Time In Malta Feel The Heat

The music industry has been polluted over the years by egotistical megalomaniacs who savvy up to the media craving attention like a performing seal. However, despite the wealth of interviews, documentaries, live performances and life stories that have been told of musicians from most genres; the hardcore punk genre still remains un-chartered or more to the point un-navigable for the more luxury seeking cruise liner. This is why I jumped on the opportunity to probe the crashing San Francisco quartet; Time In Malta, fronted by the uncompromising and honest Todd Gullion, aided and abetted with the abrasive bass lines of Jesse Hayes, the at times eerie and at other times frantic guitar riffs of Chris Lyon and all this is kicked into the end zone by the pummeling percussion of Adam Goldstein.

The natural comparison for your sound, anger and views is Boy Sets Fire from Delaware. Have they had a big impact on your music? Do you think that the hardcore punk genre lacks depth at the moment with Sick Of It All and to a lesser extent Good Riddance both losing their way?

Todd: Well I would say Boysetsfire are one of a hundred influences. I can't say if anyone has lost their way. I know for ourselves that people and times change. Anytime a group of people spend years together, it’s a journey with many twists and turns.

You hail from San Fransisco. Please describe for the uninitiated what the San Francisco sound is and how well do you think you fit in with it?

Adam- You can't really describe the “San Francisco sound”… In fact I don't think there is one. The scene is very eclectic, with all sorts of bands. As far as fitting in goes; Time in Malta has a broad sound, and sometimes it is frustrating. A lot of the shows we play, kids just want to dance to breakdowns, so when they hear more “rock” oriented songs they are not as accepting. I'd probably say that we don't really fit in, but that's okay…We do what we do, and we pour our hearts into it.

Your latest album 'Alone With The Alone' is a dark, cynical, angry yet cogent and poignant offering. What messages do you want to convey through this album?

Adam- The lyrical content of this record definitely has a wide range. I don't think that there is a specific message that is trying to be said through this record. Lyrically, Todd did a great job tackling political issues, as well as everyday inner struggles and demons that we all face as people. Even though some of the songs may seem a little dark, Time in Malta is a positive force relaying positive energy.

You are signed to a New York based indie label Equal Vision records. How important is having an understanding label who gives you artistic freedom to a band of your elk? Do you get this from Equal Vision and do you think you will ever make the move to a major label which Boy Sets Fire has done, much to the chagrin of its hardcore base of fans?

Todd: We can't think that much ahead really. We have our plates full as it is.

What does the term hardcore punk mean to you? Do you think its meaning has changed in the public eye?

Todd: It's definitely changed from the 70's nihilism to 80's angry hardcore, to 90's political punk, to millennium pre-mainstream. I've liked it all to tell you the truth.

The lyrics on your new album are cutting and angry. For example, In 'Bare Witness' Tom Gullion your singer screams out; 'All along you have asked for sacrifice, while you sat back and got fed, it never ends all the wars. You're King for a day but we vow to take you down.” This is also prevalent in 'Louder than bombs; “Our Voices Will Be Louder Than Their Bombs”. You could be classed as the only real opposition or the only group offering alternatives to mainstream views. Does this fuel your anger and do you ever think you make peace with those in power and start penning beautiful ballads?

Todd: If you could combine the consciousness of the 90's scene with the opportunities of 2000 beyond, we could have a revolution.

What song, book or poem would you say sums you up (as a group or individually)?

Todd: Right now it would be “Walking” by Thoreau.

You are becoming more and more popular in the United States. Do you have any plans in the near future to treat the United Kingdom to your live displays of insightful anger and passion?

Adam- Most definitely! When “A Second Engine” came out T.I.M. supported the album with a U.K. tour and we plan to do the same with “Alone with the Alone”. Nothing is confirmed yet, but look out for future tour dates.

What are you current musical influences?
Todd: Everything in the record store put in a blender and then thrown in a fan.

Who or what makes you angry (aside from annoying interview questions)?
People comparing us to Boysetsfire.

What message more than any other do 'Time In Malta' wish to convey to their audience?

Todd: That music can be a mirror to the soul.

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