Since forming in 2004, Still Time has made the transition from local notoriety to a rapidly growing regional and national presence through a dedicated grass roots and word of mouth process. Still Time began carving out a name for themselves in the San Luis Obispo, California bar and college scene as their music spread through rough-cut songs passed from fan to fan. By 2006, Still Time was playing to a regularly sold out house at San Luis Obispo's most popular music venue, Downtown Brewing Co., and began touring across the West Coast.
With their music being hard to place into any one genre, Still Time's sound is best defined as groove rock with an eclectic mix of instruments such as; harmonica, mandolin, slide guitar and upright bass. With a unique style reminiscent of dynamic artists such as Ben Harper, Van Morrison and Dave Matthews Band, Still Time offers a positive, high-energy show that appeals to many different musical tastes and backgrounds. They have had the opportunity to entertain at a broad range of venues, from small, intimate acoustic sets to festivals with several thousand attendees. This diverse style and live performance has allowed them to share the stage with a variety of artists such as Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, UB40, Steel Pulse, Ozomatli, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Robert Randolph, Mad Caddies, Pepper, Strung Out, ALO, David Lindley, Jackie Greene, etc.
The band's debut album "Stream of Consciousness", released independently in 2007 under their own record label When It Hits Records, was quickly embraced by fans, putting the single "High Tide" in the 1 spot on San Luis Obispo radio station New Rock 107.3 for over 7 weeks. The album reflects the bands' ability to connect with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and has sold several thousand copies.
With the release of their second album "See America" in May 2009, Still Time continues to progress with their cross-generational sound. To capture the right feel for each song, the album was written and recorded in multiple locations throughout the West Coast including an abandoned boxcar on the coast of Oregon, a forrest in the hills of Santa Cruz, an empty mansion in San Francisco, and an after hours bar in San Luis Obispo. The album was then mixed by Grammy Award winning engineer Fred Vogler, at the world famous Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, California.
With musical stylings far beyond their years, the experience that Still Time provides is comparable to a day at the beach with close friends, great times, deep conversations, and contemplation. It's this experience along with a feeling of community that Still Time hopes to always provide for their diverse fan base.
Dan Curcio - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Chris "Haircut" Arntzen - Guitar
Nick Bilich - Guitar
Paul "Slapmaster" Smith-Stewart - Bass
John Vucinich - Drums
T-Bone Steak - Harmonica
Full Length Album - "See America"
Full Length Album - "Stream of Consciousness"
Demo LP - "Still Time"
Thank you to the following radio stations for supporting our music:
New Rock 107.3 FM (San Luis Obispo)
KZOZ 93.3 FM (San Luis Obispo)
Coast 101.3 FM (San Luis Obispo)
KPIG 107.5 FM (Northern/Central California)
XM Satellite (United States and Canada)
STAR 98.7 FM (Southern California)
KSJS 90.5 FM (San Jose)
KCR 1620 AM (San Diego)
KMMT 106.5 (Mammoth/Fresno)
Insomnia Radio (www.insomniaradio.net)
WildmanSteve Radio (Alabama/www.wildmansteve.com)
9 to 5
Power of Now
The Fabulous Life
Stream of Consciousness
Where No Man Has Been
Still Time livens up the Main Stage
[+ Show ]
There was something a little different going on at the west end of the San Luis Obispo Farmers' Mark...There was something a little different going on at the west end of the San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market last Thursday night. The local band Still Time, formed by Cal Poly and Cuesta College students, got people singing, dancing and jumping at the normally sedate market end.
Under most circumstances, a slow trickle of customers strolls up the Nipomo Street end of the market, forming lines in front of any of the three vendors selling baby-back ribs, but there isn't much foot traffic.
To remedy the situation, the Downtown Association, which runs the market, started a quarterly concert series using the large mobile stage from the successful Concerts in the Plaza. The events, called Main Stage, have featured local bands paired with local business sponsors.
This time it was a good match, with Still Time brought out by One Way Board Shop; the easygoing, no-worries surfer spirit of fun and adventure was apparent in the performance of the five-member band.
Starting out with a slow harmonica and drum duet to draw the reluctant crowd into the empty section of street, the smooth vocals of lead singer Dan Curico quickly got the passersby to stop and listen for a moment.
By the second song in the set, Curico's passionate onstage persona, pacing and stomping to an electronic reverb in the song "Power of Now," engaged the audience and set a tone for the evening of rapid mode switches between energetic, even emotional, vocals and long instrumental riffs that featured the talent of all the band members.
