A little Me Time

Me Time releases Vol.2  at Cloverdale

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Me Time’s Andy Smith feels out the band’s Vol. 2 at Cloverdale Nov. 5; photo: Bill Cunningham

For years now, Andy Smith has been churning out some of the best music in the Dayton scene. A talented guitarist and prolific songwriter, Smith has taken the stage fronting acts such as Andrew and the Pretty Punchers, King Elk, and his current project, Me Time.

Me Time’s sophomore release, the appropriately titled Vol. 2, is a psychedelic trip. Layering two-part harmonies over ringing guitars and driving basslines, the songs on Vol. 2 have a ’60s feel, but offer more than simple nostalgic fluff. These songs seamlessly mend the old with the new.

“A buddy of mine had just recently given me like six or seven of those Nuggets collections,” Smith tells us, referring to the compilation series of oft-forgotten deep cuts from the ’60s. “He sent me these ones that were like deep, deep, deep, nuggets… crazy deep. For weeks I listened to those, or months probably. Just great garage rock, and just melodies all focused on these quick little pop songs with, you know, three minutes… two and a half minutes… and just melodies. Complete melody-driven stuff.”

Unlike the songs on Me Time’s first CD, Vol. 1, which were mostly written alone, Smith says Vol. 2 was a collaborative effort.

“The first Me Time was the first thing I’d done since King Elk, and I just wanted it to be with my really close friends,” he explains. “I wanted to do some songs I had written down for a couple months by myself. And this one, it was like we were more of a unit, and we kind of worked them all out together.”

In addition to Me Time’s existing lineup of Smith, guitarist Kyle Melton, and drummer Elliot Ward, Vol. 2 introduced a new member to the ensemble. Artist M. Ross Perkins on bass gives the band a rhythm section you could set your watch to.

Knowing that the basslines would fill out the songs, Smith says he intentionally created minimalist guitar parts that Perkins could expand upon.

“On Vol. 2, I was more focused on writing melodies because I knew I was going have to M. Ross Perkins playing bass and singing harmonies with me,” Smith explains. “So some of the songs were actually written knowing that he would kinda pump it up and make it amazing.”

Smith says his songs usually start out with a simple melody. He’ll strike a single chord on his guitar and try to make up a melody unlike any in his previous body of work.

“Typically, I’m a feeler; I feel it out. I hit a new chord, and I try and sing a way I never have to it, and I feel it out. Like start with a C, and think, ‘How have I not sang to that as far as timing, and high or low?’ So, I usually start that way and just work a melody out of it,” Smith says.

In the course of producing Vol. 2, Me Time faced technical adversity that delayed getting the album out to fans. “Making Vol. 2 has kind of been a long process,” Smith says. “We recorded it once almost all the way through, and then had some technical issues with some computer files, and it was pretty much lost. So, I’m extremely stoked to finally get this out.”

And Smith and friends will be getting Vol. 2 out with a bang. Their release show at Cloverdale (the shiny St. Clair Street venue formerly known as Club Vex, and before that, The Pearl) will also feature three other heavyweights of Dayton music.

“The show is going to be fucking killer,” Smith says. “It’s gonna be with Me and Mountains, who just released their record that is really great; Human Cannonball, who I fucking love; and the New Old Fashioned, who I love as well. They actually had asked me to play solo to open up, and I said ‘yeah,’ and then a couple months later, I was like ‘Man I need to release that album,’ so I kinda hijacked the show.”

As for the future, Smith says he’s already working on Me Time’s Vol. 3.

“I got another whole batch of songs and some guys that are looking to play them, so I want to keep moving as fast as possible,” Smith tells us. “That’s also what I said after Vol. 1, and it didn’t happen quite as quick as I wanted, but I’m ready to keep rolling. I got enough songs for another couple albums, so I’m ready to go.”

“I also got a little side project thing coming up too,” Smith teases. “It’s a little secret thing that should be coming out probably sometime in November, I think.”

Smith denies our probe for more information about this top-secret project:

“I don’t think I can. I’d be shot.”

Me Time performs Saturday, Nov. 5 at Cloverdale, 101 S. St Clair St. in downtown Dayton. Me and Mountains, Human Cannonball, and The New Old Fashioned are also on the bill. Admission is $5 for patrons 21 and up. Doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, please visit
MeTimeDaytonOhio.Bandcamp.com.

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at JosherLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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