Interviews:: Travel By Sea

UPDATE:: Well, I'm an idiot. The show is actually tonight, so ignore the cancellation part of this post, but the rest holds true.

Well, I'm slowly getting over the disappointment of the Bert Jansch show being canceled. It's becoming a trend in Vancouver - venues closing, acts not making it across the border, and people not bothering to show up so the show is "chris-boshed." We have a great music city here in the Couve, but national acts are finding more and more reasons not to come. It sucks and I have a feeling it's only going to get worse.

So instead of photos and a hack description of one of the greatest guitar players going, you get a special treat: A nice interview with California’s Kyle Kersten and Denver, Colorado’s Brian Kraft AKA Travel by Sea. In true TBS form, they passed the interview back and forth like a three-man weave. Enjoy.

HH:: My most obvious question is how did you guys create such a focused record without ever meeting or sitting in the same room?
KK:: Thats a good question that I'm not sure I know the answer to. I think it's really just luck how we have meshed as a team.

Brian is really great at taking a bare bones demo of mine and bringing it to life. We may not be in the same room but we're talking constantly via IM (instant message) and sharing ideas.

BK:: Yeah- I think it's very lucky how Kyle and I found each other. Not really knowing each other's styles, we decided to have a go at a song together- the very first song we tried was the version of 'Complete Shakeup' you hear on our first album (Shadows Rise) And there's been no looking back since. We're very much on the same wavelength and so it makes our democratic approach to everything very easy.

Also the fact we're not in the same room does have its challenges- like not being able to just jam stuff out. But in terms of the recording process-- I don't think it's a huge departure from the normal recording situation where band members lay down their tracks individually over top of what's already recorded.

HH:: You recently signed to Autumn Tone, a blog run label. What sparked that decision, and how do you think music blogs have changed how bands get heard and discovered?
KK:: The Aquarium Drunkard blog is one that I've read for years and admired. I took a chance and got Justin a copy of one of our new songs ("Too Much too Quickly") in hopes that he could possibly do a write up on us. Luck would have it that he loved the song and then checked out our 'Shadows Rise' album...which led to us being asked to sign on to his new label, Autumn Tone. Justin lives in LA and I live in Orange County (40 miles south) so it's been a great relationship so far.

If it wasn't for blogs and sites like myspace I really don't think we would have even finished recording an album. Blogs have given small bands like us a chance to compete in the marketing side of the business.

BK:: Justin has great taste in a lot of diverse music and I think that's what's made his blog so successful. A lot of people tap into him as a source for new music and so he's become very connected with so many people in music. Besides Justin being a big fan of our music, I think the fact he's so well connected in music made his label so appealing to us. That's a major thing I think you'd want from a label- that connectedness to the music world.

HH:: You are working on your new record. Are you still recording individually and sending sounds back and forth? And with the new attention to your work, can fans expect a tour for you two?
KK:: We are still recording individually through the internet. We did finally meet in June for the first time for a show together but we didn't record anything. My guess is we'll do a few small tours early next year to support the new album.

HH:: Your sounds and vocal delivery really channels some of my favorite artists - like Will Johnson and Willy Vlautin. But it's a genre that doesn't really lead to bands becoming household names. When you see yourself in the future, what do you want to have accomplished musically?
KK:: Great question. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it, we write and record music for fun. We both have jobs that keep us busy so we don't have to have that huge success to support our
families. This lends itself to us making the album we want to make. We both know our style of songs are probably not going to make the cover of Rolling Stone one day but we're fine with that. I'm personally just hoping for others to enjoy and possibly relate to the songs.

BK:: I feel the same way: we want to keep having fun making our music, first and foremost. An added bonus is when other folks enjoy the music too. If we have some larger successes along the way- we won't complain.

In terms of our style of music not making the cover of Rolling Stone... I'm not sure. Well, I don't look at Rolling Stone anymore so I don't know what planet they're on these days, but I've been noticing the style in which we loosely fit has been coming more and more into the mainstream. So who knows-- in a couple years the big music corporations may be more in tune with... ahem... "good music." The internet has certainly leveled the playing field a little and given music fans more open sources for finding music they want to listen to and not what they have to listen to.

HH:: If you could suggest one record to any fan of your band, what would it be?
KK:: Wow, that's a tough one. I'll go with South San Gabriel's Welcome Convalescence.

BK:: See, this illustrates the similar wavelength Kyle and I are on-- I would suggest South San Gabriel's The Carlton Chronicles. I mean come on... the music is top notch, but added to that, the entire album is narrated from the perspective of a freakin' cat- and without an ounce of campiness. Will Johnson is pure genius with that!

MP3:: Return to Me(Sparklehorse tribute record)

web site :: myspace :: label


@ 5:25 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 kicked the following game:

these fellers are the real deal.

 

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