I’ve finally gotten everything together to update the image of my band in order to market my music with a new website and promo materials in 2010.
New promo photos…check. Awesome new band logo….check. And the last piece of the puzzle arrived in my inbox today. An amazing new band bio skillfully written by Erin Johnson. She interviewed the band and pulled some great quotes from us and put my entire musical history into this piece and somehow makes it readable and entertaining.
Here is an advance look at what will be posted in the ‘bio’ section of the revamped and updated Brian Travis Band website…coming soon to your interwebs:
It’s not every day that a club owner sets his bar on fire to celebrate a great performance from a visiting band, but that’s just what happened when The Brian Travis Band rocked the Isla Cantina. As the band dove into the Burning Man-themed crowd favorite “Gasoline,” a row of flame whipped across the top of the bar.
“We were firing on all cylinders that night,” says singer and guitarist Brian Travis. “The place was packed and we were charged up. Our best shows don’t just rely on execution. They happen when we’re playing with great energy and the kind of momentum that pushes rock and roll forward, tapping into the spirit of the music itself.”
The Brian Travis Band sure doesn’t lack for that energy onstage; whether they’re playing to a mellow Venice crowd at The Stronghold or a pumped up room of Hollywood-goers at The Hotel Cafe, The Brian Travis band plays with the kind of fun punk attitude usually reserved for moshing crowds. Travis, Mark Wickliffe (drums) and Steve Wiel (bass) effortlessly mix classic rock with twangs of country and hints of the blues, giving traditional folk melodies a unique rock and roll vibe. “It’s shamelessly old school rock n roll,” says Wickliffe. “It’s the kind of thing I grew up listening to on the radio. I can hear influences of Dylan, The Beatles, Queen, just to name a few. “
It’s fitting that Travis got his own start in music thanks to another band with its own brand of a celtic folk-punk, Welsh rockers The Alarm. After losing a shoe and ripping his shirt in a packed crowd of 25,000 Alarm fans at a festival at UCLA, teenaged Travis made up his mind to buy himself an acoustic guitar. “I was already an actor and an artist,” Travis says, “but seeing The Alarm live just flipped a switch in my head. That was the first time I realized that the power of rock and roll could change people’s lives, and I knew I wanted to write songs that could have an effect on people the way The Alarm had an effect on me.”
After high school, Brian headed up to Northern California and sought out other musicians, moving into a warehouse with bandmates and rehearsing constantly. After his first band Forward disbanded, Travis fronted a new collective called Third Wish. Travis had collaborated with other songwriters, but Third Wish was his first opportunity to provide all of the original jam-rock material. Third Wish gained momentum in the Bay Area, opening for The String Cheese Incident, Vinyl and Michelle Shocked, and releasing their own six-song EP “Wish,” produced by Evan Riely. Following the release of a five-song solo EP “There from Here,” Travis embarked on a six-week solo tour of Italy, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Prague and Brussels. Shifting bandmates saw Travis playing in acoustic group called Wishcraft, which garnered attention at festivals and even a plaque from the city. But it was time to seek out new challenges and head south again to Los Angeles, where Travis played solo gigs for a few months before a promoter suggested getting a band together to book larger clubs.
Travis promptly got in touch with Third Wish guitarist Jason “Ace” Gonzales, found two talented LA musicians and booked a show at the club. The promoter billed the group as “The Brian Travis Band,” and the name stuck as Travis found that Gonzales, Thaddeus Wiseman (drums) and Manny Vega (bass) made for one solid band. Together, the four musicians recorded demos, toured up and down the California coast, and stormed the UK with shows all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which culminated in an opening slot that saw Travis performing onstage with his musical hero, Mike Peters of The Alarm. The Brian Travis Band released their debut CD “Past the Breakers” in 2004, but the group had lost Wiseman to a pretty woman from the UK and Vega to San Diego. Soon Travis added Matt Brown on piano and keyboard, Mark Wickliffe on drums and Steve Wiel on bass, flourishing as a group even in the face of indie label deals that never went through, fruitless contract negotiations with entertainment lawyers and other obstacles in the tumultuous music industry.
In May 2009 The Brian Travis Band released their new album “The Bigger Picture,” produced by Mike Starr and completely funded by fan pre-orders. Having been featured on KZSC Santa Cruz, KCSN Northridge and KCSB Santa Barbara, among many other college stations, “The Bigger Picture” saw more play on college stations and quickly sold out of physical copies. Now composed of the core group of Travis, Wickliffe and Wiel, The Brian Travis Band continues to wow Los Angeles crowds with their own brand of heartfelt rock and roll. “Steve and Mark were a godsend,” Travis says. “We really clicked, and they’re extremely fun to work with.”
With songs about everything from trailer park girls to pyromaniacs, the music of The Brian Travis Band has developed into the kind of well-crafted rock that keeps audiences dancing while making them laugh and smile at the clever lyrics and funny stories that punctuate BTB tunes. “The BTB show is real,” says Wiel. ” There is nothing staged, nothing scripted, hell, sometimes we don’t even have a setlist. Each show is like no other and you never know what’s going to happen. We are always tinkering with arrangements, harmonies and looking to develop each song; you may show up expecting to hear your favorite song as it was recorded, and the next thing you know it’s been pushed to a limit that you wouldn’t think was possible.”
The Brian Travis Band has worked hard to earn its place as a Los Angeles mainstay, and with plans for future material and an upcoming tour already in the works, the band won’t be taking a break anytime soon. There is simply too much burning passion in the band’s driven frontman. “We’re exploring all these different sides of ourselves right now,” Travis explains. “We’re planning to record an album with the country sound we’ve been exploring lately. But after that, we’re going to get back to the rock stuff– because that’s truly what’s in my heart.”
-Brian Travis Band Bio written by Erin Johnson, July 2010