Expert Timing is a passion project that brings together the warmth and chemistry of husband/wife duo Jeff and Katrina Snyder. With Jeff on guitar and Katrina on bass they both share songwriting and vocal duties. With drummer Gibran Colbert behind the kit, the band proudly wears it’s emo and indie rock influences on their sleeves.
The band recently released their Selective Hearing EP, via Dikembe’s Death Protector Collective label in March and Ghettoblaster caught up with them to discuss the EP, anxiety, the Pulse tragedy, and spreading positivity, tolerance and love.
Are you guys originally from Orlando?
Katrina: Jeff grew up in Allentown, PA and I grew up in Dallas, TX. I had moved to Orlando right after high school and we met when Jeff was on tour with his band at the time. I moved up to PA while he finished college and then after we got married we decided to skip winters and come back to Florida permanently.
When did you realize that Expert Timing was something that you wanted to pursue together?
Jeff: Katrina and I were in a band together called Living Decent. Our singer moved out of Florida and we knew we wanted to keep working on music together. We didn’t really know what Expert Timing would sound like since this was completely new territory for us as far as collaborating and singing together.
Has it been a nurturing/growth experience for your relationship or is it “strictly business?”
Katrina: It’s definitely helped us grow and evolve in a lot of incredible ways. At the same time, sometimes it’s frustrating because of course the person that is closest to you can push your buttons the most! However, it’s really comforting knowing that no matter what, we’re in this together. That includes celebrating the good points in this band as well as getting each other through the hard parts. Jeff: We have always been a solid team and that definitely translates to working on music together.
When did you begin writing Selective Hearing and what catalysts were inspiring that output?
Jeff: We started writing as soon as we started this project in March ’16. Working together constantly inspires me to write more. If I’m stuck I can show Trina stuff and she’s always taking me somewhere new. We draw inspiration from all sorts of places, from daily mundane stuff to deeper issues like dealing with anxiety and tragedy. Having someone to share ideas with really helps fuel our creative output.
Was there anything in particular you were hoping to accomplish with it?
Katrina: We’ve already exceeded anything we could’ve hoped for. We poured our hearts into these songs and the fact that so many people have showed love and support towards us has been humbling. We’ve been able to play shows with a lot of incredible bands and even got to tour with Dikembe. Really gives us warm fuzzies haha.
What are your proudest moments on the record and why?
Katrina: For me, it was recording “Slow.” That song took the longest to come together and wasn’t completed until right before we went to record it. I was really nervous about being able to get the vocal performance I wanted, and thought my inexperience was going to shine through. Luckily Jon Markson, who recorded/produced the EP, is so wonderful that I was comfortable and able to just commit and enjoy the recording experience. Jeff: The way the bridge of “Act Your Age” came together in the studio stands out to me. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted and Tom’s drum choices along with Jon’s idea to use a phaser on the guitar really informed that part. Every time I hear it I think about how much fun it was to create.
You did a video for “Nervous Wreck,” right? How involved were you in coming up with the concept for that?
Jeff: I wanted to make a found footage video for “Nervous Wreck” so I started scanning the Prelinger Archives for content. I was inspired by all the old nuclear test footage as well as the sense of fear and doom that surrounded the post WW2 and cold war eras. “Nervous Wreck” is about feeling anxious and not really understanding why, so I wanted the video to reflect that sense of global dread that informs a person’s personal anxiety even if they may not know where it’s coming from.
You recently embarked on a tour with Dikembe, whose label released the EP. Where did your relationship with them originate?
Katrina: We were lucky enough to play a couple shows with Dikembe in our last band. Then our very first Expert Timing show was with them and Slingshot Dakota. That first show really propelled us forward, we’ve forged lasting friendships with both of those bands, enough so that Tom Patterson from Slingshot actually played on the EP. When Dikembe offered to release the EP through Death Protector Collective we were thrilled. We really respect them as people and musicians and also share the same DIY mentality/ideals which are an integral part of how we function as a band.
I imagine that you had some strong feelings as a result of the recent Orlando club shooting. How did you process that?
Jeff: I actually work at a hospital about two blocks away from Pulse. I wasn’t working that night but going to work the Monday after was surreal. How did we process it? I’m not sure I’ve fully processed it. I’d like to think we rallied together as a community and we have, but I don’t personally feel any safer or confident that blind hate is any less serious anywhere in America. Katrina: Pulse really shook us out of our bubble where we naively thought things like that couldn’t happen in our beloved little city. It immediately forced us into a perspective that anything can happen, and the least we can do is enjoy our lives and try to spread as much positivity, tolerance, and love as possible.
What are your loftiest goals for Expert Timing?
Katrina: We just want to keep going, work hard at becoming a tighter band, and hopefully get to do more tours with bands we love and admire. If we get to tour Europe one day, well that’d just be icing.
(Purchase the EP here: https://experttiming.bandcamp.com/album/selective-hearing
Order a CD copy here: http://deathprotector.limitedrun.com/products/587255-expert-timing-selective-hearing-cd-ep)