Interview w/ Boston Power Rockers Long Time
Photo Credit: Reid Haithcock
Have a treat of a interview for you today featuring local Boston power rock trio Long Time. The guys have a real habit of inflicting a ton of energy throughout their music, and that energy is reciprocated through their small, but ever growing legion of fans who have a strong affection for the guys as a whole, but also for what they bring to the musical table as well. Thomas, Colin, and Andrew were awesome enough to sit down for an in depth chat as we find out more about the band's origins, what their creative process is like, the recording of their new LP "Never Alone", and their favorite places to play in Boston. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
Thomas John Cadrin - Guitar/Vocals
Colin Dinnie - Bass
Andrew Nault - Drums
Take us behind the formation of the group and how you all met?
Back in June 2013, Andrew and Tom met through some mutual friends when Tom needed to record an acoustic EP. Andrew, as a recording engineer, helped book some late night time at The Record Company (Dorchester, MA). Come 6am at the end of the session, Andrew suggested that “these songs are made for a full band, man! If you need a drummer and a bass player, I know a guy and we can make it happen.” That summer Tom went on tour as an acoustic act, that winter he retreated to the mountains of Vermont to write and perform plays as a solo artist. When he descended back to Boston, Andrew and Colin agreed to get together, and in May ‘14, Long Time formed.
What bands inspired you growing up and how have they shaped the sound of the band?
Tom: I was super into 90’s grunge growing up. The first tape cassette I ever owned and listened to was STP’s, Core. But I also fell in love with pop, digging hard on Michael Jackson and other huge stars of the time. Eventually I came around to emo/indie rock in high school, which brought me to more techy/mathy music like The Mars Volta and Circa Survive. Heavy music like Dillinger Escape Plan, and more instrumental jazz/soul/funk like Soulive took up a lot of my college years. At this point, I’m into anything that makes me feel something.
Andrew: My earliest memories of music are those of my Dad sitting around a campfire with a guitar playing his favorites off “Harvest” by Neil Young. I still consider that record to be a major catalyst in my life. Queen was also one of his regular rotations. “The Prophet’s Song” still absolutely shreds my face off. From there, when I finally began discovering music for myself, good old MA brought me into the wonderful world of aggressive music. Converge still remains one of my all time favorite bands and continues to push and inspire me. Cave In came next. From there I looked back to discover bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains, which led to some to the upcoming D.C. bands like Faraquet who definitely played a major influence in my musical development. Shortly after I found Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”, which completely flipped music on its head for me. That record continues to blow my mind and “Mojo Pin” is one of my all time favorite songs. I could go on like this for far too long, but I think this touches some of the major players. What I feel has bled into me as a musician, and subsequently into this band, is the craving to make real music… music that's tangible and palpable. All of those bands and artists are unabashedly what they are. They don't try to dress it up in a prettier package or fit into a mold. They do what they do because that is what happens when those specific people choose to make music together, and I think that is a major goal in Long Time. Unabashed exploration and expression.
Colin: I grew up listening to quite a bit but my earliest influences are 60’s era Motown/Stax and Blue Note era jazz artists and musicians. The former embedded soul and groove into my playing and the latter laid the groundwork for the constant push of exploration and creating something new every time, even if it’s the same song.
How big of an influence has music from the 90's been in shaping who you are today?
Tom: Massively! It was when I grew up, and formed my own opinions on how to live. To this day, when I have the time I play in a 90’s cover band (Saved By The 90’s), and we rock out hard! The 90’s were a blast.
Andrew: The 90s was such an amazing era for music. It's the perfect response to the DIY movement sparked by 80s bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat and Black Flag. It was an era of opportunity where musicians could say “we’re going to say exactly what we want to say exactly how we want to sayit… and if you don't like it then we’ll make it work on our own terms.” And somehow, with all that, they become successful. For me, that attitude has carried over to my mentality about music. Make a statement your own way. Stop regurgitating played out ideas and say something.
Colin: Can’t be understated. Short of the “classic” era of the late 60’s into the 70’s it’s my favorite era of rock music. Bands like the Foo Fighters, the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana are bands I’ve literally grown up with and spent nearly my entire life listening to.
Take us behind the recording of your new album "Never Alone" and what the whole process was like?
Colin: Recording “Never Alone” taught us a lot about ourselves and our dynamic as a band. It was the 3 of us and an engineer for 7 straight days with long hours. We learned a lot about our process, workflow, pacing, and most importantly how to be supportive of each other.
