Crash Romeo – Interview with Travis Webber– lead singer
MI: Give me your birthday, Travis.
Travis: January 10, 1984
MI: Tell me about how the band got together.
Travis: Pretty much, me and my brother (who plays drums) have been playing together since we were little and the other two guys, Steve and Little Steve, we’ve been friends with for a long time. We went to high school together with them. Me and Ryan played in bands together throughout the New Jersey scene, and a couple of people left our band, so we added Steve and Little Steve and we changed things around, changed our name…
MI: How did you come up with the name?
Travis: Actually, we used to have a synth player in the band and he and our guitar player, Steve, were going to write a comic book called the Chronicles of Crash Romeo. We needed a name for the band and thought, ‘hey that sounds pretty cool’, so…
MI: Who does all the writing for the band?
Travis: I do, I write all the songs for us. I pretty much write the basic song and go to the guys and we change things around here and there…
MI: What I find interesting is the name of the CD “Gave Me the Clap”, who gave you guys the clap?
Travis: A few of us might have it, we’re not sure, but…(laughs) Well, the meaning behind that is just when you come to see us play live, we like that bond and you know, we like people to clap along to our songs, so we like the double meaning.
MI: Tell me who designed the album cover?
Travis: It was pretty much our idea, we had our friend Justin Height who takes all our pictures come out and we actually took that at our old high school. Also, our video, we shot that at the high school, too. We blocked out two days at the high school and just fucking destroyed it.
MI: Have you ever inhaled?
Travis: Uhh, yes I have.
MI: How do you feel about the legalization of marijuana?
Travis: I think it should be legal. I’m not really big into it. I’ve done it before, but I think it’s a great thing. People are going to do it anyway, so might as well get it out there.
MI: It’s been almost four years since Dimebag died; how do you feel about playing small clubs?
Travis: It’s scary, you know, especially when you start getting bigger, and you know people can be crazy. I remember watching that whole thing on TV, and it’s really scary. I actually met an old bodyguard of his and he was talking to me about it and you never know what’s going to happen you know. You take a risk every time you get on that stage, people throw stuff at you, and you’re vulnerable up there.
MI: How did you end up working with Amanda Cagan?
Travis: Our manager actually knew her back in the day, and he brought her up to us. She’s fucking great. She’s like the best thing that ever happened to us.
MI: What would you tell any young band that is getting into the music business? What would you warn them about?
Travis: It’s not all what you think it is. You’re not gonna hit it overnight, it takes a long time, it takes hard work. You’ll get there eventually, but it’s a messy business and there are things you definitely should watch out for. Listen to your lawyer, he knows best. That was one mistake we made. (laughs)
MI: So why was the show cancelled in Atlanta?
Travis: Well, we were in Chicago and about a week into this tour and Tub Ring, who are from Chicago, decided to drop out of the tour – they said they weren’t making enough money to get out there, down to Texas and they were saying they had just played all the same clubs. I mean, I thought the shows were getting better and better as they went along and so after that date, we said we would still do the tour, us and Driverside Impact and so the next date in Indiana – which was a great show for us, we had a lot of people come out and see us – and they came to us and said they didn’t have enough money either to make it down to Texas and they were going to drop off. So we were kinda the Lone Rangers on that. We still wanted to do the tour, but since everyone dropped off, a lot of the promoters started cancelling the shows, and there’s no way we could have made it.
MI: When do you think you’ll be headed back down south?
Travis: I think in June. We’re putting something together now. It might just be us, you know, because we’re tired of dealing with these other bands. So it might just be us and some local bands, that’s really what we want to do.
MI: Who would you say influenced the band’s sound?
Travis: A lot of influence, on my part, was from a band called Face to Face. They kinda got me into pop-punk, and you know rock. When I was younger I listened to them all the time. Social Distortion was a big influence on me, you can’t really hear it in our music, but I love that band. In New Jersey, too, we had a really powerful scene with a lot of great local bands and I’ve been going to shows since I was in like 6th grade.
MI: Who were your vocal influences, darling?
Travis: I actually taught myself how to sing. I took lessons, kind of after the fact, from this guy, Eric Troyer. I did that for about a year. I’d like to take more lessons, because I feel like you can always get better at what you do.
MI: So do you have any private secrets you want to share with us about the other band members?
Travis: Uh, well, everyone has the clap. (laughs) No. Actually, our guitar player, on the road – you can’t always stop for bathrooms all the time. So he peed in a Big Gulp drink and so he’s driving and a couple hours later, he’s thirsty and he picked up the cup and drank his own pee while we were driving. So he drank it and he looks around, you know, to see if anyone saw it, and of course we all did, and he says, you better not tell anybody about this.
MI: Now everyone will know about it on the whole world wide web. (Laughs) What would you say is the best show you ever played; your most memorable.
Travis: There was a show, I think when we were on tour with May Day Parade, last May I believe. We came back home and played this place in Jersey called Album Street Café and it was cool because I remember driving by and just seeing a line around the building and feeling like “Wow, this is great, all these people came out to see us.” It was just a good feeling to come home and have that support.
MI: If you could go on the road with anybody who would it be? This way we can drop Amanda some hints here…
Travis: Journey! Because I know she handles Journey. So if we could go out with anybody, Journey would be it. I’ve been giving her slight hints…(laughs)
MI: What do your parents think of your career?
Travis: They love it, they are really supportive. They’re not those parents that are like, “Go get a real job” or “You should have gone to college” So, they believe that we are going to hit it, they’ve been really great.
MI: So is your mom like your road manager or street team leader or…?
Travis: Well, my mom used to come to a lot of shows, like, back in the day. But she’s been really supportive and my dad has come down a couple times to see us play. A lot of people who do what we do aren’t so lucky.
MI: So have you read the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx?
Travis: I actually picked it for my girlfriend, but I haven’t read it yet. She read the Motley Crue book, The Dirt, and so she gets first read on this one.
MI: So are you and your girlfriend planning to get married?
Travis: We’ve been going out for six or seven years now, so it’s been awhile! Every since high school, so…as soon as I start making some money, and can support myself…probably after that…
MI: So where do you see the band five years from now?
Travis: Touring with Journey! Having a big bus, playing in front of millions of people, playing arenas…hopefully in five years that will happen…that’s what I’m hoping for…
MI: So what is the next video you plan to release off the album?
Travis: We’re not sure which one we’re gonna do yet – we might do ‘Gave Me the Clap’. We just did “Popular”, that was the one we did at the high school, and that came out awesome. We had this guy who used to be in Full House and Boy Meets World, he actually directed and starred in it, his name is Jason Marsden. He was fantastic. He flew out from California and just put his whole heart and soul into it. We will probably go with him, too, for the next one. My brother emailed him on Myspace and he heard our stuff and liked it and came out and directed and starred in it. And so that’s what we’ve got to keep doing, just finding people who believe in our music.
MI: So are you working on your new album yet? Or are you just laying back and relaxing?
Travis: Well, after this last record, I kinda took some time off from writing stuff, it took a lot out of me, but I am always writing. I write really quickly, it’s something that I am doing all the time. It’s fun for me, sitting down and writing something. I don’t show the guys until the songs are done and I just surprise them and they’ll be like, “Oh, alright. Let’s go record another album!” (laughs)
MI: What do you think of Bush, politically?
Travis: I don’t really like him too much, to tell you the truth. I think he’s the worst president we’ve ever had and I’m looking forward to a new president coming in and changing things.
MI: Are you planning to vote?
Travis: Uh, yeah. I’m not really sure who yet. I kinda liked Obama in the beginning, but I’m starting not to like him. So I don’t know.
MI: Musically, I don’t know where you get your inspiration from, but it’s just really wild…
Travis: We definitely like to keep it high energy. I don’t know where it comes from.
MI: Are you still going to be coming out the comic book, too?
Travis: That’s something we’ve always wanted to do. As soon as we can find someone to do it, and press it, then we’ll do it. It would be really cool.
MI: Do you have a message for your fans, darling?
Travis: Hopefully we will be playing in your city soon, and we hope you enjoy the album. It’s for the fans – its for all the fans that have been with us for so long. Keep on listening.
MI: Do you think that this war in Iraq is going to end when the new president comes in?
Travis: Um, I think so, I think it might take a little bit longer than, I don’t think it will end right away. I think it will take some time to get everything out of there. But I think that, depending on who gets elected, I think it will be over soon enough. You have to see that new movie, Harold and Kumar – have you seen it yet?
MI: No, I haven’t seen it yet.
Travis: There’s a part at t he end of the movie where they fall into President Bush’s house and the impersonator playing Bush smokes pot with Harold and Kumar. It’s great. It’s really funny.
MI: If God came to you and said you could change anything in the world to make it a better place, what would you change?
Travis: Wow, um, anything in the world?
MI: Yeah, if he said to you, Travis, I’m taking the day off, you’re God for the day, I don’t give a shit what you do, just make everybody happy, what would you do?
Travis: It would probably be a toss up between ending the war and saving the environment. I think that’s a big thing. Get rid of the gasoline cars; get some electric cars in there. Even places that are being built now, they should all be environmentally safe now. I think there is going to be a whole new movement.
MI: I think you guys are going to take off like a sonofabitch.
Travis: Thank you so much. That’s awesome.
MI: If you had a million dollars and you could donate it to any foundation of your choice, which would it be?
Travis: Probably to stem cell research, you know, trying to cure Parkinson’s disease. I think that’s a big thing. I’m a huge fan of Michael J. Fox and I think it’s horrible what he has to go through.
MI: If you could have lunch with anything three people, living or dead, who would it be?
Travis: I’ve always wanted to meet Sebastian Bach from Skid Row. I think he’s a great singer. He seems like a prick, but I’ve heard from people that he’s really nice, so (laughs)…
MI: What’s your Myspace?
MI: If a kid emails you through Myspace, are you guys handling it? Will you get it?
Travis: Yeah, I’m on the computer all day long. I email people back all day long, so…
MI: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Travis: Just go get the clap! It’s not as bad as everyone says it is. (laughs)
MI: Are there going to be more tracks on the next album than there was on this one?
Travis: I hope so. We actually recorded 15 songs. And there are about three or four songs that they didn’t put on the album, so we’ve got some B sides that we’re gonna release that have never been heard before. There’s one song that we recorded, that’s about a minute long, that’s about our ex-keyboard player that used to be in the band. We wrote a song about him – he actually heard it a few weeks ago and wasn’t too happy.
MI: What did you do to the fucking keyboard player (laughing)?
Travis: Well he was a real big jerk. He did a lot of things behind our back when he was in the band and it wasn’t on good terms. We ended up kicking him out of the band because of the things he was doing. He just wasn’t a good person. And we haven’t really been in contact with him ever since. But we just write what we feel, and we all wanted to write a song to express what happened between us. So we wrote a minute song that’s real catchy, it’s real fun, but if you really listen to the lyrics, you can find out what happened. But I want to do with that song is release it as a free song, like on our Myspace page, so people can download it, since it didn’t go on the record. So everyone can hear it and have it and so people will know it when we play it live.
MI: I think you guys are going to go places that are really going to blow you away.
Travis: I hope so. I’m excited. We’ve been waiting a long time – I feel like we’re overpaying our dues at this point (laughs).
MI: Where do you plan to record your next album?
Travis: We’ll probably go back to where we did our first two records, with Chris Digami. I’ve known him forever. Every since I started playing music- he had a studio in his garage, and we used to go there and record and then he moved to a big studio and started doing stuff for Starting Line and Early November and we consider him part of our band. He knows how I write songs and he is just a great guy, a true professional. He captures our sound and I don’t really want to go with anybody besides him, you know? He’s helped us out a lot with the business – we get his advice on things all the time, because he deals with it every day. So he’s a great guy.
MI: What do you think about the music programs in school? Do you think they should be improved?
Travis: I think so. It’s funny, our high school music program, when I went there, was like a band room for the marching band. And when we went back, they’re putting in a recording studio, and they’re going to teach kids ProTools and how to record bands and I wished I could have had that in high school, you know?
MI: So you believe people are starting to care about the music for their kids…
Travis: I think it’s getting better, you know, but I feel like today there is just so much clutter with so many bands that sound just alike. I just don’t get that. The best part of music is sounding different from other people. Doing your own thing and not being like everybody else. I think a lot of people are trying to cash in on that. Like the band Cartel? There are so many bands out now that sound just like that band. It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy. Of course everything in music is recycled and everything is taken from other things, but there’s that element that you have your OWN sound. That’s what I think puts you in different categories from other bands. If you look throughout time, bands that have their own sound are untouchable.
MI: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Travis: I like Wayne’s World, I like Mel Brook’s movies, Blazing Saddles is great, Young Frankenstein, um, I love Gene Wilder. Even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
MI: What did you think of the remake of that film?
Travis: You know what; I thought it was good, if you don’t think about the old one. It was a good movie, but I just don’t think you can come close to the original. I didn’t think Johnny Depp was very good in it, I thought he was kinda boring. There is just something about Gene Wilder…
MI: He just had that magical effect.
MI: Who is your favorite author of all time?
Travis: I don’t really read that much, unfortunately.
MI: If you could be a superhero for a day, who would it be?
Travis: When I was a kid, I always liked Aquaman, I know that’s weird, but I’ve always liked Aquaman. But I like Batman a lot. I love the new Batman movies, and I can’t wait to see the new one.
MI: What do you think about Heath Ledger?
Travis: I think that was really sad, what happened to him. We drove through the city and we drove past his apartment and there were all these flowers outside and people standing in front of it. It was crazy. It’s sad, but it’s like, what was he thinking?
MI: When you are not on the road, and you’re not writing, what are your favorite things to do?
Travis: I like hanging out at home, going to the movies, take my dogs to the park a lot. Spend time with the girlfriend, just normal stuff. I’m having the time of my life.
MI: And you don’t’ see anymore band lineup changes or anything like that?
Travis: No, everybody is set. And we are a lot happier now, when we added Adam to the band, we were together for like five years- like playing together and playing shows and when we added him to the band it just kinda screwed up the chemistry, and we were fighting with each other and honestly, I think if he would have stayed in the band we would have broken up. It was just something about him and what he brought up; everybody was at each other’s throats. And now, without him in the band, we haven’t fought once, it’s like the old days and we get along so well.
MI: So if your fans email you at Myspace, they will get a response from you?
Travis: Yep, they will get a response from either me, or Little Steve, or from one of us.