Kurt Travis (A Lot Like Birds, ex-Dance Gavin Dance) takes us track by tract through his new solo EP, Wha Happen?
“25 New Ways To Regress”
Okay, so this song I wrote a long time ago before I was in DGD and all my roommates had jobs and I had just lost mine. I had won $1,600 on a cruise ship a month before, and when I got back home I bought a Macbook. Being that I didn't have a job, I paid my rent with the rest of the money and sat around all day recording stuff. My buddy Shea Trumbauer had come over randomly to show me this djembe drum he had bought. I was all excited to record with my new Macbook, so I decided to record some of his drumming which is where I got the organic beats for the song. Also, I remember I was listening to Animal Collective and Panda Bear, which is probably where I got the super layered vocal idea. I was also heavily listening to Why? and was really influenced by his sarcastic persona which is where all the laughing came from.
“Time To Make A Plan; Not Getting Younger”
I had originally called this song “Just Got Home” because I had this beat in my head with nothing else and I had just arrived home off of my last DGD tour before I got kicked out. I loved the idea of 7/4 that kind of sounded like 4/4. I didn't want to forget it, so I mouthed the beat out and recorded just that on my Mac literally right when I got out of the van. Right when I got kicked out, I spent a lot of time at my parent’s house and they have this baby grand piano in the living room. I started playing the piano riff on top of the 7/4 beat and it sounded good so I decided to record it. The only problem was, the dogs were barking outside and it was coming through on the recording. I ended up just saying “Oh, well” and recording it anyway. I think it has a cool feel to it now, but then I was pissed.
This song came about during the Jonny Craig tour that I played on. I had gotten word that one of my relatives had been in the hospital and wasn't doing great at all. Given their history of substances that they chose to abuse, it was no surprise, but it still made me think of what I was doing and putting into my body. Now every time I play this song, it's kind of a reminder of what I'm doing.
“My Favorite Things”
The only thing I'm gonna say about this song is I was fiddling around with reason. It’s my non-organic instrument song. Probably my most honest lyrical track on the EP. Listen to the lyrics. They still make me hurt every time I hear it. I will never play this song live.
“Let's Remember Time”
This song came about through my friendship with a girl named Amanda Denz. She had told me that she wrote poetry and I was really interested to hear what she had to say. She sent me some lines and I really liked them, so I made a whole song around the poem. It came out so good that I wanted to put it on the EP.
“How Are Things”
This is by far the oldest song on the EP. I was in a folk duet way before DGD with this girl named Eryn Burner. She could harmonize anything I sang and it was awesome! She also would play guitar, flute, and harmonica. We were called 'There And Back Again' from the original name that Bilbo Baggins gave his book more commonly known as The Hobbit. Tolkien was the man. I love this song so much that I rerecorded it and put it as the last track. alt