Getting To Know You: Talk Time

Photo: Michelle Shiers

“I’ve always thought playing and writing music was, in a way, interacting back with the music of great artists I’ve listened to over my life…a way of ‘giving back’ that energy kind of deal: another step in the interaction. And the band is like our instrument we use to “talk” back and contribute in that conversation.” explains Edson Choi of the shiny, new Los Angeles outfit Talk Time.

*When it comes to getting acquainted with a new band, a logical course of action is to suss out the basics. Basics such as, “So, about that band name…?”*

“Another more straightforward side is listening to music can be a very active, intimate experience… communicating ideas and emotion fluidly, kinda like a conversation.” Choi concludes.

Comprised of Choi, Mke Nissen, Andrew Smith, John Ransom Tucker and Derek Howa, Talk Time came to life in a Lincoln Heights warehouse (see east Los Angeles for further). Freshly released, their debut single, “Year of Self,” was produced by Math Bishop (U2, Two Door Cinema Club, The Killers, Silversun Pickups) who was also on board to engineer, co-produced, and mix the band’s upcoming 5-song EP. As song’s go, it’s that summery, California smooth synth-pop gem and sonic version of a warm breeze and, if it’s a fair harbinger of what’s to come, you’ll want to put that upcoming EP on your radar.

In the meantime, Choi helps us get to know a little more about Talk Time….

Q: Of the five songs on the EP, why was “Year of Self” chosen to serve as the band’s introduction?

Choi: “This was the very first tune Mike and I worked on to what would eventually become Talk Time. But thematically it also seems providential. The song is about having faith that what you love doing is what you should be doing. The fact that it’s kinda catchy helps, too.”

Q: Did Talk Time find Math Bishop or did Math Bishop find you?

Choi: “There is actually pretty long and serendipitous story here. So by happenstance the same week Mike and I were working on “Year Of Self,” I get a text from my old pal, Math Bishop, asking if I’ve been working on any new project; Math had done a remix for my previous band, Warships. Coincidentally, Mike’s previous band, A House For Lions’ first real break was given to them by a producer named Jacknife Lee, whom Math was engineering for.

We sent him a rough demo or two and he loved what we were doing. We agreed to track one song since he was really busy working on records with Jacknife. Well, we got along so well that we did a whole 5-song EP together. Math would squeeze us in his schedule in between the Killers and U2 – we were okay with that.”

Q: What music or artists do you consider formative to your musical selves?

Choi: “It’s fun to hear what everybody brings to the table when we all play together. Andrew currently gravitates toward very dreamy soundscapes from artists like the War On Drugs and upbeat grooves like Tycho, while Mike has a profound love for Broken Social Scene, Jamie Lidell, Zero 7, Jellyfish, Phoenix, Bill Frisell, Grant Green, early dub reggae, and his current obsession is Nick Hakim. For me, 90s rap and grunge bands all the way, with a sprinkle of my Elvis, João Gilberto.”

Q: So what can we expect from the EP and who is releasing it?

Choi: “At the moment we are self-releasing. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and responses so far, which is exciting. We’ve even had some plays on 88.5 FM and ALT 98.7 pre-release! Hopefully, this is all a good sign of things to come. The EP is completely finished but, since we are starting everything from scratch we’re going to release “Year of Self” and take it from there. As far as what you can expect, I’d like to say 5 really fantastic songs ready, and we’ve got even more cooking up.”

Q: Finally, by year’s end, what would you like to have accomplished as a band?

Choi: “That’s a tough question but, in brief, as much as we can. We are ready and equipped to take on whatever happens next. We’ll be able to put out a couple more songs for you by then. We are currently working on a B-side acoustic version of the single and working with a few producers to put out a remix pack! Hopefully we can also get in a Fall or Winter tour opening up for some bands we love.”

On June 24th, you can catch Talk Time’s live debut and single release party at Bootleg Theater along with fellow LA locals Dizzy Spells and Cousin Liar. Tickets are available HERE.