Andrew: Making this record was all about the commitment to and trust of ourselves and our ideas. We tracked every song live in the same room. No click track or crazy doctoring later on. Instead our focus was on the feeling of a take and it's ability to translate subjectively to objectively. Choosing some of the takes was definitely difficult, but that to me is the energy of the record. The choice of mood or feel over cleanliness or perfection.
Tom: Tracking “Never Alone” was a true test of mental and physical strength. As a band, we track as much live as possible. And as three piece, and I play guitar & sing. At the end of the day, I was definitely stretching myself to the limit. I also pushed through a lot of fear on this record. Lyrically, it’s pretty open (as far as my lyrics go), and getting over a feeling of exposure was a massive hurdle for me. The song “Shadows” was also a true test, as that song was conceived 3 weeks before the studio, it was developed leading up to the our recording week, and moments before I walked into vocal booth, I was still working on lyrics + melodies. I had to let a lot go!
Give us some of your favorite songs off the new LP that shape the sound of it?
Colin: That’s a tough one...I think my favorites might be the bookends of the album, “River” and “Windows.” Both tunes allow us to stretch out our dynamics as a group and represent our range well.
Andrew: I think I'd have to agree with Colin. “River” was one of the first jams we wrote together as a band and really pointed us in a new direction. “Windows” feels like a track that has pieces of all of us in it. You can really hear our influences and sense our flex as a band in there. However, my personal favorite is “Separation”. It has all the groovy, moody swag that is my personal favorite color of the band. I could play in 6 with these dudes all day every day and never lose interest.
Tom: Totally agreed with the dudes here.
What are some of your favorite venues to play at around Boston?
Colin: The Sinclair by a mile. The staff is incredible, the sound is impeccable, and the overall vibe of the venue is perfect to me.
Andrew: Sinclair for sure, but also Great Scott. That room has continued to treat me well over the 10+ years I've been in Boston and may be one of the sole reasons an independent music scene exists here.
Tom: Sinclair definitely wins this one, but I do think Brighton Music Hall is close to it.
Besides music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Colin: My love for sports is a very close second to music and I’m a Boston sports superfan. I’m also an avid outdoorsman and love canoeing, camping, and fly fishing. I’ve recently taken up fly tying, it’s a fantastic stress outlet.
Andrew: Rather recently I've rediscovered my love for climbing. It's the only thing that has become steady in my life week to week that isn't music related. Other than that I try to go to the movies as often as possible and read comic books whenever I can.
Tom: Aside from music, I run. Boston Marathon ‘15 was my first race ever, and since then I’ve run a few ½ marathons and am currently gearing up to run a 50K (31.6 miles) out in Zion come April ‘18.
What's coming up next on the agenda, any upcoming shows around the area soon?
10/14 we will be @ The Outer Space (Hamden, CT) w/ Model Decoy and The New Dirty. With the record coming out 10/13, we’re looking ahead to 2018 to have our cd release show (letting it sink in with everyone for a bit!) and much, much more!
Lastly, how has being in this band changed who you are today?
Andrew: There are always moments in this band where I rediscover my love for my instrument. Drumming has always been and always will be a major part of my life, but there are rare moments that make me feel like I've discovered them all over again. That feeling can be rather rare as you get older, but with the right combination of people you can track it down
Colin: The title of this album I think truly represents our philosophy as a band: we are never alone. The three of us have our own lives with our own challenges, and peaks and valleys. Sometimes we process them together, sometimes we process them internally, but we know that we have a friend and brother in each other, and sometimes knowing that is enough. We are unconditionally supportive of one another, and that makes us all stronger individually.
Tom: I totally agree with Colin & Andrew here. This band has shown me that it’s OK to be myself, unabashedly following my instincts as a musician, a lyricist, and a friend. But I’ve grown a lot and found that I really do enjoy the business behind music, whether that’s songwriting, building a brand or getting the word out about the songs we’ve written. By playing with these guys for the past 3+ years, I’ve found my passion and my ideal place in the world. I’ma keep pushing for that.
Thanks once again to Thomas, Colin, and Andrew for being rad as hell in doing this interview! It's great to get in an in depth perspective from local bands as each band has different experiences getting started, but the common thread is that they all have a deep respect and mutual admiration for music and for one another. For more on Long Time, please 'Like' them on Facebook from this perch here, follow the guys on Twitter from over here, and check out their official website at this spot here for more in depth info surrounding them.