This week’s interview is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism.
Headlining the second concert of the Downtown Sounds concert series is The Prime Time Band with opening act The Austerman File. If you’ve been yearning for some melodic doo-boppers to serenade you with soul music on a summer night, or have heard a lot of jazz over the The Prime Time Band, this Wednesday is your last opportunity to see them live in concert. I repeat, THIS IS THE PRIME TIME BAND’S LAST SHOW! So it’s now or never folks, come join us this Wednesday at 6 p.m. for free music, Boundary Bay beer and the tastiest local food vendors. Bring your friends, water and sunscreen – it’s going to be a scorcher! Funk, reggae and blues band Austerman File is on at 6 p.m., then The Prime Time Band takes the stage after 7 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bay Street. I interviewed Jonathan Gipaya of The Prime Time Band to chat about their band, history, and inspirations.
What has been your favorite show to perform at so far?
My favorite show so far was actually the 2012 Downtown Sounds show. It’s great seeing Bellingham get down to some of our music and it’s great that it was available to the public. We had a great turnout and response and we’re hoping it’s the same or even better for this year’s show. My band loved that show, but I’ll also include our Stevie Wonder tribute, our Michael Jackson tribute and our last show at the Wild Buffalo.
Who are your favorite artists to cover?
Our favorite artists to cover are Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Allen Stone. Just to name a few!
Is it true your last show together is at Downtown Sounds, what will happen after for you all?
Yes, it’s true. We’ve been together for almost 4 years now and it has been quite the journey. I don’t even consider us a band anymore. We’re family. Knowing that we’re family, we’ll always keep in touch and in some form or another, I’m sure we’ll continue to play music together in different groups, but not as The Prime Time Band anymore. We’ve gone separate ways and have moved to different parts of the state as well as the country. Most of us have graduated from WWU and are pursuing careers in music, acting, photography, etc.
Favorite place to eat in Bellingham?
Oh man. I think the restaurant we’ve eaten at the most as a band is Bayou on Bay. Can’t beat their soul food, especially when we’re performing soul music later that night down the street at the Wild Buffalo. We love grabbing beers at Boundary Bay and will get Pel Meni’s after shows too.
Who are you listening to right now?
I’m a fan of the classics. I will always listen to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Amy Winehouse. Someone I will continue to listen and study is the music of Quincy Jones, my musical hero. But I also enjoy some newer, younger musicians on the scene too. A couple of my favorite that I’m listening to are Allen Stone, Emily King, Justin Timberlake, Ben L’oncle Soul, just to name a few.
Al Green or Marvin Gaye?
Oh no you didn’t ask me this question! I love both artists. They are both geniuses in their own right. Marvin has one of the smoothest voices ever. I’ve been a huge fan of his music since an early age. He definitely has his classics beginning at his early career with Motown and all the way throughout his career. But I’m going to go with Al Green. I have a history of listening to Al Green’s entire anthology with my Dad and my brother (who’s one of the singers in The Prime Time Band). I have fond memories of long road trips listening to the soulful Al Green and singing along to songs such as: “Let’s Stay Together,” “Love and Happiness,” “Belle,” “Take Me to the River.” Both are legendary musicians, but it’s also about the memories you create from listening to their songs.
Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and to check out their promo video for Downtown Sounds!