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Q+A With Travally

Aussie brothers, Travalley have dropped their seriously fun, raucous new single, Dear Babe. The track is accompanied by a fittingly bonkers video that sees the duo, Levi and Sam Mellington, munch through as many chillies as possible throughout the duration of the clip. Upbeat and hooky as all getout, this driving indie rock track will be lapped up by fans of Lime Cordiale, The Jungle Giants, Hockey Dad and Skegss, and will have listeners toe-tapping, singing along with the insanely catchy backing vocals and coming back for more. Recorded in a Melbourne home studio, engineered by Fabian Hunter and mixed and mastered by Austin Asvanonda (The War on Drugs).

Travally took some time out to answer a few questions for us

H2Z: Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
TRAVALLY: Today I have been doing absolutely nothing. I have started watching live performances of all my fav acts and that’s getting me through these tough times. 

H2Z: Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?  
TRAVALLEY: Travalley is a 2 piece indie rock band consisting of brother Sam and Levi Mellington. We are from regional Victoria and have both moved to Melbourne to pursue music. We have been performing as a 2 piece for about 6 months ! But I have been creating music for around 5 years. We have heaps of tunes ready to be released so look out.

H2Z: Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?
TRAVALLEY: I find a lot of inspo from The Jungle Giants and Hockey Dad. We have taken a lot from these bands both from the chords that they use and the energy they bring to a live setting. Hockey Dad pound for pound would be one of the most exciting bands to see live. We really try replicate that huge sound.

H2Z: How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process. 
TRAVALLEY: The melody always comes first with me. I have always found a good song must sound good and then you sprinkle words around it. As a vocalist I have always seen the lyrics as the last thing to put into a track, it’s weird I know but I have always worked that way. I will always write the guitar section first. Again this is strange but I use an old shitty acoustic guitar that only has 5 strings. If it sounds good on that, it is going to sound good on anything.

H2Z: What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
TRAVALLEY: Changing from the 4 piece to the 2 piece, having to re-write all of the songs and being able to make the songs sound good has definitely been the hardest part. It  took a solid 6 months to figure out what we were doing before it started to sound somewhat ok.

H2Z: Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
TRAVALLEY: Dear Babe was one of those songs that came about in a really short amount of time. I’m talking fully written, recorded and released in a month. It just came from nothing and the next thing we knew it was out. The film clip for Dead Babe was kinda the same, sat down for a day, thought about an idea and the next week it was recorded. It came about because I can’t flirt. I just blurt out the wrong thing and it has haunted me for my whole life.

H2Z: What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
TRAVALLEY: Well the funny thing is we have really just started playing ourselves. We have been an official band for 6 months so take this advice with a grain of salt but just write a heap of music and play as much as you can. Don’t stress about having 1 big show every 3 months, I think when you are starting out that doesn’t matter. When you play on the weekly you are able to get a vibe of what songs work well in a live setting “very important” and you  improve as a band so much quicker. What we found is if you can make a room full of 10 people rock out you will be set when you get those bigger shows.

H2Z: Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
TRAVALLEY: I love to sit on my bed and zone out to live music. It makes me feel at one with the world and brings back good memories.

Dear Babe is about lead singer Levi’s lack of ability to be able to flirt or express how he feels. “I always manage to say the wrong thing or give too much away too early which tends to end up in the “what if I said this” situation happening over and over again and then repeating the process with the same results,” Levi explains. “About a year ago, I finally stuck to my guns and held back from blurting out everything about myself to a girl, I was so impressed with myself that I decided to write a song about all my past experiences, and now here we are! We just hope people really enjoy the song and get a laugh out of the film clip.”

Filmed and edited by Gareth Harrison (DJ for Yacht Club DJs who also tours regularly with DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats), the concept for the Dear Babe video was inspired by the DZ Deathrays The mess Up film clip where the guys drank as much alcohol over the duration of the song. An extrapolation of this was then released by Dune Rats in Red Light Green Light where they smoked as much as they could. Pretty chuffed with their ingeniousness with this video concept that is sure to set tongues wagging, and rightfully so, Levi explains, “We decided to continue the trend that these two amazing bands created, and stupidly ate as many chillies as we could within the time of the film clip. Little did we know that we ate far more than expected and experienced all sorts of pains for days after the video was filmed!”

Having spent a lifetime together, and the greatest part of it playing music together, the visceral bond present in their playing and their vocal harmonies is obvious, and their onstage banter is infectious. And though the brothers have been combatting a heap of change during the Covid19 madness, they’re also able to see the positives. “We’ve had a lot more time to write new music and expand our sound, and we’ve had to come up with more creative ways to keep our fans engaged, but it’s also given us the opportunity to sit back and relax for the first time in a long time,” says Levi. “But like many other bands out there, we had to cancel our entire tour and a bunch of bookings too. The biggest thing we’ve missed is playing live to our amazing fans that travel to come see us play. Once this has passed and we are able to start playing music in front of people again, we can only imagine how amazing and hyped everyone will be to get out and have a great time.”

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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