From the bass rhythms of Paul Smith-Stewart there was a particular driving force heavily featured in "a song about dead rock stars."
The slower song "American Dreams" featured the harmonica and acoustic guitar, giving a spectacular country rock feeling that was distinct from the band's other offerings.
Before moving on to the after-dark portion of the evening in which moody backlighting drove home the reggae-influenced beats, the band played "Bigger Better Things," a song they described as being,"about skipping a lot of classes." It featured themes of college life and the tendency of kids from small towns to canonize the image of their hometown as never changing after they leave.
Regardless of where they've come from, the band said they now consider San Luis Obispo home and are grateful to be back after a six-week tour.
While not all audience members at Thursday's performance may have noticed a difference, some of those who had followed the band since its 2005 formation said they are better now than ever before.
In their time on tour, they seem to have mastered the art of live performance and audience involvement, at different points getting a conga line started, inviting small children to dance on stage with them and leading sing-along segments.
Whether singing "High Tide" with exuberant energy or "Nine to Five" with drummer Jon Vucinich's almost Celtic transition riff, the band more than met the evening's goal of livening up the outskirts of the market with a fun event for all ages.
Still Time will be playing again in San Luis Obispo at Cal Poly's WOW Block Party on Sept. 19 and again at Downtown Brewing Co. on Sept. 26 and 27.
By: Camas Frank
Still Time - Urban Climber
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Think Dave Matthews impromptu harmonica solos with Jimmy Page in his element, but better. Think Subl...Think Dave Matthews impromptu harmonica solos with Jimmy Page in his element, but better. Think Sublime flow while slowly biking alongside the velvety sands of Negril, but better. Think the down under easy-going body-undulating beat of Men at Work while watching surfers on the California coast at high tide…but, yeah…better. Think of a sound that holds down the hands of the clock, while you (or I), slightly embarrassingly, begin besottedly swaying to the beat at work. You’re thinking Still Time.
These San Luis Obispo, California natives combined forces in 2004 and quickly realized their distinctive sounds and tastes were amplified as they began playing together. Being compared to heavy weights such as Ben Harper and Counting Crows is pretty remarkable, sure, but simply doesn’t do these guys justice. Maybe their lyrics can explain it to you better than I. “There’s a song we sing, that leaves us always yearning for them things we’ve yet to find…” (from 9 to 5). You got it? Maybe you’ll have to hear them for yourself…preferably with a Negra Modelo in hand...and a straw hat.
Who's in the band and what do they do?
Paul Smith-Stewart - Bass
Chris Arntzen - Guitar
Nick Bilich - Guitar
John Vucinich - Drums
Dan Curcio - Vocals/Guitar
When and how did the band form?
Chris and Dan met when they were freshmen in the Cal Poly dorms in 2002, and started jamming together acoustically. The next year Chris and Dan were introduced through a mutual friend to Nick Bilich. Then one day on his way to class Chris met John who was drumming on his knee while waiting for a math class. Then a year later, in 2004, John met me because I had just joined the Cal Poly music department and we both ended up in the University Jazz Band #1.
How'd you get involved in the Pine Mountain Pulldown?
The person that is putting on the Pine Mountain Pulldown is friends with our next door neighbor's here in San Luis Obispo. He just showed up at our door one day, handed us a business card and said he'd be in contact. He checked out our music, and now we're booked for the Pine Mountain Pulldown.
Does anyone in the band rock climb?
Actually Me, Nick, Dan, and John all have experience indoor rock climbing and doing some outdoor bouldering as well. On our way to our last show at Mammoth Mountain we stopped by a lake, and John and I climbed up recent landslide that had carved away part of the ridge overlooking the lake. Which allowed us to climb all the way to the top of the ridge...man what an amazing view. It's such an amazing feeling when you're climbing and you feel like your arms are about to fall off, all these muscles you didn't even know you had in your forearms feel like they're on fire. And then you finally pull yourself over the top to a spectacular view, it's such an awesome feeling, and it just gives you a totally different perspective on life.
You've played with a lot of great acts, such as Robert Randolf, Steel Pulse and Ozomatli. What act was the most memorable to share the stage with?
Man we've played with some amazing bands. But I'd have to say my favorite experience was playing with the Mad Caddies at the Avila Beer Festival this year. The beer festival is such an amazing setting and the Mad Caddies put on a killer live show, they really know how to work the stage and get the crowd involved.
Who or what are your major influences?
