Travis T. Warren
Travis T. Warren, best known for this work as frontman of Blind Melon and in the hard rock duo The Lookout Kids recently released his debut solo album titled Beneath These Borrowed Skies. The album features guests Aja Volkman (Nico Vega), Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon), and Eva Gardner (from Pink’s backing band). All proceeds from the album (out now on Clarity Way Records) go to benefit MusiCares, which provides financial, medical, and, personal support to musicians in need.
Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your background? What was it like growing up in Texas?
Travis T. Warren: Well I grew up in Amarillo which is in the panhandle of Texas. It was and still is a very right leanin kicker town. Not a lot to do but get high, chase girls and play/listen to music. I left for California a month after I turned 17 and never looked back. Texas has great steaks if you’re into that sort of thing.Great Tex-Mex food as well
MI: What is your fondest memory from that time?
TTW: Friends. I had a lot of great friends from that time. I’m still very close to a few of them to this day. We were a brotherhood. Very tight. We did everything together. Skipped school. Got high. Stayed up through the night having long, philosophical conversations about what we were going to do when we got older. Beer runs. Ya know that sort of shit.
MI: Do you think you would be a musician today if your parents hadn’t been musicians themselves?
TTW: That’s hard to say. I can say this, I had a very deep appreciation for music at an early age. Especially rock music which my parents were not playing. So I’m pretty positive I would of gravitated towards music regardless. It’s in my blood
MI: Who were some of your earliest influences?
TTW: AC/DC, early Metallica, Gun’s & Roses, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley, Bill Hicks, my father, Stevie Ray Vaughan
MI: What was it like to move from Texas to California at the age of 17?
TTW: Very exciting from what I can remember. My best friend and I had been up on speed for a few days when we left so I believe there may have been a dash of paranoia thrown in there as well. We took off in my friends 70’s Impala if my memory serves me right. I remember it ate gas like hell. We stopped off in Las Vegas before we got to Cali. I had never seen anything like that up until that point. In some way I felt like we had truly made it. We were officially on our own at that point. We didn’t have more then 200 bucks at the time so it was kind of frightening to us I’m sure.
MI: What was it like to be asked to join Blind Melon? Were you a fan of the original lineup?
TTW: It was a very exciting and unique feeling. And yes, I was a big fan of the band. I had been listening to them for years before I met them. It was an easy transition because I was very familiar with their material.
MI: How is your solo work most different from your other endeavors?
TTW: Well for starters, I have full control when working on my solo material. When working with bands, it’s usually a joint effort. Everyone is collaborating. I tracked most of the instruments myself and also recorded it myself. I think my solo album is a mixture of all my other bands all put into one. Acoustic, heavy, electronic. It’s pretty much all there on Beneath These Borrowed Skies
MI: What led you to record Beneath These Borrowed Skies?
TTW: I had been wanting to make this album for a while but just couldn’t do it financially on my own. Some friends of mine who own a rehab in PA called, Clarity Way approached me about making an album. They helped finance it and the rest is history.
MI: How would you describe this album?
TTW: That’s kind of a hard question to ask. It’s hard for me to describe my own music. It’s me. It comes from the heart. It has many different elements thrown into it. A lot of my influences are thrown in there. I wanted to have harder songs on this album. I wanted acoustic songs as well. There is a lot of layering going on in most of the songs on this album. Sweet Memories has over 70 tracks. It’s a very thick album.
MI: What was it like to work with your various guests on the album?
TTW: It’s was an honor and a dream come true. I’m a fan of everybody that’s on the album. I suppose it’s kind of like having your favorite ball players on your team. My own personal dream team. All proceeds from this album go to MusiCares.
MI: Why do you think it is important to support that particular charity? MusiCares helped me when I was struggling back in 2007.
TTW: I probably wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for MusiCares. So to me, it’s very important to give back. They have helped many musicians and artists. MusiCares is an amazing organization and I will support them in anyway I can.
MI: Do you think it is important that people of all walks of life help those who have less?
TTW: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, it should be mandatory. That’s what it’s all about. There are many people in need all over the world. I believe if you have it then there should be no question. I have always respected those that go out of there way to help others in need. Now if we could just get everybody(Yes politicians I’m talking to you) on board to start preserving our mother Earth.
MI: Are there any little known things about yourself that you’d not mind sharing with our readers?
TTW: Well I’m pretty much always nervous. Always chewing and picking at my nails/fingers. It’s gotten worse since I quit smoking. I guess you can’t have the cake and eat it to. Flip side to that is it always keeps me on my toes.
MI: What was the best advice anyone has ever gave you? Who was it?
TTW: “If you have any other talents other then playing music then you should try pursuing that.”(laughs) No really, probably if you’re going to play music then play from your heart. Everything else is questionable. True art comes from the sub-conscience. It comes from a real place. Music that stands the test of time comes from the heart.I would probably have to give the honors to Bill Hicks for the first time hearing that statement. Hicks was a modern day prophet in my opinion. He was a true revolutionist.
MI: What are your feelings on the current state of the music industry?
TTW: My feeling is the music industry is on it’s way out. Part of that is the industry’s own fault. They lived beyond their means for decades and now the money just isn’t there. They are continually consolidating but pretty soon there will be nothing more to consolidate. I believe that could be a good thing in some ways. Hopefully it will cut down on the amount of garbage that gets put out there. Artists have had to continually find new ways to earn an income. Fortunately, no matter how technologically advanced we become, Live music can never be replaced. That’s the one area that the internet can’t touch. Musical gatherings and festivals will always be a part of our culture. It will always be a part of the human psyche
MI: What projects are you looking forward to next?
TTW: I’m always looking forward to anything that’s over the horizon. I love,live, and breathe music. Music is the air I breath. It’s the heartbeat that keeps on beating. I’m happy God gave me this gift and I plan on using it as long as I’m on this Earth.
MI: Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
TTW: God bless everyone. Now let’s go save the Earth from evil corporations and crooked politicians!
• Website • Facebook
Travis T. Warren
CD: Beneath These Borrowed Skies Record Label: Iron Ridge Road Recordings
• Purchase Beneath These Borrowed Skies on Amazon
• Download Beneath These Borrowed Skies on Amazon