BASS Magazine: Rock Duo Sumo Princess Set to Release Full Length Album on May 8th

Sumo Princess are set to release their new studio album, When An Electric Storm, on May 8th. Tour dates with the Meat Puppets (whose Cris Kirkwood calls Travis “one of the great bass players in the world”) run from May 8-18. The band will celebrate their album release with a show at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on May 26th.

Formed in 2017 by iconic L.A. bassist/vocalist Abby Travis, Sumo Princess are a post punk, stoner rock, art core duo. Drummer Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stoneage, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan) and Travis have been friends since the 1980’s when she was in The Lovedolls and he was playing with paisley underground stalwarts The Miracle Workers. Guest musicians on the album include Mathias Schneeberger (Masters of Reality, Bran Van 3000) who plays organ on “Crooked Plough,” and Tommy Greñas (Farflung) who plays synth on “Kali Ma.”

In a recent Sumo Princess interview with the LA Weekly Travis replied, regarding her choice of instrument: “… the band is just bass and drums. I’m looking for more high end and the Music Man [Ernie Ball bass guitar] gets so much fuzz and I’m looking for those overtones. It’s more comfortable to play and it gets the sound I want for that project.” She adds “I’m an Ampeg artist so I use an Ampeg VR and an 8-by-10 [speaker cabinet].”

“The album was recorded in 2017 and 2018,” Travis explains. “Basically any time I was at home, in between touring with Cher and The Go-Go’s, and Gene was also available; we’d just record stuff whenever we could.” Of the seven tracks, four were mixed and basics were tracked by by Mathias Schneeberger (The Obsessed, Sunn, Mark Lanegan, Afghan Whigs). But she adds “all the vocals and most of the keys I recorded myself at my studio, Tarantula Ranch.” The credits also include David O. Jones who recorded at Wasatch Studios and mixes Ed Munsef, Mathias Schneeberger and Travis.

Abby Travis has been touring professionally and working as a session player since the early 1990s. Her body of work includes international tours or albums with artists like Cher, The Go-Go’s, Beck, Elastica, KMFDM, Eagles of Death Metal, and Masters of Reality. Her career is punctuated by historic performances like her show with U2’s The Edge, Juliette Lewis, and Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk at the 2017 Women’s March in downtown L.A. which Billboard Magazine reported on.

“A lot of the music on this new album is my reaction to being a hired gun for so long” Travis muses. “I just get sick of being appropriate and tastefully restrained. Most of Sumo Princess’s music is very aggressive and quite political, albeit by metaphor rather than an anvil to the skull.”

Bass Magazine premiered the video for the first single, ” Click Bait,” and enthuses “Abby Travis plays heavily fuzzed and effected bass while singing in her 3 octave range…the band has been compared to Royal Blood meets the B52s and Motorhead meets Nina Hagen.” While music critic Steve Hochman (California Report) has compared her earlier work to glam-era David Bowie.

When An Electric Storm is available on vinyl through Ruined Vibes and digitally on Educational Recordings. The band tours with CDs for sale and also makes them available to fans on their website. In addition to Sumo Princess, fans can also tune into the podcast recorded in verité style called Sounds Off with Abby Travis (guests include Tom Morello/Rage Against the Machine, Exene Cervanka/X, Alice Bag, Norwood Fisher/Fishbone), and follow her studio and touring work at AbbyTravis.com.

