroyed…) I don’t think I have any special objects. Rituals? Not sure if it’s a ritual, as it isn’t super sacred or anything, but I have a 5 year journal. Every day I write a few sentences about what I did, how I felt, or conversations I had that day. I am almost finished with my first journal. I have a record of every day going back to 2018 which is pretty cool. There’s been a lot of growth which feels nice. I think I’ll probably continue this ritual going into 2023.
Donnie: Nothing, in particular, comes to mind as a lucky item but I went to a meditation retreat in 2017 that had a big impact on me. So that practice/ritual is something I value a lot and do my best to make time for it every day.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Jill: Ooof. If I were talking to younger Jilly… to be completely honest I dealt with some body image bullshit as a kid so disordered eating was a thing for me. I also struggled a lot with low self-esteem because I wasn’t the best student and struggled with learning. I wish I could hug my younger self and tell her she is loved and that she just learns differently from others which is okay. I’d tell her that people will do and say things throughout her life that will cause harm and make her question who she is, but that she’ll eventually find community and healing through music and art. I’d tell her that in order for her not to cause harm herself, she must listen, and be open and thoughtful.
Donnie: I’d just tell my younger self that you’re good enough and to just enjoy yourself. I had an often debilitating fear of disappointing people when I was younger that still pops up every once in a while now and then. I didn’t really have the tools to deal with it back then though, so it was pretty difficult at times. That being said, it shaped a lot of the personality traits that I admire like wanting to push myself and become better at things. But yea, just to enjoy life and don’t be afraid of letting people down, you’re your own harshest critic and no one else judges you more than you do.
© 2022 – 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.