New Zealand / Australian Tour 2018
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety.
Pop rock sensations WE THE KINGS will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Forming in high school, WE THE KINGS have been band mates and best mates ever since and now they’re revisiting these beginnings as they play in its entirety the self-titled debut album that thrust these Florida natives to worldwide notoriety.
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Jen catches up with Travis last week in the lead up to their New Zealand / Australian Tour.
Hi Trav, it has been two years since I had the pleasure of chatting with you, so many things have happened since then!
You guys heading out to Aus again, it almost feels like this is your second home. Do you feel that way when you guys land here? We have kind of adopted you.
I actually say this a lot to people and we are often asked what is our favourite place to tour is where my family is and right now we are in Orlando Florida. Whenever I play there my family and my wife’s family comes and it is like we have a big reunion. Before that I used to say Australia is my favourite place to go because it is a place that even as a kid I had dreams of going. Even though I did have dreams of going I never really thought that I’d actually go. You know it costs a lot of money to travel and I didn’t know if I would ever make it. I never knew if the band was going to make it out there once we got over there for the very first time at Sound Wave years ago. We flew into Brisbane after a 25 hour flight and our Australian tour manager who picked us up was asking everyone if they wanted to go to the hotel and we were like ”HELL NO!!!” We want to go and see everything because we had been dreaming for so long of coming there. Everything in Australia to me is so reminiscent of the places that I live in Florida. I think that is one of the reasons it’s my favourite place to go. It is so far away and exotic in so many ways but at the same time I feel like I’m home. The fans have always been incredibly receptive to our music and every time that we play concerts there, not the festivals but our own shows are always sold out and the fans are incredible and so lovely to me. I love going there because it does not feel like we are too far away although we’re halfway across the world.
Last September, you released Self-Titled Nostalgia, I guess we are all getting older and thinking about the good old days!
It seems that most of the bands I like are touring and playing albums in their entirety. I love this, especially debut albums, I don’t know what it is, oh wait it is actually Nostalgia! Haha but hearing music played live that was so important to me 10 or 20 years ago is amazing.
Have you heard that a lot from your fans on your tours?
Yeah, there are a lot of bands to start ignoring some of their earlier stuff and I never want to be one of those bands. Our earlier stuff is the reason that we have so many fans. I never want to ignore the songs that we put out no matter how long ago. Even when I am 70 years old and touring Australia for the 30th time I still want to play ‘ Check yes Juliet’ and ’Secret Valentine’ and all the songs that means so much to me and I know that there are some bands that just want to play the new album and a new songs. I love that other bands that are doing it because it seems such an awesome opportunity to do something different. Every time we come to a different city regardless if it is in our country or not we want to be able to put on on a different show each tour so people aren’t showing up own saying ‘Oh this is the exact thing that they played last time’. That is why we decided to our nostalgic tour where we played the whole record, we are also going to play a bunch of our favourite songs from the other records that right it’s more now aiming the focus that we are so fortunate and grateful to our fans for over 10 years supporting us. You know this as well that there are many bands that can’t say that they have been a band for that long. We are pretty lucky to be able to call this our job still.
I really like how your music makes me feel, it is positive and helps me feel happy to put it simply. This will be one of my fav songs for a long time!
To hear your new song Festival Music perfectly summed up my feelings at a Festival, “I really do feel alive”, even losing friends!
Was that song written while touring a festival thinking and remembering what it would be like in the crowd?
I wrote it actually a month ago but I remember I was going through a bunch of pictures that I had from the festival here called ‘HangoutFest’ and it was Hunter’s bachelor party and it was 20 of us guys going to this ‘HangoutFest’ and it was amazing obviously alcohol played a part but everybody got lost and we decided that everyone was to grab a partner and you’d be responsible for where that person is and then we all went into the festival and it just felt like every time I turned around there would be three or four less people. By the time we did about five or six circles around, you are all by itself and no idea where your friends are. I really enjoy festivals I think they are the best way to experience music. When I was writing this song I imagined writing a song that was so popular that every festival that every festival that I loved as a fan would want to book us. I want to go for free haha and get paid to be there! I love meeting people at festivals as it feels like that no one is negative they are there to experience it and have a good time and the expectations of having a good time is so high that they have one.
Yeah as sometimes people book for the festival year ahead.
Yes, they have been waiting for that two or three day weekend for so long. Writing this song I was trying to capture how I felt at every music festival that I had ever been to and try and put into a song and hopefully it sounds like it. I want people to hear it and want to go to music festivals.
Listen to Festival Music here.
We are coming up to the busiest time of all the year, and Christmas can cause us all stress. Can you describe your perfect Christmas?
My perfect Christmas has changed a lot. So every year for the past 10 years we have done a show in my home town, the place that we all grew up in. We do a show every year at Christmas although this year it’s actually not on Christmas day. So this is my perfect Christmas. In the morning we wake up and will go over to my wife’s parents house and would have Christmas with her family there and then we would drive two hours over to my parents house and we would have Christmas there. As Christmas is just about people eating too much and I am all about that. Then that night we would play a show that is free for the entire town and is usually 2 to 3000 people depending on how many people the fire marshal will let in. We bringing in all these Christmas lights and reindeers, we don’t use normal lights in the way that you would see in a show. It is so much fun stringing up all the Christmas lights and I think it’s the reason that it is my perfect Christmas, I get to spend so much time with my family who I love more than anything in this world and I also get to do what I love more than anything in this world so it is like the absolute best combination. on top of that I get to eat so much food!
What are your plans here in Australia? Any sight seeing that you have not done next?
We have decided that we are going to ask the people that live there what they like to do. Whatever the locals were doing is what we will do!
Travis and I then had a conversation about what they do for so many worthy causes, the kicking of a photographer at a gig and a personal chat about their families and what we done since we last spoke. As always it was a pleasant interview with Travis, who is a real sweet gentleman. I know I am looking forward to catching them on their upcoming tour.
Image by Lee Cherry