When An Electric Storm track listing:
Side A
1. Kill the King
2. Crooked Plough
3. New Goth

Side B
1. Kali Ma
2. You Will Rise
3. Angel Dust
4. Click Bait

TOUR DATES:

May 8 New York, NY Mercury Lounge w/ Meat Puppets

May 9 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl w/ Meat Puppets

May 10 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts w/ Meat Puppets

May 11 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Lanes w/ Meat Puppets

May 13 Woodstock, NY Colony w/ Meat Puppets

May 14 Hamden, CT Space Ballroom w/ Meat Puppets

May 15 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 16 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 17 Portsmouth, NH 3S Artspace w/ Meat Puppets

May 18 Jersey City, NJ White Eagle Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 26 Los Angeles, CA The Bootleg Theater – record release party

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

Bass Magazine: Abby Travis and Sumo Princess Debut New Single “Click Bait” (WATCH)

“Click Bait” is the first single and video for Sumo Princess’ upcoming album “When an Electric Storm”

 

 

Sumo Princess, Abby Travis (The Go-Go’s, KMFDM, EODM, Masters of Reality, Beck, Cher, Elastica) and Gene Trautmann (QOTSA, EODM, Mark Lanegan band, The Miracle Workers) will release their first full length album, “When an Electric Storm”, May 8, 2019 on ruinedvibes.com. The band will support the The Meat Puppets on the East Coast with West Coast headlining shows to follow.

Sumo Princess is the brainchild of bassist/vocalist Abby Travis who plays heavily fuzzed and effected bass while singing in her 3 octave range. Equally influenced by stoner rock, post punk, and deconstructionism; the band has been compared to Royal Blood meets the B52s and Motorhead meets Nina Hagen.

The single is available now for download:

“Kali Ma” single on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/click-bait/1459713941?i=1459713951

Presale of When an Electric Storm: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/when-an-electric-storm/1459713941

Presale limited edition vinyl release: https://www.ruinedvibes.com/product/sumo-princess-when-an-electric-storm

TOUR DATES:

May 8 New York, NY Mercury Lounge w/ Meat Puppets

May 9 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl w/ Meat Puppets

May 10 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts w/ Meat Puppets

May 11 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Lanes w/ Meat Puppets

May 13 Woodstock, NY Colony w/ Meat Puppets

May 14 Hamden, CT Space Ballroom w/ Meat Puppets

May 15 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 16 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 17 Portsmouth, NH 3S Artspace w/ Meat Puppets

May 18 Jersey City, NJ White Eagle Music Hall w/ Meat Puppets

May 26 Los Angeles, CA The Bootleg Theater – record release party support TBA

 

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

NoiseRoom: Interview with Abby Travis


Abby Travis is a musician’s musician and a bass player that you’ve probably heard at one time or another. In addition to her own music, she’s an in-demand performer and session bassist/singer who has played with The Go-Go’s, EODM, Beck, Cher, Masters of Reality, The Bangles, Exene Cervenka, Elastica, KMFDM, Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes, Dee Dee Ramone, Vanessa Paradis, Spinal Tap and Farflung. Her most current band, Sumo Princess has a new full-length album coming out May 8th on Ruined Vibes Records and will hit the road with The Meat Puppets right after.

She recently launched a podcast called Sounds Off with Abby Travis. The podcast features a number of iconic musical guests in conversation with the bassist to the stars. We recently talked with Abby via telephone to ask her about the new podcast and to find out about her latest band.

Congratulations on your new podcast. I’ve listened to the first two episodes and episode #3 with Norwood Fisher of Fishbone just came out today! Can you tell us about how it all came together?

Sure, within a couple of months, three different people randomly came up to me and suggested I do a podcast, kind of without any prompting. There were two different people on the Cher gig who said, “You should do a podcast” and I got home from that and played a show with my band and my friend Lonnie said, “You should really do a podcast.” I figured well fuck it, I’ll do a podcast.

My initial idea was to do interviews. I recorded the first episode quite a while before we actually released the podcast and I started to edit it myself. I was kind of over-editing. I was attempting to get rid of every “um” and “like” and “you know” and it was taking me a really long time. So I called up my friend John Ganem who comes more from the picture editing world and talked to him about working with me on the podcast and producing it and editing it.

