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Abby Travis 1
Photo by Brian Romero

Abby Travis…….The singer-songwriter, underground fashion icon from Los Angeles and the current bassist of The Bangles…..She is in the music scene since the mid 80s and she keeps taking golden steps to be one of the unforgettable hidden treasures for true music lovers….Most importantly, her music is the “Theater of our Dreams”…..  
It’s a pleasure to do this interview with the creator of this “Theater” and a great friend of mine…..Abby Travis. 
PUNK GLOBE: Abby, your last solo release was 2006’s “Glittermouth” and now you are currently touring with The Bangles.

How’s the tour going? What are your plans for the rest of 2008 and 2009? 

ABBY TRAVIS: I'm no longer working with The Bangles. My last show with them was a couple of weeks ago. I just got home from the Democratic National Convention which was absolutely thrilling! I'm very hopeful that Barack Obama will win the next election here in the US -- If we lose I think I'm going to move to Barcelona. This whole Sarah Palin thing is freaking me out. 

Now that I am home I am working on some film score stuff, finishing my next full length release, teaching my bass students, and doing session work.

PUNK GLOBE: You began your career as the bassist in the Los Angeles band The Lovedolls. In 1989 you joined the power pop trio The Rails. Please tell us a bit about the early days. 

ABBY TRAVIS: The Lovedolls were an off shoot from Dave Markey's flims "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls" and "Lovedolls Superstar"    

The Rails were better musicians, songwriters and singers. I loved the three part harmonies we sang together. Chris Nakata played drums and Darryl Jensen was the primary songwriter, singer and guitarist. We kind of sounded like early Big Star. I miss being in a real band like that! We were kids- It was fun. Chris Nakata is still one of my favorite people on the planet.  

PUNK GLOBE: Starting from 1993 you also toured or recorded as a bass guitarist for artists like Vanessa Paradis, Elastica, Beck, Exene Cervenka, Gibby Haynes, KMFDM, The Meat Puppets and The Bangles. Any other names we may have forgotten to mention? Which of them you had recorded with and which one was the most enjoyable to work with? 

ABBY TRAVIS: The only people on that list that I recorded with are KMFDM and The Meat Puppets. (Except for some TV shows and live shows possibly being recorded). I just sang back up vocals on a  Meat Puppets song. I never played bass on anything that was released by them. With KMFDM I'm on the "Symbols" album.I think Elastica and The Original Sinners (Exene's band) were the most fun to work with. I loved playing with DJ Bonebrake! He's such a sweetie and such a great drummer. I adore Exene as well- She is a brilliant lyricist and a really smart, funny, woman. The Elasticas were just a lot of fun in general:)

PUNK GLOBE: When did you exactly start music? Was it your plan or dream to be in a rock band when you were young?  

ABBY TRAVIS: I took piano lessons as a kid. I started playing bass when I joined the Love Dolls. It all kind of came together by accident. 

Abby 2
Photo by Rocky Schenck

PUNK GLOBE: Your first solo recording was 1998’s “The Abby Travis Foundation." The songs in the first album…were they some old songs that you were planning to record and release sometime in your career or did they all come up around 1996-1997?? 

ABBY TRAVIS: Some of those songs were written earlier than that. I think "14 Angeles"  was written in the early 90's. I did a version of "Dust" with The Rails. Foundation is more of a compilation of stuff I had written to date. I briefly had a band called "Mommy" that played a lot of the stuff on Foundation live before i made that CD. 
PUNK GLOBE: Which bands -- can we say -- had most influence on the general sound amd melodies of your solo work? 

ABBY TRAVIS: David Bowie, Roxy Music, Queen, Julie London (vocals), The Beatles, T Rex come to mind .
PUNK GLOBE: Abby, you collaborated with different musisicans and bands throughout your life. But, if you were to create your all-time dream band, who would be the members of this heroic army?  

ABBY TRAVISJohn Bonham drums, Mike Garson keys, Mick Ronson guitar (or my friend Chris Bruce! I love his playing!!!!!). I want Brian Eno to produce the dream band.  
PUNK GLOBE: Nearly 10 years has passed since the events of September 11th in the U.S., and terror is a bigger threat for lots of countries than ever. What has changed? And when we think about today, doesn’t the world need the existence of real and honest bands more than ever? For telling the youth what’s going on, giving them the spirit to not only getting angry but to question everything. What do you think?   

ABBY TRAVIS: I wish we had more honest sources of real news in the US. The 24 hour news shows barely even cover world events. The shows are mostly centered around talking heads editorializing vapid content. I do think it's important for artists to contribute to the discussion but I don't know how qualified we are to provide hard facts. The government and corporate interests drive a lot of the information we get here in the US. I usually watch BBC America and Jim Lehrer on PBS because I'm so fed up with network and cable TV news. John Stewart and Steven Colbert do excellent jobs --They are so FUNNNYYYYYY!!!! And Stewart often asks harder questions of his guests than real news anchors. I agree with you about the need to question. I think it's a civil responsibility to at least try and remain aware of what is going on in the world. I know a lady in her late 30's-40's who doesn't even know who Vladimir Putin is!!!!!  How fucked up is that? 