It's interesting because everyone in the band has very different musical backgrounds, but I think that is what makes us unique. The fact that we can take our different musical backgrounds and come together to create an entirely new sound. Some of our major influences are: Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Dredg, Phish, Counting Crows, Medeski Martin and Wood, and The Beatles.
Do you have a favorite venue?
We've played at some awesome venues, but I think our favorite is San Luis Obispo's Downtown Brew (http://www.downtownbrew.com). It's where we got our start, and we've played there so many time that it's where we feel most comfortable. But at the same time we love playing outdoor venues, nothing really compares to playing outside on a nice day being surrounded by nature.
What's the craziest thing you've experienced before, during or after a show?
One of our craziest on stage experiences was this past March when we played a "Surf's Up" theme show at Downtown Brew. We decided it would be hilarious to bring boogie boards and crowd surf into the audience while keeping the music going. So we kept switching instruments while a couple of us jumped into the audience at a time and went boogie board crowd surfing. I totally worked out, and the crowd would actually bring us back to the stage so we could get back up and keep playing.
Any advice for the young musicians out there?
Work hard and don't get discouraged when seemingly un-talented bands become famous overnight. It's much easier to create a one hit wonder, than to create something that people are still discovering and excited to listen to 20 years from now.
Any shout outs?
We'd like to thank everyone that helped us book and promote our summer tour. It was a lot of work to put together, and we couldn't have done it without the help of our friends and family.
Where can we find your music?
Our official website is: www.stilltimemusic.com. And our myspace is: www.myspace.com/stilltimeband. You can also purchase our first full-length album "Stream of Consciousness" on iTunes, and both our official website and myspace.
Intro by Julia David
Interview by Kevin Riley
Insomnia Radio Daily Dose
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http://insomniaradio.net/2008/08/21/still-time-power-of-now/ With vocals swimming into the myst...http://insomniaradio.net/2008/08/21/still-time-power-of-now/
With vocals swimming into the mystic range of Van Morrison and even Vedder or Duritz, San Luis Obispo’s Still Time adeptly soaks up a variety of rock, folk, jazz and reggae influences and styles in the ever-widening musical tributary the band has finally arrived at with their debut album.
From San Luis Obispo, on California’s central coast, Still Time released their first album ‘Stream of Consciousness’ in 2007. Through word of mouth they’ve sold a few thousand copies of the release and are playing all the perfect venues in California, including lots of recognizable events like the Welcome Week Block Party at Cal Poly SLO.
Still Time really does do a perfect job representing the amalgamation of laid back styles in this state that you’ll find people listening to, from the beaches to the mountains, and even jamming to out in the desert. Their CD solidly hits the spot, reminding me of road trips checking out bands from SLO and numerous other coastal towns during the over-extended college years.
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Musical adventurous Still Time offers up 14-tracks on "Stream of Consciousness" that land squarely i...Musical adventurous Still Time offers up 14-tracks on "Stream of Consciousness" that land squarely in the arena of Steely Dan, Dave Mathews, Smash Mouth, with a only a taste of reggae pop as the mostly jazz based singer/songwriter band project satisfies with each track.
The record opens with "Chuck Johnson Spur", an instrumental taste of what's to come. Bass, bare and grooving, makes way for perfect drums while waka waka guitar enters left, double-stop melody enters center/right, and keys fill up the Barney Miller mood - and without a breath or stop of the toe-tappin', enters track 2, "9 to 5" - where lyrically the band looks forward to 'when it's time to be working on a 12-pack instead of 9 to 5".
Track 4, "Memory Lane", is an upbeat happy ensemble with nearly unison melodic guitar line that rides along side the vocal. Dan Curcio on vocals sings, 'too many trips down memory lane, i'm not sure what's keeping me sane, the hours racing, our minds are escaping, and time is erasing, all i wanted to find'.
The band takes a lighter acoustic groove in track 6, "Fall and Rise" and spend some time floating around the blues soul land that was first established en masse by Van Morrison.
The acoustic innocence hits a crescendo in track 8's gem, "Know Your Roots" - a singer/songwriter piece. The dedicated tune to family and lineage as the singer is told by his mother, 'know your roots, you don't need a million bucks to have an ocean view, i've been here long enough to see you're going to need me soon, i'll be here when you want to come back home'.
The beat starts picking up again, albeit slowly and with a roots based folk tune in the title track, "Stream of Consciousness". The harmony decision in these lighter tunes are perfect and are a throw-back to 70's Mitchell and CSN.
The final track on the record, "The Fabulous Life", sticks with the acoustic-burned format for the first part of the blues/based folk tune. The acoustic gutiar work is really gorgeous, and makes way for the full band as they leave us with a more AC lyrical piece with edge that opens into a anthem-like rock jam to its end. It takes a cynical view of 'being stuck inside this prison, it's a generation thing (caused, in part, by MTV), stuck inside this prison until you can find your way'.
There is a lot here for a great many listeners. Overall, however, the musicianship and delivery is convincing and memorable with tastes of jazz, rock, and folk - baring down with the breezy folk rock vibe for the last bulk of compelling music. We look forward to more.
Sound Shots from Switzerland
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http://music-lounge.ch/644101/650501.html music-lounge: Hi guys, thanks very much to take ...http://music-lounge.ch/644101/650501.html
thanks very much to take some time and answer a few questions for music lounge the music magazine.
Hallo Jungs,… ganz herzlichen Dank, dass ihr euch Zeit nehmt, einige Fragen für das Musik Magazin music-lounge zu beantworten.
Thank you for having us.
Vielen Dank fuer das Interview.
guys,....your band is located in san louis obispo california,...would you say,...you play the typical california sound ?
Jungs,...eure Band ist in San Luis Obispo, California zuhause,…würdet ihr sagen ihr spielt den typischen California-Sound ?
That’s an interesting question because there are so many different sounds coming out of California right now. We do feel that our music is reflective of where we live on the Central Coast. It’s a very laid back atmosphere we live in here in San Luis Obispo. We have a growing music community in this easy-going, small town which has helped us to write music we feel is distinctly Californian, but unique at the same time.
Das ist eine interessante Frage. Im Moment gibt es so viele verschiedene Sounds in Kalifornien. Wir finden unsere Musik reflektiert das Zentral Kalifornien wo wir leben. Es herrscht eine ungezwungene Atmosphaere in San Luis Obispo. Die Musik Industrie waechst staendig und die ungezwungene Kleinstadt Atmosphaere hilft uns unsere einzigartige Musik zu schreiben.
Who writes the lyrics in the band and how important are they in the songs from Still Time ?
Wer schreibt die Texte in der Band und wie wichtig sind diese für die Songs von Still Time ?
The lead singer Dan Curcio writes the lyrics for the band and they are very important to Still Time’s music. The lyrics on “Stream of Consciousness”, are largely based on growing up and the shift in perceptions that occurs as you reach adulthood. The album starts out with themes about women, partying, rock star dreams, etc. and transitions into more substantial thoughts such as American greed, consumerism, and social inaction. The lyrics are definitely integral in defining the path of our music and the themes help to solidify our styles.
Der Saenger Dan Curcio schreibt die Texte fuer die Band und die sind sehr wichtig fuer die Still Time Musik. Der Text fuer " Stream of Consciousness" ist die Basis zur Wahrnehmung des erreichen des Erwachsen werden. Das Album beginnt mit den Themen; Frauen, Parties, Rock Star Traeume, etc. und verlaeuft eher Substanzartig, laesst uns darueber nachdenken wie sehr der Materialismus, die Habgier und das fehlen von gesellschafltlichen Beziehungen unter Jugendlichen ueberhand genommen hat. Die Texte sind definitiv der Weg fuer unsere Musik und die Themen helfen unserem Stil.
Still Time, ...the name of the band,...how you find it out ?
Still Time,...der Band-Name,...wie seid ihr darauf gekommen ?
The name comes from one of our old songs titled “Still Time”. The phrase means two things: 1) that we have the ability to stop time or make time stand still by taking a step back from the hustle of everyday life and (2) the belief that there’s still the opportunity to fall in love, or climb a mountain, or learn a different language, etc. It’s an optimistic phrase which relates in a lot of ways to the themes in our songs.
Der Name stammt von einem der Songs, der Titel bedeutet zwei Sachen: 1) Wir haben die Moeglichkeit um die Zeit an zu halten, sich Zeit vom alltaeglichen Leben zu nehmen und 2.) Wir glauben daran, dass es immer eine Moeglichkeit gibt um wieder zu Lieben, einen Berg zu erklimmen oder eine andere Sprache zu erlernen, etc. Ein optimistischer Satz der sich in vielen unseren Songs wiederholt.
how important is it for you to play your own sound and how difficult is to be accepted especially in the US ?
wie wichtig ist es für euch euern eigenen Sound zu spielen und wie schwierigist es, speziell in Amerika, akzeptiert zu werden ?