I sent him over what I had done on that episode that will never even come out. I was emphatic and said, “Please listen to the part that I’ve already edited” because I was afraid the he would think that I was a babbling stoner. And he was very emphatic that I also send him the non-edited audio. Once he heard it, he responded really favorably to some of the accidental background stuff that was occurring. Like I have a very boisterous terrier that was my father’s dog. She’s being quiet right now but she was almost commenting on the original podcast. He liked that and he liked the sound of the keys, the sound of the walking around. We just kept brainstorming. Like I’m walking around right now, I think better when I’m moving. A lot of people pace when they’re on the phone.

It just sort of developed into this idea. It’s also like the “What makes this podcast different from other interview-style podcasts?” question. Having it exist in a specific place, and a specific time where the lister goes on a little bit of a journey makes it interesting and unlike a lot of the studio interview podcasts that are already out there. What John was also very hardcore about was committing to the rules of vérité so it’s not edited out of order. Things are taken out. You’re not just listening to raw audio, there is editing. But we’re not going to put a question from the end of the interview in the beginning.

So that’s how it came about.

When I was listening to it, you seem have a great rapport with your guests. Are these all people you’ve worked with and who else can we expect to hear on future episodes.

So far all of the people that I’ve interviewed are people who I know. I’ve either worked with them or they’re friends of mine. The first episode was Steve McDonald from Redd Kross whom I have not worked with since we both play the same instrument but I’m a big fan of his. The second episode was Exene Cervenka (of the band X) whom I have had the pleasure of playing bass for.

Coming up this season we have Norwood Fisher from Fishbone whom I have worked with. We’ve got Kira Roessler whose played bass in Black Flag and Alice Bag who is an incredible legendary punk rock vocalist whom I’ve worked for. There are some other notables but I don’t want to jinx things before they’re in the can. But there are some heavyweight people coming up and I think listeners will be excited to learn more.

Please tell us about your current band Sumo Princess.

Sumo Princess is a duo band that I have with Gene Trautmann. He’s played in Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal. Also, in a fabulous psych band called The Miracle Workers back in the 80’s. He and I have been friends for a very long time. It’s a bass and drum duo band but not a bass and drums that’s a style of music, just the instrumentation. He plays drums, I play bass but I’m also using a sizable pedalboard with a bunch of effects. I’ve done a lot of work as a bass player for hire and this band I started for my own sanity. There’s no guitar player in the band so no one can tell me not to use a specific pedal. It’s self-indulgent but it’s also aggressive and reactive to the times. I was happily surprised at the response. People seem to really like it a lot which makes me happy.

Last year we put out a couple of 7” singles where we collaborated with nine different artists to do different versions of picture discs which was a wonderful experience. In May we’re putting out our first full-length called “When an Electric Storm” on Ruined Vibes Records.

I heard about your limited edition 7” vinyl picture discs and that you used 9 different artists. That sounds like a fun project but how did you put that all together?

Some of the people I knew. Some people I found on the internet and I liked their work so I asked them. Almost all of the stuff was sent to me in a digital file. I have a graphic artist named Jerome Curchod, whom I’ve worked with him on most of the records I put out myself. Some of the artists were more web/ template savvy than others but he took everyone’s work and put it together and made it happen.

It was a really fun experience. I didn’t really micromanage the artists. I sent them the songs. There were some artists that I had ideas for based on work I’d seen them do that I had responded to. But other people I was like, “How does this song make you feel.” And different fans respond to different peoples work as well. A few people have collected them all which is ideal.

You mentioned your pedalboard earlier, as a duo did you have to change your gear or your approach towards bass playing?

It changes it an awful lot. If I’m supporting a regular band with bass, drums, guitars and maybe keys, my role is really different. In Sumo Princess there is no other tonal sounds other than my voice and what I’m playing on the bass. There’s plenty of room for me to do whatever I want although often interestingly it still sounds best if I do stuff that’s simple and boneheaded just to fill out the sound.

