Travelers are an alt-rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. Made up of Tom Kearns (vocals) and Brandon Jenkins (drums), the duo are a force to be reckoned with thanks to their unique sound and quirky charm.
Over the past few months, Travelers have been sharing new material taken from their upcoming album Hideko, which is due for release in 2019. So far, they’ve released the incredible ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘I Don’t Belong Here’, both of which perfectly represent what we can expect from their new record.
Just today, the duo have unveiled their brand new track called ‘UH OH’, which without doubt stands strong as their best offering yet. From start to finish, the song takes you on a crazy musical journey, making you question where exactly it will take you next.
We recently had the chance to quiz Tom and Brandon about their new single, the upcoming album Hideko, and much more. Check out what they had to say below.
Your new single ‘UH OH’ is out today, congratulations! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
Tom: Well, to quote the first lyric in the song, “I think I saw a shark and it’s swimming my way”. I was surfing one day and a shark fin popped up. It’s not unlikely that you’ll see one, but this one started circling me for a solid 5 minutes. I had never been taken over by fear so much in my life. It made me realize the great role that fear plays in our lives. That shark inspired ‘UH OH’.
The song is quite an event – it takes you to unexpected places particularly at the end. What was the creative process like?
Tom: We like our songs to take you on a journey, absolutely. The chorus was written first about a year ago and it was meant to be spoken word. The rest of the song came together after the shark incident. We wanted to make a statement at the end: “Fear does not control you.” If you think about it, almost every decision we make as human beings is based on fear. We’re guided by the possible consequences and the fear of the unknown; the dead end job we stay in and the trips we don’t take… We allow ourselves to be wrapped up in our comfort zones, this artificial thing that we create, that determines every decision we make. Fear should inspire us, but not control us.
How long did it take to develop from a concept to the final song?
Tom: This was one of the quickest songs we’ve ever written. Whenever we have an idea for a lyric, guitar riff, or drum beat, we write it down. This leaves us with many pieces of songs that we don’t always build on. “UH OH” is like our Frankenstein song. It’s a lot of ideas come together. It took us all of one week to write and record it!
What do you think is the standout lyric from the song?
Brandon: “Fear does not control you.” Don’t forget that.
Will you be releasing a music video for the track? If so, what can we expect from it?
Brandon: Yes we are! You can expect to go on a journey, that’s all we can say now.
‘UH OH’ follows on from ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘I Don’t Belong Here’, all of which are very different from each other. Who or what has inspired your current sound?
Tom: ADHD! I’ve found over the years that the best thing to do as an artist is to be yourself. Brandon and I are both ADHD kids and our minds/personalities are all over the place. We get bored playing just one ‘sound’, so we don’t. We try to stay true to we are.
The three tracks are taken from your album Hideko which is due for release next year. What can we expect from the rest of your album?
Tom: These three singles are almost the perfect sampling of our new sound and what our record will be. Almost every song sounds different than the next, but still keeps an overall Travelers charm.
When looking up the definition of Hideko, we found that it means ‘splendid child’, and we’re sure your album will be your splendid child! However, what does the album name mean to you? Why Hideko?
Tom: Hideko was my Pop Pop’s first love in his adult life. He met her while stationed in Japan when he was about 18. They wanted to get married, but at the time, soldiers weren’t allowed to marry locals. Eventually he was stationed somewhere else and never saw her again. He’s been searching for a love like that ever since.
The recurring theme throughout our album is ‘searching’, whether that be searching for peace, love, revenge, or religion. It’s about finding that which was lost.
You recently launched your own Patreon to help towards the making of Hideko. In ten words or less, why should people become a patron?
Brandon: Singles. Music videos. Bears. Beats. Battlestar Galactica. Behind the scenes.
How would you say that your sound has evolved since you first started making music together?
Tom: We started as a 4 piece heavy rock band. After some lineup changes and EP’s, we ended up becoming a duo. We then looked at our sound and decided that the heavy rock sound didn’t represent who we were as people or musicians. We didn’t want to have any musical walls containing us to one sound so we kept some of our “rock foundation” and changed the rest.
You’ve got a few live gigs coming up. What can people expect from a Travelers live show?
Brandon: It’s a theatrical production. We’ve spent months creating a crazy live show, it’s far beyond your average local performance. We’ve got programmed lights, drum battles, dance parties, and sometimes mosh pits. You won’t forget a Travelers show.
Apart from releasing your album, what are your goals for 2019?
Tom: Our main goal for 2019 is to build a regional fan base. We would also love to tour if the opportunity presented itself!
‘UH OH’ is out now.