Great Time | photo courtesy of the artist
Checking In With… Great Time
In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to check in on your friends and loved ones. Here at XPN, we’re Checking In With our extended musical family to see how they’re holding up during the Coronavirus quarantine…and what music has kept them grounded. Today, John Vettese chats with Great Time.
Philadelphia electronic pop band Great Time caught up with us via Facebook Live on Public Radio Music Day for a live session from their home studio — bandmates Jill Ryan, Zack Hartman, and Donnie Spackman are roommates, so social distancing was still abided by — and we had a conversation about how they’ve held up during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, it’s been a wonderful weird wacky emotional rollercoaster for the last month,” Ryan says. “But right now we’ve settled into a groove and worked past all the crazy emotions. It still comes and goes when you turn on the news with what’s going on, it’s crazy, but we’re trying to make the most of it to keep a positive outlook.”
Hartmann and Spackman were, for a while, making a new song independent of one another every night. Ryan took time to herself, and then began working on lyric ideas. “We’ve finally come together and gone through the emotions separately, and now we’re like ‘okay, here we are, we know how the other feels about everything.’ We’re really grateful to be roommates and to live together to do this with one another.”
Below, watch Great Time play “Lazy Lily,” “Nu Wells,” and “Krek 9t” in their home studio together — the latter two are new songs, and “Krek 9t” was written since self-isolation began. You can also listen to their entire Checking In spotlight from the XPN Local Show, and peruse their song picks down below.
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Favorite Song Of All Time: “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay
“The overall mix is amazing, the modulated guitars and panning. I really like the instrumentals, and the lyrics. We live in a beautiful world. It’s kind of sweet.”
Song That Raises Your Spirits: “Golden” by Jill Scott
“She wrote it when she was trying to decide whether or not to go through with the divorce. In interviews talking about that song, she said ‘I wanted to write something with repetition and a march-like quality.’ And it helps you get to the end — to see 20 feet in front of you and get there. And that’s kind of like when you’re low, you’re like ‘I want to be picked up and get to the other side.'”
Song That You’re Most Proud Of Working On: “One.Thirty.Seven” by Great Time
“We had just graduated from college. I moved to the Bay Area for a short stint to live with my parents, and [Zack and Donnie] lived here staring the building of the recording studio. They sent me some music that was ‘One.Thirty.Seven’ and I sent back demos. I liked that. It was my first introduction to making music across the country from one another, which is really relevant right now. We got back together and let it sit. It was slow, but the process lined up, and we took our time with it. ‘What about this? And this?’ I liked building ‘One.Thirty.Seven.’ Building…creating.”