Abby 3
Photo by Rocky Schenck

PUNK GLOBE: Everybody knows about you being a great bass player. Do you play any other instrument besides bass guitar?  

ABBY TRAVIS: I write on piano but do not consider myself a real piano player. (My left had is not so good:) I love to play drums and have a good pocket but pretty much suck on drums too:)  
PUNK GLOBE: What were you listening to in late '70s and early '80s, and what are you listening to nowadays? Are there any unknown bands you’re into at the moment or you could recommend us to check out?  

ABBY TRAVIS: I don't remember what I was listening to in the late 70's -- Blondie? (I was 10 in 1980 so It's hard to remember) I know I loved Siouxie, The Go Gos, X, 45 Grave, (I probably got into 45 Grace in the mid 80's.) I liked Prince a lot!!  

Yesterday I listened to "Rejuvination" by The Meters. I listen to all kinds of stuff and often listen to nothing at all as I spend so much time in the studio. The last album I really liked that didn't get as much airplay as it should have, was Persephone's Bees. They are from San Francisco and really great!

PUNK GLOBE: Your music can be described as a music genre or a category of its own. It is smoky, unique, melancholic, dreamy, sophisticated but melodic at the same time which will surely make Abby Travis one of the most special and unforgettable musicians in the music scene. What has been your main inspiration? 

ABBY TRAVIS: Wow - - thanks for you kind words!! My main inspiration is to try and make the best music I can.  I mean I often don't know why I keep doing this. I guess it's just who I am and what I do. (That's kind of a lame answer -- sorry:) 

Abby 4

PUNK GLOBE: Especially with the last album “Glittermouth” the sound has changed a little.The first two albums had a more guitar based sound and darker compared to the last one. Glittermouth has also trip-hop and soul influences in addition. You were assisted by different names like the L7s Donita Sparks, Save Ferris vocalist Monique Powell, Simon Raymonde, Curt Kirkwood, Kristian Hoffman and more. What surprises can we expect from the next album in means of collobrations and musical direction?  

ABBY TRAVIS: The new album I am working on is more glam and pop than the previous ones. There are a lot of tracks in 4/4 ! So much of my stuff is in 6/8 that I actually made a point of writing songsin 4/4. (There are still a couple of things in 6 though) So far the people who have played on it are less "famous" types but super good session musicians I know from that world. To date, the people who have played on this record are: Jebin Bruni (keys) Chris Bruce, Eric Schermerhorn and Dave Bongiovanni (guitars) Chris Ross and Alfredo Ortiz (drums) and myself. I hope to wrangle Kristian Hoffman in to arrange some back up vocals (I love his vocal arrangements!!!!) but he's pretty busy working on his own album. I tracked the basics for this 'record" in the Spring. It still takes me a zillion years to finish the album because of the other work I do (I was on tour a lot with The Bangles this year) and because I'm a perfectionist nut bag in the control room:) I wanna do some strings on this album but I'm pretty low on cash right now. Oddly in this time of singles based download sales I'm making a real album. I love that format- the whole collection of songs put together as a larger piece. Not that many people will hear it that way because of the way people listen to music now but hey -- I'll like it:) 
PUNK GLOBE: The question I would like to ask the most:You are known to be a fan of Freddie Mercury. Is there a possibility that, sometime in your career you may create an album similar to “A Night at the Opera”, because your music already has some theatrical feel in it; or can we expect the “Bohemian Rhapsody” of our generation from you who has the most talent, imagination and one of the greatest / strongest vocals to be able to create masterpieces like that??  

ABBY TRAVIS: Oh My god!  I wish!!!!!!! There are some pretty major nods to Queen on my new stuff but I think the thing with Queen is that they were a band AND had Roy Thomas Baker! I'm just a solo artist:The magic of four people who really play together all the time and are a real band will all ways kick more ass! I totally WORSHIP Freddie Mercury. He is my favorite singer in Rock. I am working on some pretty ambitious stuff right now but I could only dream of contributing something that important to popular music.
Abby 5
Photo by Don Spiro

PUNK GLOBE: Last question…..When you were a kid growing up, who did you imitate when you stood in front of the mirror? 

ABBY TRAVIS: Well, I always wanted to be Jacklyn Smith when my little friends and I would play "Charlies Angels." I also remember speaking in a southern accent for a few days after seeing Dolly Parton in "9 to 5" (LOL) 
PUNK GLOBE: Any last words for Punk Globe Readers?? 





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