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Invidia

Invidia is een betrekkelijk jonge groep, maar toch zijn het geen groentjes meer. Door de ervaring van de leden en de samenwerking met Logan Mader kregen ze al vlug de naam superband toebedeeld. Aan de vooravond van de wereldwijde release van hun debuutalbum, hadden wij een gesprek met zanger Travis Johnson. Terwijl het bij ons bij middernacht was, koud en nat, zat meneer in zijn short te relaxen bij een temperatuur van een mooie dertig graden Celsius.

Door: Koen W. | Archiveer onder heavy / power metal

When Invidia came together at the end of 2015, you were called super group. Is that a name that fits you?
No, certainly not. We all knew each other from music careers before Invidia. I was a good friend with Brian. We came together with Logan Mader and started with a few songs. Brian was friended with Matt Snell so he joined in. Matt was friended with Darren Badorine so he joined the band as drummer. Marcos Medina who had played in Skinlab was the last one who joined us after the record was finished. But years ago, I think somewhere in 2002, I was doing the vocals by a band called Flatline and Matt was the bass player. So in one way, we all knew each other for about fifteen years. We are just a band of very hard working musicians who gave up everything to make a good album. ‘As The Sun Sleeps’ is our debut album. If we want to survive, we have to make it great. So the name super group is not anything that fit’s with us.

Do you see it as a bunch of friends or more as a professional band? When I noticed the logo of the band, the sound and music and the merchandise, it is clear that you aren’t beginners or amateurs.
We handle everything as professional as it can be. Of course we are good friends of each other’s. But when you have to live for your music, you have to give everything. It’s a tough world when you have to life by your music these days. We are not Mötley Crüe and living in the eighties so we make tons of money and spend it on girls, cars and houses. We have all a lot of life experience and are aware of the problems and traps that there are in the music business. We spend a lot of time on the band and give ourselves for the full hundred percent. Our living is made by our merchandise, giving shows and selling albums. At least when nobody steals the music or start to look at our shows with YouTube.

Almost everybody of you were part of great bands such as Skinlab, Five Finger Death Punch and In This Moment. Did you know each other from that period or how did you met?
Five Finger Death Punch is a great band. Years ago we toured together so I knew them all and it are wonderful guys and very hard workers. They are successful but worked hard for it. It’s not like their success was earned for free. Brian Jackson (former Skinlab) and I are good friends and we know each other already for a long time.

The lyrics and music all handles about life experiences and lessons in life. It’s like you had already a story to tell for different years and the misery comes out in the lyrics.
Yeah, you could say it like that. That why we used the story of Rocky Balboa. He got a lot of setback in his life but he always came back stronger than before. That’s the same story of our live. And now with Invidia we form one strong block. I’m a fan of Rocky for almost all my life. I was about ten years old when I saw his movies. In my room I had plenty of posters hanging on the wall. It’s not just about the boxing but it is that story that interests me. Getting a lot of shit above you but always come back stronger.

How easy or how difficult was it to call the band together and write the songs?
That was not so difficult. We all live in the parts of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. So it’s not like we live at the edge of country. And you also have the internet. So first the music was written. That are mainly the guitar riffs. With the drums and bas it was all formed. When the music was ready, we started to write the main lyrics. Our producer and manager was Logan Mader. Maybe you know him from Machine Head. He is just a wonderful person who helped us a lot. During the recording of the album and before Marcos Medina joined the band, Logan played all the second guitars. He has already a lot of experience and he knows almost everybody in the scene.

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Invidia is a metalband and sometimes you play aggressive but other songs sound so catchy. Is this according the participation of the writer or pure coincidental. Other bands are looking their whole life to write a catchy chorus and Invidia wrote them by the dozen.
Ha-ha, thank you a lot. I don’t know how we do it. You are right that we play some aggressive and hard stuff. But then there are a lot of songs like our new single ‘Feed The Fire’ who could be played at any rock radio. It is not that we chose a kind of popular music. We just start to write and before you know it, we got a catchy song with strong choruses.

You were known as the bass player from In This Moment. With Invidia you prove to have an excellent voice. What is your preference: the bass or the vocals?
That’ a difficult question. It is for years that I’m singing and exercising my voice. And I used to sing in a very aggressive way. It’s Logan that helped me with searching for my clean voice. When you hear my singing some emotional stuff, that’s all due to Logan Mader. He let me sung things that I never dared to try. So all the strength in singing you hear is with his help. But I also love to take my bass guitar and play like hell.

That’s a coincidence. Begin this year, I spoke Logan Mader for his band Once Human. He already told me about the band Invidia and that they were recording a great album. What was his part in the band and the recording of the album? Do you see him as a full band member or is a possibility that there will be another producer for the next album?
I already have spoken that he helped with playing some second guitar. He helped us a lot and his influence was enormous. But he is still our co manager and producer. We see him as the fifth member of Invidia. We even start with new songs for the second album. Logan is helping us and he stays producer. But one that is very close to the band.

You’re a band from the States but you signed with SPV, a German Label. How do you get in touch?
That is just the work from our manager Shawn Barusch who is also president of Music Gallery International. He knew the A & R manager from SPV and he spoke about us. SPV was very interested and their vision fits with that one of the band. They offered us a lot of help and take care of a fine distribution and publicity for the band and the album.

Did you already achieved some reviews of the album? How positive were they?
We already received some reviews and they all are great. So now it’s waiting for the album to be released.

To me personal: Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach weren’t that much renewing last years and Invidia has a much more refreshing sound. Do you also see it that way?
That’s difficult for me to tell. Jacoby (Shaddix – vocalist) is a good friend of me. Just like me, he is already sober for years and when we are playing at the same festival, we talk a lot of it of music but also about the inner demons and alcohol abuse. But thank you for the compliment.

How do you see Invidia in ten years from here?
We go for five albums, a lot of Grammy’s and a house of five. With a swimming pool off course. Well, that is what I hope. Nobody could see in the future but I hope from the depth of my heart that we still exist and everybody know our music. We are working hard for it.

What are the sort future plans for the band? Will we able to see you in Europe or is it momently only the states?
We are doing some shows in the States and of course we want to come overseas for playing in Europe. But there are no concrete plans for it. Of course all the booking is getting started so we will see. I am still part of In This Moment where I play bass. We are starting a tour in April and may so for my there will start a really busy period. When that tour is finished, it will start for Invidia. So sleeping and resting isn’t for me the first months.

So thank you for your time. Is there anything you want to say or share with our readers?
Yeah off course. Please buy and listen our album and come to visit us when we are playing in your neighborhood. Meeting other people and visiting other countries stays wonderful and that is the main reason why we chose this life.

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