That is one of our most important goals as a band, to stay true to ourselves and what inspires us as we write music. We all agree that an album with one distinct sound throughout doesn’t hold our attention as much as an album such as Paul Simon’s “Graceland” or Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy.” These albums have an incredible variety of styles and sounds and inspire us to create albums that are an experience from start to finish and not just the same song over and over. We feel that we have our own distinct sound, but it is constantly evolving and we like it that way. As far as being accepted in the U.S., we know that most concert promoters and record labels would definitely prefer to classify bands as a specific genre and market one solid image to the masses. From music fans though, we’ve heard nothing but appreciation for our mix of styles.
Unser wichtigstes Ziel als Band ist das wir unserem Stil treu bleiben. Wir sind uns einig, dass ein Album im repetierenden Stil nicht so imponiert wie ein Album zum Beispiel Paul Simon “Graceland” oder Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy”. Diese Alben haben eine unglaubliche Abwechslung von Stil und Sound. Die Erfuellung fuer uns ist ein Album zu kreieren das ein Erlebnis von Anfang bis zum Ende ist, nicht die selben Toene wiederholen. Wir denken wir haben einen besonderen Sound, aber hoffen immer wieder Neues zu entwickeln. Wir moechten dies so halten. Was das Recording der CD's in den USA anbelangt; wir wissen, dass die meisten Record Companies einen bestimmten Stil vermarkten moechen und eine solide Vorstellung davon haben was beim Publikum gut ankommt. Von unseren Musikfans erfahren wir jedoch, dass sie unseren gemischten Stil moegen.
alright guys,..actually you play a california coast tour,... a lot of expiriences,....many different locations,..do you like the tour-life with the band ?
okay Jungs,...zur Zeit spielt ihr eine California-Coast-Tour,...eine Menge Erfahrungen,...viele verschiedene Orte,...mögt ihr das Tour-Leben mit der Band ?
Yeah, it’s awesome meeting so many interesting people and playing everything from house parties to famous small theatres. We’ve been sleeping on couches and floors and eating a lot of spaghetti and sandwiches, but as long as we don’t have to wake up and go to an office we’re more than happy to live like this. So far we’ve jammed in an abandoned train, explored the mountains of Santa Cruz, partied on a raft on Lake Washington, and attempted to set the record for the World’s longest conga line during one of our fresher jams (we missed it by 5 people.) It’s been incredible on stage and off and like we said the best part is meeting so many unique people.
Ja, es ist toll so viele interessante Menschen kennen zu lernen an Haus-Parties und in bekannten Lokalen zu spielen. Wir schlafen auf Sofas und auf dem Boden, essen viel Spaghetti und Sandwiches, aber solange wir nicht jeden Morgen frueh aufstehen und ins Buero muessen macht uns das nichts aus. Bis jetzt spielten wir in einer verlassenen Eisenbahn, erforschten die Gebirge von Santa Cruz, feierten auf einem Floss auf dem Lake Washington und versuchten den Weltrekord der laengsten Congalinie zu brechen.(Nur 5 Personen fehlten zum Rekord.) Die Auftritte waren toll und wie schon erwaehnt; das Beste daran ist, dass wir so viele verschiedene Menschen kennen lernen.
your cd “Stream of Consciousness” sales really good, you are also in the airplay-list of different radio stations,...you are on the way to be a really successful band ?
Eure CD “Stream of Consciousness” verkauft sich wirklich gut und ihr seid auch auf den Air-Play-Lists von verschiedenen Radiostationen,...seid ihr auf dem Weg eine wirklich erfolgreiche Band zu werden ?
Yeah, we’ve been getting a lot of radio play in California, and we’re very proud of selling almost 2,000 CDs without the help of a big label or marketing plan, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We enjoy handling the music and business aspects ourselves and, of course, we’d love to do this for a living, but realize that it’s going to depend on our effort and ability to work together.
Ja, in Kalifornien spielen sie unsere Songs oft im Radio. Wir sind stolz darauf fast 2000 CD ohne Hilfe einer bekannten Record Firma und Marketing verkauft zu haben. Wir haben jedoch noch viel zu tun. Wir geniessen es, das Business selbst zu handeln. Gerne wuerden wir dies beruflich tun, aber wir realisieren auch, dass dies von unseren Bemuehungen und zusammen arbeiten abhaengt.
woud you like to play some day also concerts in Europe, maybe in Switzerland and how realistic is it ?
Möchtet ihr in Zukunft auch Konzerte in Europa geben,...vielleicht auch in der Schweiz ?
