Welcome to Richmond Virginia and it's surrounding areas. This website is about Richmond bands, venues, music, the arts, people and lifestyles.

Find articles and stories on the Richmond area scene. Please feel free to leave us comments. Join the MusicRVA Forum

MusicRVA is always looking for more writers! If you would like to write copy for the site please join the network forum above and ontact me.

If you would like to leave commentary on the blog, we welcome interaction. State your thoughts - Speak your mind!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Travis St.Charles

Sitting at a low table at the back of a coffee shop, I looked down at my watch and scanned the dim interior, waiting. I looked at my notes, scatted thoughts and questions I had planned out, deciding on a plan of attack. Looking up again I saw the subject of my interview. Standing at about 6'6, dressed in all black with long dark hair, he was not hard to spot. I studied him for a moment, tattoos of skulls and the like adorned his forearms, and scanning his face revealed a pierced eyebrow and lip. This was the guy all right. Not really knowing what to expect, I stood, waved him over and introduced myself.

Travis St.Charles is a young talent on the Richmond music scene, and over the next hour I learned how this laid back guitarist triumphed in the face of adversity and found his footing in creating and sharing what he loves, music.

C~ Well time to go dig in the archives of your musical life...

St.Charles- Go for it.

C~ first and foremost: How long have you been playing?

St.Charles -All together, about 7 years now.

C~ Just guitar?

St.Charles- [Nods] Mhm.

C~ Nice. When did you know that guitar was what you wanted to play?...Why not be a drummer?

St.Charles - Well, guitar was the first thing I started on. I remember being about...hm, I guess 11 or 12, my mother showed me Metallica, and I remember liking the way Kirk Hammett played, so I guess he was my main inspiration. I tried drums at one point, but I'm really terrible at multitasking, hahaha.

C~ Ha-ha. You anticipated my next question...Any other than Hammett you would like to mention?

St.Charles- Oh a few. The guy that taught me how to play, a guy named Randy Scantling, always said that if, "Kirk Hammett, Dimebag Darrell, and Chuck Schuldiner, all had a bastard love child who played guitar, it would be you." [Laughs and pauses] I don't think I'm as good as any of them, but they're definitely my main influences.

C~ Do you have any main influences outside of musicians?

St.Charles- Both of my parents, but especially my dad. It will probably make me sound like a spoiled brat, but my father always bought at least half of the gear I currently own, he was always helping me out, and was always my biggest supporter. I guess that's really it...

C~ Well we've talked about where your roots are, lets fast forward to the bands in your life. Now I know about Fall of Vanity, can I get a timeline on that one or previous bands?

St.Charles- Sure thing. I joined Fall of Vanity in...the middle of May, 2007, after my previous band, Curse The Memory, had disbanded. Fall of Vanity is definitely the biggest thing I've done so far, including a sold out battle of the bands, in July of 2008. I joined them in May, after their other guitarist had quit the band, and they had a show that weekend, so I had about 5 days to learn four songs. [laughs] That was fun...

C~ ha-ha I can imagine. And now that Fall is sadly no more you are working, or at least attempting to work on, a new band, yes?

St.Charles- Yes, I'm currently -trying- to work on a new band, [laughs]. Setbacks keep happening, but I'm as vigilant as ever, and want to keep going! Right now, it's just myself, a bass player, and a drummer, so we're at least writing songs.

C~ Have you guys come up with a name for this project?

St.Charles- At the moment, no, we don't have a name yet. We agreed that we want at least 4 or 5 songs before we do that.

C~ Writing songs, that’s always an interesting process. Between the three of you how does a song come about?

St.Charles- Between the three of us, I usually write most of the parts. Bryan, (bass) will usually come up with a way, if I'm stuck, on how to either extend a part, harmonize it, or figure out a way to go into the next part. Herbert (drums), is also good at giving suggestions like that. Hell, he figured out how to fix one part of our song the other night.

C~ How often do you guys practice?

St.Charles -At the moment, 2-3 times a week. I tend to write a lot better when I'm on my own, and then we all come together for a structure.

C~ Makes sense...Knowing the band is a fairly new and not yet a whole deal, I understand if this question is tricky, but at the moment, is there a general sound backing the songs?

St.Charles -Well, with the song we have right now, it's interesting. [chuckles and pauses] It starts off as something you might hear on an old In Flames song, and then goes into something you might hear in an As I Lay Dying song, then it goes into a groove oriented part....then back into the fast, thrashy stuff. [as an afterthought] It's a very interesting song. I have one song in the works right now, that's just very, very aggressive, I started writing it after my father died.

C~ I see how something like that would be such a big influence on your music...Where else do you tend to find inspiration, with the band or otherwise?

St.Charles -Honestly, as cliché as it may sound, I draw a lot of my inspiration from my emotions on how I feel, with everyday things, and there’s a lot of stress in my life right now. So everything tends to be much more aggressive. Where as everything I was writing in Fall of Vanity, was very...melodic, and in odd time signatures. I'm still doing that with this new project, but it has more edge to it.

C~ Now obviously every local musician dreams of becoming a successful rockstar, love and adored by all, or hated by all depending on the genre and general look. What is your definition of a "successful rockstar"?

St.Charles -Someone who keeps writing and playing because they enjoy it. They're not out there to really impress anyone, even though we're happy when we do, but on our own terms.

C~ What would you like to say to the scene? To Richmond? If you could sell yourself right now as to why you WILL make it, and what makes you different, what would you say?

St.Charles - I don't write breakdown after breakdown in my songs, and I refuse to work with a vocalist that doesn't write real lyrics. That being said, I devote myself almost fanatically to my music, where as many of the people on the Richmond scene, don't. They just don't care, which is fine, but I do.

C~ I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me this evening, it is obvious you are passionate and will go places if you keep the attitude you harbor now.

I will do my best to bring you-up to-the-"as-soon-as-I-get-them"-updates on Mr. St.Charles and all of his endeavors. Till then, support your scene, tip your bartenders, and never stop listening!!

C~ Travis, anything you would like to add?

St.Charles- Yeah. Come and see me play!


If your on the East Coast, be sure to sign up for
MusicRVA Social Network!

And Be sure to sign up for the new Sojournstar Music Network!

and if you want to make money while having fun and promoting your band, music or business, then you must
Join me at Weblo Virtual World for Fun & Profit!


If your on the East Coast, be sure to sign up for
MusicRVA Social Network!

And Be sure to sign up for the new Sojournstar Music Network!

and if you want to make money while having fun and promoting your band, music or business, then you must
Join me at Weblo Virtual World for Fun & Profit!

No comments: