Q&A: Thayne of The Travel Guide

The Traveling Guide

The Travel Guide; photo cred: Nevin Baker

On Saturday night, Wichita-based band The Travel Guide will be making a stop at the Gas Lamp. Having been compared to Wilco, Pavement, and At the Drive-In, you should definitely make it down to this show. The show starts at 9pm and you’ll need $5 and a valid 21+ ID to make it past the door. The Holy White Hounds and and Josh Davis & Will Locker will be joining the out-of-towners.

I got the chance to talk with lead vocalist/guitarist for the group, Thayne Coleman. The 23-year-old is a Valley Center, Kansas native with an affinity for Yo La Tengo and Wichita favorites Paper Airplanes and The World Palindrome. (Thayne fun fact: Listening to The Beatles not only inspires him, but scares the shit out of him. “Just listening to Tomorrow Never Knows makes me scared to make music,” he says.)

Take a second and get to know the band before you head out to hear what they’ve got to share on Saturday. I’ll be there, so make sure you say hi!

ThaynePhoto cred:

Instrument stacking by Thayne; photo cred: Nevin Baker

Band Bombshell: If you had to describe The Travel Guide’s sound in three words that all begin with a “T,” what would they be?
Thayne Coleman:
Tumultuous, Trepidatious, other Things from a Thesaurus

BB: How did The Travel Guide come together?
I played in a bunch of bands after high school, then I quit music because I thought I wanted to go into medicine.  Eventually I quit college and started writing songs in my basement.  I started playing with the bass player from one of my old bands (Toy Sails), and eventually recruited Will to play drums after I heard his ridiculously talented and young band, Pretending We’re Pictures (who later changed their name to Murals, but is now defunct).  Eventually our old bassist quit, so I found our new bassist living under a bridge somewhere (I knew him from my days in Toy Sails).  I also recruited my girlfriend, Kristyn, to play guitar after the break-up of her pop punk band, The Lost Colors (they were huge in Chile).

BB: If The Travel Guide could play any venue or festival, which one would it be any why?
There are so many.  We’re setting our sights on SXSW for next year.  When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to play on a late night talk show.  Wilco’s “Ashes of American Flags” DVD made me quite enchanted with Tipitina’s in New Orlean’s and Cain’s ballroom in Tulsa.  It’s tough to say, though I’m a certainly more of a “venue” sort of guy, mainly because each building has it’s own unique history, personality, and aesthetic.  

BB: Any big tours/shows coming up?
TC: Due to the demands of our drummer’s high school education, we are currently warring it out on the weekends, but after we get back from Des Moines I’m gonna roll up my sleeves and get to work on the long and arduous process of booking some long tours for us in the summer.   My eyes will surely cross from looking at email for so many hours.

BB: Any recordings in the works?
We recently did a live taping/recording at a friend’s house.  It’s currently in the mixing and editing stage, but once it’s done we’ll release it online and compile it with some other live recordings into a download package.  I think the first full length is scheduled for the fall.  We want to wait until we’re ready to hit the road full time to release the first full length.

BB: What’s the best show you’ve played and where was it?
TC: The best show we’ve ever played was at Kirby’s Beer Store in our humble hometown last weekend.  If you’re in a touring band and you stop in Wichita, you have to get to Kirby’s.  The pay isn’t great, and at first glance you’ll think you’ve stopped at the garbage dump of the world, but then the Kirby’s Mojo will wash over you (which smells a bit like spilled beer from the ’80s), and you’ll forget your reservations and that you have no idea what that stain under your amp is.  Kirby’s is one of the tiniest, loudest, dirtiest rooms around our hometown, but it just feels cozy and totally inclusive.  We played the show with some of our best band friends from around town (Paper Street and Japanese Game Show–check ’em out), and as ambiguous and cliche as it might sound, everything clicked.    

BB: Why do you guys play music?
TC: At least for me, it’s the sheer joy of playing something you created for people, and the chance to communicate something about what it means to be alive in the time and at the place that you are.  I probably stole that from Bruce Springsteen, but I don’t really care.


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