Of course, we’d love to travel and play in Europe. Basically, right now we’re working towards having the name recognition in the states that will allow us to make enough money to do a Europe tour. Our guitarist Chris “Haircut” Arntzen is actually a Swiss citizen and has family in Switzerland so that is definitely a likely destination for us. We’d love to get to Europe for festivals and shows next summer, but it’s going to depend on our funding at the time.
Natuerlich, wir wuerden gerne nach Europa reisen und dort auftreten. Im Moment arbeiten wir daran Anerkennung hier in Amerika zu finden und genuegend Geld zu verdienen um eine Europatournee zu ermoeglichen. Unser Gitarist Chris “ Haircut” Arntzen ist Schweizer und hat Familie in der Schweiz. Die Schweiz waere definitiv eine der Destinationen . Wir wuerden gerne naechsten Sommer an Festivals und Auftritten in Lokals teilnehmen, doch dies kommt ganz auf unser Budget an.
yeah,....allright,..for all friends of great music in Switzerland, who like to buy the cd of Still Time,..what are the possibilities to do it?
Jahh,...okay,...für alle Freunde guter Musik in der Schweiz die gerne eine CD von Still Time kaufen möchten,…welches sind die Möglichkeiten ?
To buy our album online, you can go to stilltimemusic.com and click on the iTunes link to purchase our album on iTunes, or go the Store on our page to buy the physical CD which comes with a lyrics booklet.
Zum ein Album online zu kaufen geht zu Stilltimemusic.com und clicked auf das iTunes oder auf die Store Page fuer eine CD mit Textbuch.
what are the next plans for Still Time in 2008 after the california coast tour ?
Was sind eure Pläne für 2008,… nach der California-Coast-Tour ?
After this tour winds down, we’re going to get down to business on the next album. We’re looking forward to writing a bunch of new songs and planning for the album’s release next Spring. After that we’ll be touring like crazy and we’ll see what happens…
Nach der Tour werden wir an unserem naechsten Album arbeiten. Wir freuen uns darauf neue Lieder zu schreiben und auf das neue Album das naechsten Fruehling heraus kommen wird. Nachher werden wir wieder Touren, danach sehen wir was weiter passiert…..
alright guys, thanks a lot to give your time, for the interview and beeing here in music lounge sound shots,...all the best for the band,....hope seeing you one day in Switzerland,...
Interview: Urs Frei
Answers from Still Time translated to German by Heidi Arntzen.
Still Time's time has come
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By Paul Freeman / Entertainment Writer The San Luis Obispo funk-reggae-rock band Still Time, whos...By Paul Freeman / Entertainment Writer
The San Luis Obispo funk-reggae-rock band Still Time, whose members met at Cal Poly, is about to close the books and open the gates to a music career. With an earnest energy that brings to mind the Dave Band, Ben Harper and Counting Crows, Still Time could be on the verge of a huge breakthrough.
The group has Bay Area roots: Vocalist/guitarist Dan Curcio is from Sacramento; drummer John Vucinich from Santa Rosa; bassist Paul Smith-Stewart from San Rafael; guitarist Chris Arntzen from Moorpark; and guitarist Nick Bilich is from Santa Rosa (with extended family in Sunnyvale.) This lineup has bee honing its sound since 2004.
A brief winter tour brings Still Time to the Bay Area for shows at Larkspur Cafe Theatre (Dec. 30), San Francisco's Westin St. Francis (New Year's Eve) and Sacramento's Blue Lamp (Jan. 2).
Though the New Year's Eve gig will include covers performed in their own lively style, Still Time will proudly present tunes from their potent new CD, "Stream of Consciousness."
The eclectic album reflects the players' appreciation for a wide musical spectrum. "Today's music, especially what you hear on the radio, lacks variety," Curcio said. "To toss out a clichÃ© - variety is the spice of life. I firmly believe in that statement, especially with music."
He prefers to hear albums combining many different styles, so that every song has "its own little life, its own flavor," Curcio said. "That's what bands used to do and it's gotten away from that. (People) stress so much that you need to have your own unified sound. To me, it just gets boring by the end of the CD, to hear a bunch of songs that sound the same, sound like one 60-minute song."
Still Time's sound evolved organically. "We don't try to define everything beforehand," Curcio said. "We like to just jam and see what happens. It naturally takes its course. I'm lucky to be surrounded by these guys, who are incredible musicians."
Curcio grew up listening to Van Morrison, James Taylor and Bob Marley. "As a kid, all my money would go into CDs," Curcio said. But then one day, before he started college, he got a paycheck and said, "'I've finally got to get a guitar.'"