Frequency-wise it really gives me a lot of freedom and I purposely use my Music Man Stingray bass because it has more high-end response than my 73’ Precision that I have flat-wounds on. As well, I use a Pog, at times and a lot of fuzz and different delays. If I was playing in somebody’s band, depending on the style of music, most of the time we’d like to have a nice fat round low-end. In Sumo Princess, I’m not looking for that. It’s the whole sonic bed of the whole song. It’s very angular. There’s a lot of fuzz and I’m looking to enhance the harmonics and high-end that just exist.

Your bio says “Improvisation and strange vocal stylings are main ingredients” and “When singing, you seem to take on different characters in each narrative.” Do you also use effects on your vocals?

There’s one track that is going to be the single off our record, called “Kali Ma”, that I do use a vocoder on. Most of the other stuff I don’t use effects. Live, I’ve been experimenting with some effects just because I sing some backup vocals on the album and I’d like to hear some more harmonies or thicken up when the chorus comes in by trying to use a doubler. I’ve had some really mixed results with that. I’ve had pedals that sounded great for two shows and then broke in the middle of a gig. A lot of the stuff I’ve experimented with doesn’t seem to be designed to be taken out on the road anymore. I went through about four different vocoders till I found the Roland that actually worked. The TC Electronics didn’t work. The ElectroHamonix didn’t work. I’m doing something specific with it. Traditionally, with a vocoder, you would plug your instrument into it and have your instrument trigger what the robot sound is but I want my voice to do that, not the instrument. I want the instrument to be doing something different than what I’m singing. It’s always like a weird sonic puzzle.

That sounds like a good problem to have in some ways.

Yea, it’s fun! Most of the stomp boxes I’m using for the bass don’t have a lot of presets which is good and bad. There are some shows where there’s not much of a soundcheck and it can get a little “uh oh.” I always joke that chaos is the third member of the band. Like a weird accident that might turn into a new section of the song. It keeps everyone on their toes.

You’ve spent a lot of time on the road and you’ll be out supporting the Meat Puppets in May. Do you enjoy touring?

I do enjoy touring overall. Every tour is totally different. I’ve done some tours that are super cush and totally easy. When it’s my own bad it will be a little bit harder when I don’t have a tour manager. But it’s super rewarding as I get to bring my music to the people. I’ve been touring for such a long time that when I’ve stayed in Los Angeles for too long, I start to feel weird. There’s a traveling bug that I get. And I like exploring new places. It’s a fun job because you get to see immediately that you’re making people happy. Most actors I know really enjoy doing theater and I think it’s the same sort of thing, an immediate response.

One venue you are scheduled to play is the Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT. I used to book a band I worked with there when it was just called The Space. It’s an all age venue which I thought was a great community asset. What are your thoughts on how kids are finding and listening to music these days?

First of all, at my sort of advanced age, I don’t think I can speak for the kids. My only “Get Off of My Lawn” thing is that I wish people would value music enough to pay for it. It would make my life, and other musician’s life a lot easier. I’m sure this talk has been had by millions of people. Yes, I have a lot more promotional and publicity opportunities at my fingertips but at the same time I think there are generations of kids that haven’t grown up thinking that music has a value. They expect it to be free. That’s kind of rough and it makes it hard to maintain.

That goes back to 7” vinyl picture discs with 9 different artists, does that add more of a reason to actually purchase something rather than to listen to it online?

Absolutely. I think if you’re going to do a physical release, there’s got to be a reason that people would want to buy it. I think that’s why vinyl does well. I wonder how many of the people who purchased the 7” actually really listened to them from the vinyl and how many used the digital download but wanted the vinyl as a keepsake. I was doing that even when I had CDs for my solo stuff. I was still not selling that many though. That was definitely part of the intent. It’s like a piece of art even though that sounds pretentious in itself. I know Jason at Ruined Vibes is really serious about quality and I’m looking forward to our next release as well! My friend, photographer Chris Green, shot the cover art.

Well it is a takeaway, and people can enjoy that along with the audio.

Yes, also especially since Sumo Princess’ main instrument is bass, the music sounds really good on vinyl. Analog is ideal for bass and drums!

