Interview with JUSTYN THYME
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music has always been there for me in my life through some of the tougher moments. I think I was always drawn to it for it’s ability to move people. Vibration and intention are subtle yet powerful forces that can move the mightiest of mountains. Had I not gotten into music I imagine I’d be doing something within the world of holistic health. I’ve got a rare eye condition that was discovered in my late teens which was definitely a catalyst in taking me on an extensive journey through natural remedy and healing. Even if that were the path that was clearer cut, I imagine music would still be just as present in my life.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend a lot of time golfing during the summer months. I grew up playing the game with my father. Around the time I was born he had started up a place in Charlottetown called The Club, I believe it was the first of the golf simulators town. There are so many lessons built into the game that go hand in hand with life and I’m very happy I got into it at a young age. Being out on the course definitely helps me find that quiet place in my mind where all the good ideas tend to come from.
How long has your band been around?
I started releasing music under my own name in September of 2020 but bringing the music to life with the band is still relatively new. Almost all of us have been part of other projects together, so we’re quite familiar with each other as people and noisemakers. All that to say we’re quite fresh.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (named after a fellow who gifted us some cannons back in the day), but I much prefer the name that was given to the island by the Mi’kmaq people. They knew this island by the name of Epekwitk, meaning “cradled on the waves”. This place is far out. Absolutely beautiful. Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted just how beautiful it is having lived here for the majority of my life. That being said, we are often reminded by what are sometimes lovingly referred to as “come from aways” just how lucky we are to live in such a place. There’s a lot of really inspired people here, and it seems to me that it might be contagious.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
That’s kind of a neat story actually. Let me see if I can whip it up in short form here... SO, during my mothers pregnancy, my parents had the name Jordan in mind for me. The day they went into the hospital to prepare for arrival, the doctor said it was going to be a good little while and sent dad home to have a bite to eat and a nap. He had been working overtime at The Club and I think was more than a bit burnt out. The way he had put it was that he woke from a dream and had some sort of knowing that he had to get himself straight to the hospital. There were no cell phones at the time so he was just kind of working with his instincts. He hopped in his car, headed straight to the hospital, ran in, rushed down the hall and got to mom “just in time” to be there with her for the moment I was born. So they called me Justyn and gave me the “Y” instead of the “I”, I’m still figuring that one out. That story and name always just rang a big bell for me so I decided to go with it through the musical journey.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
To date, I feel like most every show has been memorable. If I had to pick one, it would have to be the first we did as a band. It was at The Trailside in Charlottetown, and we opened for Benj Rowland of the Mayhemingways. He was touring his new solo album release “Community Garden”. The room was delightful, seeing Benj doing his thing was as inspiring as it could be and it just felt good to share the music as a band. There is so much room for magic to enter into the equation when teaming up with people that you love and trust.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I want to play everywhere they’ll let me and meet everyone I can! As far as venues in Charlottetown, the favourite for me has gotta be The Trailside. Pat & Meghan Deighan are so sweet and supportive of island musicians and the space is absolutely awesome. I’m also very much looking forward to getting to experience the festival circuit and playing outdoors!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Oh my. I have no sweet clue. One thing that comes to mind is having some sort of earth-wide band.. We could take turns singing the uni-verses and then all come together in the chorus.. That’d be something. That’s probably coming down the line.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Keep doing the dang thing, your music in such an intuitive process. As long as you keep moving, you’re headed in the right direction. Just show up, try your best and have fun with it. The forces of nature will be MORE than happy to get down with that.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I think I would remain a stranger to myself and just give myself a smile and perhaps a solid high-5. Everything is just as it needs to be in this great unfolding. I’m really feeling and trusting in that these days now more than ever.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The next one! I’m happy with the ones that have come already, but the next is the most exciting.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Whatevers fresh and exciting is usually what I like to play the most and hits the hardest. There’s a fellow named Scott that I used to see all the time at the open mics in town, whenever I was playing he would always say “play that song I like”. The one he was talking about was “Operator” by Jim Croce, so I think that would take the cake for most requested song, and Scott did that single handedly, God bless him!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We’re still figuring that out I suppose. So far it’s been mostly me taking the songs to the gang and them finding themselves within the thing. We have a lot of fun jamming, and I hope to craft more songs out of those jams moving forward.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I’m a bit of a “hopium” junkie. I’m really holding out for a “heaven on earth” type situation however that may come to be. I’d say the main messages that tend to come through music for me are that of togetherness, love, adventure, acceptance and trying to move into something beyond the wildest stretch of our imagination. Some sort of imagination yoga I suppose. I don't know, I still feel really new to this stuff and just trying my best to figure it out! I think that a part of this gig is to help work those things into the fabric by writing and singing about them and just hoping that it helps somehow.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Nothing notable so far. If we do, I imagine we will just have to tickle them out of each other.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My plans are just to keep doing the dang thing and remain open to the opportunities that present themselves along the way. I’m just really excited to keep meeting folks that are doing the same and keep inspiring each other to bring change to our lives and to this earth. It’s going to be awesome.