-Interview- Long Time No Time (4/15/20)

Long Time No Time talks about their unique brand of music, the Calgary music scene and much more.


From: Calgary, Canada
Sounds like: Jazz/Rock

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Long Time No Time" and is there any meaning behind it?

Every member of the band discovered music in their own way growing up, but huge shoutout to Canadian public school band programs for showing us (and kids across the country) what it's like to play music with other people. The band met in the University of Calgary Jazz Orchestra. Composer/saxophonist Daniel Pelton decided it was past time for Calgary to get a horn band tearing up local stages, so he organized some friends and got the ball rolling. The idea was to get a dynamic and energetic group while avoiding the standard guitar/bass/drums rock band setup. The band name is a joke at a friend's expense. A slip of the tongue caused a voicemail to be "Long time no time" instead of "long time no see."

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

The ideal reaction is "I've never heard anything like that and I love it!" Our instrumentation is basically a standard jazz combo, so we love playing for new audiences who may expect something much more laid back, and are just absolutely shocked when we play our first few notes. So we really hope we can just open people up to something they may not have considered before. Remember that good music doesn't have a genre, and horns are more versatile than you may have thought.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Hahaha this is a tough one, we're not even sure how to describe our sound to ourselves. We're not jazz, we're not ska, we're not rock, but we're also not NOT those things. Our music covers a wide area of sounds so we have a tough time labeling ourselves. We're university educated musicians, which doesn't make us better than anyone else, but we have some significant musical knowledge and talent between the five of us. We like to think that we do a decent job of blending mainstream and academic musical ideas into an entertaining and interesting product that challenges and invigorates listeners of all backgrounds.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Dweezil Zappa, Five Alarm Funk and The Cat Empire.

5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

This is the most impossible question in the world, so we'll evade it by giving some very vague answers. "Anything" by Frank Zappa, anything by Bach, and hopefully something by us as well.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Jazz Rock?

We think musical genres are getting so blurred as time goes on that it's almost not worth thinking about in those terms anymore. That being said, we're super stoked to see so much crossover happening. The success of groups like Vulfpeck, Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, and more means that people are open to this kind of music, and that's good news for the rest of us.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in Canada both locally and country wide?

There's always good stuff if you know where to look! "Good" is also such a subjective term, but there's something for everyone in Calgary for sure. The tricky bit is finding the perfect storm of artists you like, a venue that will respect them and pay them fairly (shoutout to The Palomino Smokehouse), and enough of an audience to keep that all going. We've been very lucky in finding a local audience that supports us more than we ever thought possible, so we're very grateful.

Additionally, if you live somewhere that is lucky enough to have an orchestra, a jazz band, or a university music program - that counts as part of your local scene!! Go support those!! They represent some of the best musical talent in the country and if you haven't seen your local orchestra you are missing out on some very powerful experiences.

8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

Streaming is such losing game for the artist that it feels like it should be illegal anyways. If you're going to stream or illegally download someone's music, make it up to them by seeing a show, buying merch, and telling your friends.

9. What’s next for Long Time No Time?

We're releasing a live album we recorded at the National Music Centre in Calgary with the University of Calgary Jazz Orchestra! It's gonna be great!

10. Any shoutouts?

Calgary bands: