Interview with A THOUSAND CRANES
Travis prowls. Is on the cologne again. Pillow Talk. Thousand Cranes is different everytime. This isn’t your daddy’s death chant, blackshirt. Generally freaks out the squares. Usually without trying.
Music shakes your guts. Brings out the loudest in lunkheads.
What’s up Travy:
I just got finished working on a film! Taking a break and decompressing and making music.
Where are you from:
I was born in England and raised in Houston, TX.
Where are you now:
I am in Houston, planning my escape.
How long have you been at it:
A Thousand Cranes has been around for 2 ½ years, I have been making music on and off since I was ten, being creative since before that.
What got you started:
I come from a creative family. I started making music because my eardrum popped when I was ten so me and my friend Jon played his keyboard and listened to tapes while our other friends swam.
What else do you do:
I make films and do Food Not Bombs. I ride my bicycle around. I sometimes skateboard. Sometimes I make watercolor paintings or crayon/marker drawings.
How do you keep it together:
Hahahhaha I let it fall apart is how I do it.
What are you reading:
Right now the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Pema Chodron’s Comfortable with Uncertainty, and Chogyam Trungpa’s The Myth of Freedom,
http://www.iamdannymcmahon.com I love stand up, usually I see it on tv, live is better but it is expensive. I just watched a Chris Rock special and it was really funny. I love Bill Hicks, Ricky Gervais, Flight of the Conchords, Withnail and I, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, The Mighty Boosh, Extras, Waiting for Guffman, This is Spinal Tap, SNL with Eddie Murphy, The Big Lebowski, Reno 911, Southpark, Seinfeld, Beavis and Butthead, The Simpsons, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ghostbusters, Rushmore, Da Ali G. Show, Borat, Bruno, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Strange Brew, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a lot of Italo Cavino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Kurt Vonnegut stories, Nabakov’s Lolita.
What are you listening to, lately:
Habib Koite-I Ka Barra, Din Din Wo, Kate Bush-Eat the Music, The Big Sky, Traore– Diarabi, Jacob Miller- Tenament Yard, Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting, Prince Rama of Aydohya’s Voyage to Corinthia, I See I Saw, Skipping Stones,
What art, if any, you seen worth talking about:
Whatever Danny Kerschen is doing. Same goes for Gabe Delgado. Terry Suprean’s censored works. I got turned onto Marlene Dumas last year, and John Singer Sargent this year.
Worked any fucked-up jobs? Do tell:
I started writing the answer to this and it the answer was neverending, so I rethought it and will tell you about a job that was fucked up in a good way. I worked the concession stand at a movie theater in Kent, OH, and it was very cool. I only had to work in between movies, selling popcorn and sodas and snacks, so for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes I could do as I pleased behind the counter. Two of the other employees were massive comic book fans, so they had hundreds of comic books in the break room, so when my shift started I would take 6 of them for the day. I would eat popcorn and drink free soda all day or night. After a while I got hooked on the comic books, too, and I would bring blank paper from home and a pencil, and draw my own comic books at work. It was so awesome, because whether I was drawing or reading comic books, I was uninterrupted for up to an hour and fifteen minutes at a time, the bosses left me alone. I could seen any movie for free, and I got to get my friends in for free. Some shifts they had me work as an usher, which was even less work than concessions. You sweep up a theater after it lets out, then you bring your broom to whatever movie you want to see and you stand in the back aisle and watch it until it lets out and then you swept it up. That job was fucked up in a really good way.
Played any fucked-up shows:
At our first show we were supposed to go on at 10pm on a Monday night, but we got pushed back to start at 2am, after a two man dramatic play about street kids trying to kick their heroin habits. As a courtesy to them we sat through the duration of their play as their audience, unfortunately they didn’t return the favor. At one show one of our fire cans was kicked across the audience and something caught on fire. I think we have more f’d up shows than otherwise. We played one show and the PA went out before we went on, and the only acoustic instrument I had on me was a handbell that was the size of a Christmas tree ornament, and it made a tink sound. For 20 minutes I tried to help the soundman fix the PA and meanwhile our already humble sized audience dwindled down to 4. The whole time I was helping him fix it I was freaking out thinking how can I pull off a show with this dinky bell? Finally the PA worked and we played.
With whom, if anyone, do you roll:
I roll with my family, Victoria A. FilEllie, Snuggie, Kirston, FNB, Terry, Damon and Larra, Andrea, Burde, Angelle, Ashley G, Holly, Mamade, Keith S, Paul S, Waqar, Patrick W, MJ, Twisted Wires, Thou Shall Not Kill…Except,//TENSE// The Ballyboyz, F Blondes, Rusted Shut, Prince Rama, Together We Are Instruments, How I Quit Crack, The Giraffes, fiskadoro, Phonoscape, Chanti Ollin, the squatters and anarchists in Mexico DF, LA FNB, and all of my friends.
Where are you headed:
Roma Italy and LA, CA. The music has been heading the direction of traditional Western pop song structures.
Where is the rest of it headed:
Straight to hell, boy. It’s all heading in many directions at many speeds. Some things are improving, some things are declining, some constructing, some destructing, etc.
What can you do about it:
I can remain centered and assist those that are improving and constructing and come back to my balance when I am fucking up.
Are there any people you’d like to mention who’ve helped you work it out (you needn’t mention us):
All of my family and friends, Victoria, Shawn, Jason, Stephanie, Andrea Merola, Anthony Torres, Hoff, Adam Ferguson, Tyler Morris, Burde, Rich Durham and Mary Sharpe, Brandon Davis, Rodney Rodriguez, Brian Harrison, Dom, Don Walsh, Jeremy, Kirston Otis, Terry Suprean, Eddie Shannon, Rich and Jen Kimball, Jack Massing, Frank Davis, Kristine Swann, Gabe Delgado, Chris G, Tiz, Dylan F, Ramon M, Tyler N, Jeremy H, Tina Forbis, Heather Dowling, Shaggy, Dan Castillo and Eric Castillo, Sarah J Miller, Ankah, Charlotte Remmel, FilEllie, Blondie Padon, Together We Are Instruments, Balaclavas, Rusted Shut, //TENSE//, Silence Amongst Chaos, Future Blondes, Thou Shall Not Kill…Except, The Art Guys, Big Drum in the Sky Religion, Phonoscape, Muzak John, Prince Rama, the Engine Room
People to look for:
Thou Shall Not Kill…Except, Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Twisted Wires, fiskadoro, Danny McMahon, Gabe Delgado, Terry Suprean, Joslyn Lewis, Ico Lee, Eli Nunez, Mike Swift, Jason Sweatt, Susan Blair, Jim Lawrence, Eddie Shannon, Janet Jensen
People to look out for, because they are bad news:
Embarrassingly enough, me.
Anything you have in the works, on the ready, or on the horizon:
A Thousand Cranes is trying to earn money to put out a vinyl of Deer Park, which we recorded last year. We are also putting out a 3 way split cd-r with Big Drum in the Sky Religion, 423 Gallery hopefully will be putting out a vinyl of A Thousand Cranes. And another band I’m in, fiskadoro, is putting out a vinyl this year!!! Woohoo!. I am finishing editing the feature film, Tantrika, which uses excerpts from Deer Park as the soundtrack.
Anything else you want to pass on:
Thank you very much for the interview! Anyone who I forgot to give credit to and thank in the interview please understand it was a lapse of memory not a conscious choice.