Between your podcast and the bands you’ve played with and are playing with, there is a sense of longevity. What advice could you give to someone who is trying to break into the music industry and survive long term?

My advice is to be true to yourself. I don’t really look at myself as an amazingly successful person. I’ve been kind of like a working grunt. At least I feel, at the end of the day, I’m happy with the work I’ve done. Chasing that dragon of what’s hip and what’s trendy can be a trap. If people make music or do work that they’re proud of, then there is inherently more integrity and a higher chance of longevity.

For more information, please visit:

www.soundsoffpodcast.com
www.sumoprincessband.com
www.abbytravis.com

Photo by Rocky Schenck

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

UDiscoverMusic: Best Female Bassists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

UDiscoverMusic: Best Female Bassists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

10: Abby Travis

The Ultimate Versatility Award goes to the Los Angeles wunderkind Abby Travis, who we chanced upon in 2011 at an obscure prog-rock reunion show, featuring the Anglo-German band Nektar and the freaky Euro/krautrock band Brainticket. The latter got a new lease of life courtesy of a young, goth-looking singer-bassist who gave them a stage presence they never had before. Despite being a good 30 years younger than the rest of the group, Travis was fully on the band’s acid-drenched wavelength. A year later she replaced Kathy Valentine in Go-Go’s. She’s also toured with Butthole Surfers and Cher (now there’s a sentence you don’t get to write every day) and can apparently play anything with anybody.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

BP RECOMMENDS: SUMO PRINCESS SINGLES

Abby Travis has built a long and successful career using her precision playing and massive tone to back powerhouses like the Go-Go’s, Cher, the Bengals, and Beck. Her new project, a drums–bass duo with Gene Trautman, now showcases her talents in the biggest and boldest way possible. On these four tracks, Travis dishes seriously filthy frequencies and interesting lines that use both her vast pedalboard and her eccentric playing, making us want much more from this exciting duo. —JON D’AURIA

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

Bass Player: Abby Travis and Sumo Princess To Release New Singles, Announce Shows

Bass and drums duo Sumo Princess has been described as a cross between Royal Blood, Devo , Television and Black Sabbath and Elettrodomestico has been described as a satanic electro-pop version of The Mommas and Poppas.

Los Angeles based art-core duo Sumo Princess, feat vocalist/bassist Abby Travis (Go-Go’s, Masters of Reality, Eagles of Death Metal, Cher, Beck, Farflung,) and drummer Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan Tour, Miracle Workers) to tour in April with Jane (Go-Gos) Wiedlin’s Elettrodomestico.

After working together in The Go-Go’s for the past 7 years. Wiedlin and Travis thought it would be fun to have their respective bands join forces for this run. Bass and drums duo Sumo Princess has been described as a cross between Royal Blood, Devo , Television and Black Sabbath and Elettrodomestico has been described as a satanic electro-pop version of The Mommas and Poppas.

In conjunction with the tour Sumo Princess is releasing two 7” limited edition vinyl picture disc singles. The band collaborated with 9 different artists to create 9 different numbered editions of these singles. Star Spangled Banner/ Tinsel Man will be released in 4 editions featuring the art of Brian Grillo, Jacobine Van Der Meer, Jim Herrington and Pat Arnao. You Will Break/ Sumo Princess will be available in five editions featuring the artwork of Rocky Schenck, Darcy Yates, Snakesweaters, Tommy Greñas, and Joe Travis.

Tour Dates:

4/5 Pappy & Harriets, Pioneetown CA

4/6 Alex’s Bar, Longbeach, CA

4/7 The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

4/12 The Chapel, San Francisco, CA

4/13 The Hideaway, Sacramento, CA

4/14 The Ivy Room, Albany, CA

To stream and download the singles click here: https://sumoprincess.bandcamp.com/(also available on iTunes, google play and amazon.) Collectable vinyl releases available 4/3 at www.sumoprincessband.com

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

1 2 3