INTERVIEW: Night Traveler Discuss Their New EP, "Night Traveler, Vol. 1" and Plans for 2019
Austin indie/rock band Night Traveler burst onto the scene last year with the moody, retro sound that can be heard on their singles, “1984", “Springsteen” and “Don’t Forget Me”, but 2019 promises to be even bigger and more exciting for the duo. With their new EP, Night Traveler, Vol. 1 out now and a second EP already in the works, Night Traveler join the likes of The Midnight and FM-84 with their 70’s and 80’s pop influenced sound and a vibe that will make you long for late night summer drives.
We recently caught up with Night Traveler to discuss their formation, new EP, plans for the rest of 2019 and much more. Get to know more about the band now below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Night Traveler for anyone who might not be familiar?
Adam: We are an indie/rock band out of Austin, TX. Hunter and myself (Adam) had helped each other on some other projects here and there but we both had the itch to start something from scratch. We are both old guys at heart with a lot of 70’s and 80’s influence and wanted to make something that represented that. We went the two lead singer route, which is pretty throwback in itself, and dig the whole concept. The eagles are one of my all time favorites and I was so into that whole thing, two singers, lots of potential, yet it all slides together. That said we sound nothing like the eagles.
You’ve mentioned before that your vision for Night Traveler is to create timeless music that anyone can enjoy. What makes music timeless to you? Is it any specific sound, a combination of sounds, or just a feeling?
Adam: I specifically remember being in back seat of my dad’s Camry as he toggled between Neil Young and Bob Dylan records. I won’t say I completely got it back then but I knew there was something special there. And now, over 20 years later, that music speaks to me more than ever. There was a rawness there, a frailty. I think we have that. We use programming of course but we keep the essentials played by human hands, open to mistakes and imperfections. I like the idea that someone might hear a song of ours and wonder if it came from the 80’s. I like that a lot of our fan’s parents like our music. I like that at many of our shows we see teenagers and 40 year olds. Timeless and ageless is the goal for sure. But nostalgia comes from bringing people back to the sounds and melodies that spoke to them from different ages. Ultimately we pool from a lot of those places from our own musical pastimes and it has become yeah, what I would hopefully consider a timeless sound.
Last year, you guys released a handful of singles, ending 2018 with “Don’t Forget Me.” Can you tell us a little bit about the song? What inspired it?
Hunter: This song is about a journey. It’s told from the stand point of confessing your heart and being honest about what’s most important to it. It walks through fears and doubts which leads to resolution and understanding.
The idea came from a conversation I had with my wife at the house. We were both talking about the great unknown of what’s ahead and where we might go. We were kind of joking around as she said to me, “no matter what, don’t forget about me.” That sentence really stuck out to me and I thanked her for the great song idea. I sort of wrote parts of this song as a response I guess.
Then you get to the bridge and its real straight forward. “This is all I ever was, so leave me if it’s not enough. Do it if it’s what you gotta do”. To me that lyric isn’t an ultimatum, but rather finally accepting oneself. We are who we are. Sure, fight to be better everyday, but ultimately, this is it. And when you love someone, I think the best you can do is be honest about yourself to yourself. And if it’s not enough for someone, its not enough.
What was the highlight of your 2018? What would you like to accomplish in 2019?
Adam: Our band started cold turkey…as in the first thing anyone ever heard of us was online. There was no brand, there had been no live shows, which meant the music had to speak for itself. After a month our first single had over 100k streams. No antics, no huge following. All we had was the music, and people liked it. That was the highlight for me.
Hunter: For me the highlight was finishing up the last 2 songs on Vol 1. Seeing how far we had progressed from the first 3 songs to hearing what was coming out of the studio speakers was a cool moment for sure. That and of course having Adam call me saying, “Spotify was broken.” Because of how many spins we were getting on our first song. Can’t forget that one.
We hope to put in a lot of work this year to build the foundation of what NIGHT TRAVELER could be. We hope to learn a lot and grow as musicians and as people.
You’re also getting ready to release even more new music, including your new EP this month! What goals have you had in mind for these new songs? What would you like to accomplish with them?
Our goal is to get on as many playlists and support shows as we can this year. We realize nothing comes easy, so we don’t look at this EP as our big break, more or less as a stepping stone in the right direction. We’re already looking ahead by getting back in the studio working on Vol 2. Our biggest chance of making this work is by making good music so that’s very important to us.
Ideally, we would like for Vol 1 to open that next door. It doesn’t have to be a big door, just the next door. Aside from that, hopefully it will get us on the road to playing more shows.
What can fans expect from the EP? How do you feel you’ve grown with the new collection of songs?
To pay for the first 3 songs, we pooled together all we had made playing in other projects and put it on the table. That got us 3 days and 3 songs. It was a whirlwind that packed a lot of energy and late nights. There’s some magic in that to be sure but with this EP we got to take a much more thoughtful approach. The first idea didn’t always win, and we even worked on songs that didn’t quite make it this time around. We got to trial and error sonically with different ideas to find the components to make each song feel just the way we wanted. I love the first songs, but I feel like we got better at articulating what we felt in a deeper way than before.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of working on the EP?
Number one would be relationships. You hear about a lot of selfishness in the industry and now being part of something that is really starting to pick up, I figured we would run into that. Its been the absolute opposite experience for us. We have worked on this EP with top notch people, and they all just want us to win. They get what we are doing and they work hard to help us achieve, for the genuine purpose of us achieving. Pretty wild.
On the actual musical side, this was our first time to ever make something in a manner that wasn’t rushed. It wasn’t a dump out your life savings and hopefully create your best possible work in 3 days. We got to be thoughtful about parts, lyrics, and the right emotion being conveyed through the production. It was a holistic approach to recording we’d never had the privilege of and Id like to think its shows.
With new music out now, could we expect any shows or tour dates in the near future? Do you have any other big plans coming up?
For sure, we are hitting the road here in the spring and summer. Feb-March we have some great headlining spots in ATX and the rest of central TX. We also have some runs with Honest Men and Vacation manor in April. And then are lining up a summer tour currently. Also, we are already working on songs for volume II.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We really appreciate opportunities like this, a chance for people to get to know who we are is important to us. So, thank you! We encourage everyone to keep up with us by following us on social media @nighttravelermusic or by getting on the email list at nighttravelermusic.com. We love getting to know our fans!