A few weeks ago online music magazines across the Internet were all fanatically pumping out huge news about Sacramento’s Dance Gavin Dance reenlisting their original vocalist Jonny Craig (currently also in Emarosa). Fans thoughts and opinions were mixed, creating a flurry of opinions on this big move, especially with the series of member changes that took place for the few years previous to this news.
Now ex-vocalist Kurt Travis was slightly put in the backseat of this news, described in many sources as “leaving” the group with little to no more information after this, especially from the man himself. Avoiding too much presence on the Internet’s avenue of social networking sites and music news outlets, no word of Kurt left an unsettling and unconfirmed aura of what really went on with the whole member and band shifts. We here at DEAD PRESS! thought we’d try and get to the bottom of this, and get in touch with Kurt to display his side of the story, not only as an outlet for himself but also to inform fans.
It seems Kurt hasn’t even spoken to the group since leaving at the end of August, “There’s no bad water between us. None of them have contacted me since I stepped out of the van when we got home after the Scream It Like You Mean It tour. I love them all and wish the best for them, but I don’t think it’s mutual. I may be wrong. I hope I am.” he explains, remaining in a state where things are a little bit left in the air still since his departure from his ex-bandmates.
You’d think though that suddenly being replaced by the band’s original vocalist that Kurt may have bad blood shared with Jonny, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, “He’s one of my longest friendships before, during, and even after me being a part of DGD, even now we laugh about what has happened. I’m actually helping Jonny out right now on his upcoming solo tour playing guitar, piano, and maybe some back-up vocals. He knows how I feel, and when he got kicked out of DGD it was depressing for him. He’s really helping me out mentally, getting my mind off the concept of rejection that I’m feeling right now from working so hard for almost three years in DGD and having it stripped away from me.”
Even before Jonny took Kurt‘s place and the whole member change fiasco happened, it seemed he was getting involved with the band much earlier than originally thought, collaborating alongside Kurt vocally in a side-project alongside other members of DGD, “Jonny and I collaborating was in the works with a side-project that members of DGD were working on, not the actual band. Now I’m not sure what they have planned for the material that we were going to both sing on.”
Sadly though this soon turned into the demise of Kurt‘s artistic involvement with the group, and unlike what many sources are explaining his departure from the band was from force and not through personal choice, “I definitely was never going to quit, I got kicked out. I can’t say I was surprised, I never knew what to expect with DGD and had no say in anything as far as band decisions. I was just trying to stay in DGD for as long as I could, knowing one day it would come to an end. I felt that it was beneficial for me to ride it out. I’m not a quitter, especially when it comes to music. The band told me that they were going to break up because they weren’t happy with it, but before they did they were going do a tour with Jonny and just do ‘Downtown Battle Mountain’ songs. Things didn’t really happen the way they told me it seems.”
Though the idea of being kicked out of the band wasn’t too big of a shock to Kurt, especially with the band being known for its constant changes in line-up, it’s obviously a decision he didn’t want happening. But alas there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as alongside helping out Jonny on his upcoming solo tour it seems Kurt is already in works on creating another band and a solo record, “I’ve always been writing music for myself. I have about ten songs. When I came back from the Silverstein tour I’d already planned on working on a solo record not knowing that it would soon be my main focus by force. I’m also putting together a full band that will consist of tentatively Tim Ferrick, Zachary Garren, Daniel Snook and others I can’t say that will be more in the vain genre of progressive post-punk. As soon as I get done with Jonny‘s solo tour I’ll be diving into that project as well as finishing my solo record. I’m an extreme OCD perfectionist so things might come together slowly.”
So with a light on the horizon it seems what could well have been a big blast to Kurt that could’ve shuddered his confidence and involvement with the music industry actually isn’t very big to him at all. This could well have placed Kurt in a stronger and better position than he could’ve ever found himself in whilst in DGD. Along with his help and support from his friend and new DGD vocalist Jonny Craig, his support online and from fans hasn’t gone unnoticed either, “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all of you beautiful people on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking avenues that have voiced their opinions and love. You have reached out to me and have encouraged me to press on. For that I owe you everything! Thank you very much.”
Though it’s still very early the future is looking bright for Kurt Travis, and he couldn’t agree with that more no matter how successful he is, “It’s therapeutic for all people to have an outlet, mine is writing/playing/creating music and I’ll continue to do so until I die, whether it be successful or not. I’m excited for the future whatever it may have in store for me.”
You can read the full exclusive interview with Kurt Travis by clicking here, and if you live in the US be sure to catch him performing alongside Jonny Craig for his solo tour which begins on September 8th, 2010.
Written by Zach Redrup