"So I bought a $200 Ibanez from the local guitar shop and was just never able to put it down. Ever since then, I've been on a mission," he said.
"I knew I wanted to start a band. That became more of a priority than college for me, unfortunately," he laughed. "I've always known that this was what I wanted to do. It would be so great to be able to make a living doing something you love."
His music career is off to a promising start. The album is already garnering airplay in Northern and Central California.
One of the songs, "High Tide," may be heard soon in a movie soundtrack. The director, previously an executive producer on "Good Will Hunting" and "American Pie," found the band on MySpace.
"(The film company) just called us out of the blue," Curcio said. "That would be big. So we're hoping that comes through."
In the summer, when these musicians have completed their studies at Cal Poly, their sole focus will be establishing Still Time as a musical force. The band plans to play a lot of colleges and festivals.
"We're really going to start expanding on our talent and our potential," Curcio said. "I know that we have the potential and talent to do some crazy stuff. It's just the lack of time that's held us back 'til now."
The band, and Curcio in particular, has been shouldering the responsibilities for launching the act. "We're doing it all ourselves right now, so it isn't easy. But people are much more willing to help you, if you're working to help yourself," he said "Were getting to the point where we're going to need a manager soon."
The best means of expanding their fan base is through touring. "I love our album, but I think everyone would agree that our live show is probably even better than our recordings," Curcio said. "It seems like every time we meet new fans who have just seen us for the first time, they're saying, 'This is one of the best shows I've seen.'
"Any time we get onstage as a group, we let go of any worries or concerns. We just focus on being there. It doesn't matter if there's five people or three thousand, we'll just have a great time playing shows."
Still Time has learned a lot, opening for such performers as Ziggy Marley, Robert Randolph, Steel Pulse and Ozomatli. Curcio watches how they interact with the crowds.
"These guys who have been doing it for years, they're so good at making the crowd hang on their every word," he said. "I'm really paying attention to that."
Curcio has observed how to make a favorable impression. "Mostly it's the professionalism they display, before and after the shows. There's something to be said for showing up on time, trying to get your stuff done, not trying to be a rock star about it," he said.
"We're not trying to be rock stars. We're not going to show up late and hammered," Curcio said. "It's important to get there on time, play a great show, be good to the fans, thank the club owner, all that kind of stuff. We want to do it the right way. Treat people well and they'll treat you well. It's just something you should do - treat people with respect."
Still Time grows up, gets serious, and births an amazing new album
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Five years ago, a couple of Cal Poly kids living in the Sierra Madre dorm started spending their fre...Five years ago, a couple of Cal Poly kids living in the Sierra Madre dorm started spending their free time playing cover songs together. It didn't take long for them to realize they sounded pretty good, and soon Dan Curcio and Chris "Haircut" Arntzen began writing original material and enlisting other musicians to put together a full band. The result was called Longview, and they quickly became a local favorite, playing gigs in front of enthusiastic crowds. They even recorded a demo and one of their songs, "High Tide," got picked up by a local radio station, becoming its most requested song!
The band even drew interest from some record labels, and one made an insulting offer of a 90/10 split. They'd front Longview $120,000 to record, promote, and distribute an album, and Longview would pay the money back from 10 percent of sales while the record company pocketed 90 percent and owned all rights to the album until it sold enough copies to recoup the investment. Only after that would Longview see any money. The band decided they'd be better off self-releasing their subsequent recordings.
Meanwhile, Longview learned that there was another Longview out there, so they changed their name to The New Longview, a sly nod to a scene from the spoof rockumentary This is Spinal Tap! in which one faux band member recalled his time in a band called The Originals until they discovered there was an original Originals, so they changed their name to The New Originals. Ha ha! Get it? The NEW originals?
Well, Longview got it, but now on the cusp of releasing their first "real" album and trying to gain legitimacy outside little ol' SLO Town, they consulted with a lawyer and discovered that just throwing the word "New" in front of their name might not be enough to keep them out of legal hot water if this other Longview decided to take action. And so I hereby decree that from now on Longview--New or otherwise--will forthwith be called Still Time, which takes its name from the title of a song on Longview's old demo album.
"In the past few years, I've been trying to understand the concept of time and how quickly it passes or, at times, stands still," Curcio said. "How is it that something that took place two years ago can seem like yesterday, whereas something that
happened yesterday can seem like two years ago? I think Einstein put it best when he said, 'If you put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.' The phrase 'Still Time' is saying--or trying to say--two things at once: 1) That there is still time to become a better person, to fall in love, to learn, to travel, to find your passion 2) that we have the ability to stop time--make time stand still--by taking a step back from school, and work, and the stress of everyday life."
