German Interstellar Cosmic Face Rockers Travelin’ Jack is a band that just made their way into my life this year. Their latest album Commencing Countdown is a stellar slab of space rock that scratches many an itch and it’s something that you have to hear for yourself to truly understand it.
From somewhere in the cosmos, drummer Monz beamed down his answers to my questions (There is no Skype in outer space yet) and he was awesome enough to tell me all about their tour plans, the new album, and just who the hell Travelin’ Jack is. Enjoy this one and go check out Commencing Countdown NOW!
Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview.
Thank you for having us in your blog.
Also, thank you for not running like hell when you saw you were doing an interview with a site called The Great Southern Brainfart.
Not at all. Sounds very promising in my ears!
I had never heard word one of your band until the promo for Commencing Countdown made its way to my desk. Since then, I can’t fucking stop listening to it. Did you know when you were making this album that it would be this infectious?
Its great to hear that you like the album. We had not much time to write Commencing Countdown but we had millions of ideas for new songs. So more songs we wrote so more new ideas we generated. A comfortable situation if you want to record a new album but due to the time line we had to focus on getting things done and we were forced to make cruel decisions which material to throw out. Even in the studio we couldn’t stop to arrange the songs and wrote new parts. At this point we were simply too busy to reflect what we have done.
Travelin’ Jack definitely scratches quite a few itches. There’s a lot of ground covered in your sound. Everything from 70’s glam to New Wave of British Heavy Metal to even some Hawkwind thrown in for good measure. Where do all of these influences come from?
We got in touch with Rock music as kids and made our first experiences in Punk bands. Over the years we played in different groups performing different kinds of Rock’n’Roll music. Beside that we are vinyl junkies, always on the hunt for unknown records from the 70’s and early 80’s. Berlin is an inspiring place for musicians with a vibrant rock scene, excellent clubs and many record stores.
What are some other not so obvious influences in Travelin’ Jack’s sound?
There are a lot more influences i guess…Soul or even Arab music can be a source of inspiration.
Who is Travelin’ Jack anyway?
Jack can travel through space and time. Obviously we prefer to travel back in time and not forward. It’s a character from Steven King’s The Talisman.
One of the things that I love is that while there are so many influences, Travelin’ Jack still has its own sound. How long did it take to nurture this sound or did it come pretty quickly and naturally?
I think it came naturally but not very quickly. We are very critical with our output and never satisfied with the status quo. Relating to our sound it means that we always try to push it forward.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
It has more groove.
If Travelin’ Jack could time travel, what band would you love to share the stage with?
(monzo) With Deep Purple on the California Jam 74
If you could have a drinking contest with any musician alive or dead, who would it be and what would you drink?
My drink is beer. If I want to win, I would choose Frank Zappa. But I think Bon Scott would be much more interesting (dead or alive)
What is one song that whenever you hear it you say, “I wish I wrote that song?”
I’m the drummer and I would get into serious trouble if come up with a song that I wrote. But if I could I would choose “Octopuses Garden.”
What is your favorite junk food to indulge in when on tour?
Nuts. Tons of nuts.
What are your tour plans for 2017 and are there any chances we’ll see Travelin’ Jack in the US?
Beside festivals and small weekend tours we will hit the road together with Kadavar at the end of the year. Unfortunately in Germany only. I hope Mr. Trump will not declare a ‘Travelin ban’ on German Hard Rock bands because we would love to tour the US!
Any cosmic words of wisdom for the folks reading this interview?
(monzo) Don’t fear life. Just be one dancing step ahead of it.