Photo by Brian Romero
singer-songwriter, underground fashion icon from Los Angeles and the
bassist of The Bangles…..She is in the music scene since the mid 80s
keeps taking golden steps to be one of the unforgettable hidden
true music lovers….Most importantly, her music is the “Theater of our
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?
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
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
ABBY TRAVIS: The Lovedolls were an off shoot from Dave Markey's flims "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls" and "Lovedolls Superstar"
Rails were better musicians,
songwriters and singers. I loved the three part harmonies we
together. Chris Nakata played drums and Darryl Jensen was the
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
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?
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
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
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
PUNK GLOBE: When did you exactly start music? Was it your plan or dream to be in a rock band when you were young?
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??
Some of those
songs were written earlier
than that. I think "14 Angeles" was written in the
90's. I did a version of "Dust" with The Rails. Foundation is more of a
compilation of stuff I had written to
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?
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?
Bonham drums, Mike Garson keys,
Mick Ronson guitar (or my friend Chris Bruce! I love his
I want Brian Eno to produce the dream band.
PUNK GLOBE: Nearly 10 years has passed since the events of September 11th in the
I wish we had
more honest sources of real
news in the
Photo by Rocky Schenck
PUNK GLOBE: Everybody knows about you being a great bass player. Do you play any other instrument besides bass guitar?
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
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!!
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
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:)
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?
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
4/4. (There are still a couple of things in 6 though) So far
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
Bongiovanni (guitars) Chris Ross and Alfredo Ortiz (drums) and myself.
hope to wrangle Kristian Hoffman in to arrange some back up vocals (I
vocal arrangements!!!!) but he's pretty busy working on his own
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
a lot with The Bangles this year) and because I'm a perfectionist nut
the control room:) I wanna do some strings on this album but
low on cash right now. Oddly in this time of singles based
I'm making a real album. I love that format- the whole
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
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??
PUNK GLOBE: Last question…..When you were a kid growing up, who did you imitate when you stood in front of the mirror?
I always wanted to be Jacklyn
Smith when my little friends and I would play "Charlies Angels."
remember speaking in a southern accent for a few days after seeing
in "9 to 5" (LOL)
PUNK GLOBE: Any last words for Punk Globe Readers??
ABBY TRAVIS: VOTE VOTE VOTE !!
PUNK GLOBE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ABBY TRAVIS FOR THIS COOL INTERVIEW
INTERVIEW BY OZGUR COKYUCE – PUNK GLOBE OCTOBER 2008
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