Hmm, sounds like somebody's all growed up, and Stream of Consciousness--a highly polished collection of 14 tracks--also represents the band's new maturity as artists. It features Curcio's distinctive voice, an alive, emotive thing that sounds not unlike Ben Harper's voice--elastic, soulful, potent. Curcio is backed with solid musicianship: Arntzen's intricately played solos, solid rhythm guitar playing and background vocals from Nick Bilich, and a tight bottom end provided by bassist Paul "Pablo" Smith-Stewart and drummer John Vucinich. There's also more than a half-dozen guest musicians, from Rain Fur Rent's violinist Tyson Leonard to underground harmonica hero T-Bone Steak.
The sonically diverse album moves from reggae-influenced upbeat tracks like "9 to 5," an ode to youth whose hooky chorus foolishly promises "We won't stop believing/ We'll be young always/ We know when it's time to be/ Working on a 12 pack instead of 9 to 5."
By the end of the album, it's clear that the lighthearted first half is prologue to the darker, more serious second half in which lyricist Curcio finds himself questioning America's "me first" mentality on "American Dream," and the band's music becomes a dark, swirling psychedelic thing on "People See." The band's real maturity is revealed in the album's last track, "The Fabulous Life": "We grew up believing nothing good in life is free./ All I saw was money when I turned on the TV./ Mama always asked me to go outside and play with friends/ But they'd be watching re-runs of Puff Daddy in his Benz./ Money and fame/ our ball and chain/ Stuck inside this prison/ Just for watching MTV."
"The theme of the album was kind of a long time coming as far as putting all those ideas together," Curcio said. "It's sort of a coming of age story. The first half of the album is pretty light, but then there's a shift, sort of like playtime is over and it's time to get serious. It's a lot like the college experience. When you start, it's you and friends hanging out and having fun drinking and carrying on, because--you know--Mommy and Daddy have your back and you don't have much to worry about. But eventually you wake up. There's a line in 'Uncle Sam's Waltz' that sums up the album for me: 'There's a real world beyond our American Dreams.' It's the idea that maybe I should put the beers down and take a look at the world beyond my own selfish existence."
Musically, the band sounds a lot like Dave Matthews or the Counting Crows--nice hooky elements to the songs, but a sort of improvisational jam band spirit. After all the band members finish up with Cal Poly, the plan is to hit the road and not stop touring until they've sold thousands of their self-released records and can inspire a major label to offer them a record deal that doesn't make them indentured servants. Judging from this new album, they have a good chance of doing just that. Sonically, Stream of Consciousness rivals any major label release.
"We did the album with Kip Stork at Avalon Digital Recording Studio, and he was really a mentor figure for us throughout the process. He's been in the industry for a while, did the whole L.A. thing for a while, and it wasn't his scene, which is one of the many reasons we get along and see things the same way. But he's extremely talented at what he does, which is why you hear that crisp and professional sound on the album. We loved working with him. If we were Ninja Turtles, he would definitely be Splinter," explained Curcio, lapsing into cartoon nerdism. "The mastering was done by Don C. Tyler of Precision Mastering in L.A., and he's worked with Beck, Cake, Bob Dylan, Elliot Smith, and others--never hurts to name drop a bit!"
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The 14-track album by Still Time, formerly the New Longview, features emotive Ben Harper-like vocals and music that sounds like Dave Matthews and the Counting Crows.
Still Time will play a 6 p.m. free in-store performance at Boo Boo Records on Thursday, Nov. 1, but their really big show is their CD release party on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Downtown Brew. Tickets are $8 advance at the venue, $9 advance at Boo Boo's, or $10 at the door. The doors for this 21-and-older show open at 8 p.m. and Troppo will play a set followed by Still Time doing their Stream of Consciousness set (songs from the album, which will be sold that night for only $5!) followed by a costume change into '80s gear for a flashback to the '80s set of all covers like "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Billie Jean," "Don't Stop Believing," and "The Theme to the Karate Kid." Hiya! Hey, Still Time may be grown up, but they still know how to have fun.
A typical setlist for us depends on the length of the show. We have played sets anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 and a half hours. For the set up to 2 hours, we usually do all originals. But for shows stretching to 2 hours +, we incorporate a variety of covers stretching from John Lennon to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine.
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There are no upcoming dates at this time.