If I had to choose an area to specialise in, I’d pick blues and rock & roll, which basically covers bluegrass, rockabilly, and acid rock a là Hendrix and Doors. I’d not mind jazz, but it may be a bit of a stretch. I just love the way it delivers its message, and talks to its audience. Its little grandson, the black sheep of the family, is probably the “garage” rock and blues, which blends in acid, psychedelic mantra and rough spoken word.
Travel Check is a Parisian trio – these guys have being playing together for a long time, however this new projects is the one that finally incapsulates the love of three young men for garage and lo-fi : “I think that knowing each other for so long is the reason why we understand each other so well when we write songs. We listen to different things, but garage music is our main inspiration.”
“Wild Tropics” (Howlin Banana Records) is the new EP, which highlights the band’s trademark: mixing the new garage and the classic influences, making a dusty yet electric blend as “new garage is our main inspiration but we listen to a lot of psychedelia from the 70’s too. So we play what we would like to hear: fuzz, reverb and minimalist drums. The Growlers and Black Lips for the new garage wave and for the 60’s I’d pick The Doors and The 13th Floor Elevators”. The Leonard Cohen -y slow pace and dusty sound is enhanced by the rockabilly aftertaste a là Hangmen (not quite as catchy, but that is not the whole purpose of the EP). Irony is another essential ingredient in the formula, as it works perfectly with the lyrics, focused on “beers, holidays and chicks “, even if the band remarks that listeners will get the wink in it: “we hope that people understand the irony in “beers, holidays and chicks”!”
Garage in general is not seeing an awful lot of bands blooming everywhere, but can we really call this phenomenon the “New Golden Age of Garage”?
“There are really good bands on the new garage scene all around the world, and there’s a lot of good things. We played in Paris with Wildmen, it was cool, we’ll play with Black Manila, a British garage band, on April 11th. And we’re figuring out a split with Go!zilla (Italy). I don’t think it’s the new golden age of the garage yet, but I have a feeling that people begin to like it more and more. There are labels, bands, gigs so it’s looking good.” In its straight approach, Travel Check will equally satisfy the lo-fi fuzzy garage lovers and the acid rock connoisseurs.
Therefore, in case the rebel black sheep is your cup of tea, and you happen to have a huge musical crush on these young fellas, keep them monitored and write down the next appointments: ”for the rest of 2013, we are going to do a split with Go!zilla, play gigs and gigs to promote our 7″ “Wild Tropics” and start working on a new EP…or maybe LP.”