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The buzz on Traveler reverberated throughout the international metal community in 2019. Their self-titled debut album quickly caught fire upon its release, with fans mesmerized by the band’s patented blend of old-school riffing, rafter-reaching vocals and dueling lead guitars. Almost a year after Traveler is back with its second strike entitled “Termination Force”. Guitarist and mastermind of the band Matt Ries talked to us about what concerns the album and the band.
Matt welcome to SFTV. What are the latest news from the Traveler camp. How you spend your time through the pandemic and what you see to happen in the future?
Thanks for having me bud! Right now, we’re just brainstorming new song ideas. I have a pretty good start so far. About 3 or 4 songs I’m I’m really happy with. So we’re just going to keep writing and figure out merch ideas while we wait for this pandemic to be over. But aside from writing, I’ve been taking trips to the mountains and possibly drinking too much, haha. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the future holds. But it’s important we plan ahead regardless of what the situation is.
Which was the response for “Termination Shock”? Is there enough financial support and not only moral?
It’s been doing really well! So the pressure whether or not people would like it is definitely gone. I’m always going to hyper critical about what we release. So I’ve taken some notes and I have some better ideas for the next album.
In which sectors do you believe you have improved in “Termination Shock”?
I just think it’s a far more dynamic record. More things to choose from rather than repeated song structures. That’s the beauty about heavy metal. You can pretty much do whatever you want.
Those who fight NWOTHM channel posing being you, after all wanna harm the bands than the channel. Do we go 30 years back and still some people still use outdated tactics against others?
Yeah, that’s a pretty dumb situation. YouTube needs more verification in these things. For such a massive company to have such a serious flaw in their system seems like a joke. But it seemed more directed at Anderson than Traveler. I’m not too clear on the details behind it but someone wanted to ruin something for others. Take a hike, eh?
Which values are lost and gained in metal music the last time?
If I understand correctly, I think technology has been a huge help but also a way for your modern metal musician to be lazy. It’s so easy to hit the space bar and keep trying takes until you get it right. Where as back in the day you really had to go in to the studio prepared. You really notice a difference listening to those early 80’s records. Where today, I notice a lot of super clean clear cookie cutter production. The new standard is not having any mistakes or slip ups. It’s gotta be perfect. Which I don’t really like. I like a record with a little more personality.
You’re gonna tour with Riot City the next year (if all are good). What taste and experiences did you derive of that little kind of tour you had?
We had a blast up until the end there, haha. Every show had amazing turn outs and everyone was on their A-game. We got a little nervous once the virus started making headlines. We really weren’t sure if we were going to make it home. But it got to a point where you just had to accept the situation as it was. There’s nothing we could do. Just had to make our way to the Paris airport and hope our flight didn’t get cancelled. Pretty crazy time.
Your girlfriend is Greek. Have you ever visit Greece with her or first time will be next year?
Never been! I can’t wait to visit. I wish we had more time to explore and see the sights. But it’s looking like we’ll be in and out within a day. So one of these days when I’m not on tour I’d love to take her there and have some good times.
Bassist Dave Arnold contributed a song from his previous band, Striker, and JP Fortin of Deaf Dealer gifted Traveler a composition of his own. How did you make these choices?
I guess I should point out that Dave’s song was a never actually a Striker song. But he did write it while he was still with Striker. But I wanted everyone’s input on “Termination Shock”. And who wouldn’t accept a long lost Deaf Dealer song? Haha. It was an amazing honor for us. Deaf Dealer is one of my all-time favorite bands. So to work with Fortin on that level was a really cool experience.
You’ve enriched your merch with various beauties. Do you have in mind to produce any, of the metalheads fave sport, beer?
I’d love to make a Traveler beer! I’m not sure where to start with that though. Maybe one day. But we do have some skateboards coming out soon. I’m a huge fan of skating, so I wanted to do something cool with that. It may not relate to the masses but man, if they don’t sell then I’ll skate them myself, haha.
Thanx for the interview and give an end.
Cheers man! Thanks for everything. And a huge thanks to our fans for sticking with us. We’re doing everything we can to move forward. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for news. And stay safe until this pandemic is over. Hope to see you at our shows sooner than later. Rockkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!