Abby Travis

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Abby Travis
Abby Travis 2007.JPG
Abby Travis appearing with The Bangles on September 1, 2007 in Woodstock, CT
Background information
Born (1969-11-10) November 10, 1969 (age 45)
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar
Years active 1986 - present
Associated acts The Lovedolls, The Rails, KMFDM, The Bangles, Eagles of Death Metal
Website www.abbytravis.com

Abby Travis (born November 10, 1969 in Los Angeles, California) is an American musician, songwriter, and performer. She is the daughter of Alice Travis Germond, the current Secretary of the Democratic National Committee and Emmy award winning cameraman Larry Travis.

Abby Travis began her performance career in 1986 as the bassist in Los Angeles band The Lovedolls, who were spawned from the cult films Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and "Lovedolls Superstar" directed by Dave Markey. In 1989 Travis joined power pop trio The Rails. In 1993 Travis began working as a bass player for hire. She has toured, recorded, or both with The Go Go's, The Eagles of Death Metal, Masters of Reality, The Bangles, KMFDM, Beck, and Elastica among others.[1]

She is currently playing bass for The Go-Gos.

Abby's first solo record was released under the moniker The Abby Travis Foundation; the rest have been under her own. To date she has released at total of 4 solo albums: The Abby Travis Foundation (1998), Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop (2000), GlitterMouth (2006), and IV (2012).

Bass Player[edit]

Abby has been a touring and studio bass player since the early 1990s, often providing backup vocals as well. One of her first gigs was appearing with Spinal Tap on the Break Like the Wind Tour in 1992, as Promethia Pendragon dancing with elves during Stonehenge at the Universal Amphitheater and playing lead bass on Big Bottom in Phoenix, AZ.[2] In 1993, she toured France with Vanesa Paradis on her Natural High tour. The year 1995 was particularly noteworthy as she performed with both Beck[3] and Elastica playing back-to-back sets on the Lollapalooza tour both acts were on.[4] She continued playing with Elastica through 1996. In 1997, Abby played and sang on Industrial group KMFDM's album Symbols. She is listed as backup singer on "Megalomaniac", "Stray Bullet", "Mercy", and "Anarchy". She played bass on "Spit Sperm" and "Unfit", and is co-credited with lyrics and co-lead vocals on "Waste" and "Down and Out".[5] The album peaked at #189 on the Billboard 200.[6] Her next major tours as a bass player were with Butthole Surfers singer's band Gibby Haynes and His Problem and Exene Cervenka (X) project Original Sinners in 2004. During this time she released albums in her Solo Career, as well as working in the studio, playing bass on Go-Gos bassist Kathy Valentine's solo album, Light Years. (Also see Career Highlights.) She toured as bass player for Tito & Tarantula in 2005 and Eagles of Death Metal in 2010. She toured with Masters of Reality in both 2010 and 2011.[7]

The Bangles[edit]

In 2005, the re-formed Bangles recruited Abby as their bass player to replace longtime bassist Michael Steele who left due to "artistic reasons".[8] The Bangles sang on Abby's song "Lies" (listed as Abby Travis and The Bangles) which was released in January 2008 to benefit New Orleans displaced musicians in January, 2008.[9] Later that year, Abby left The Bangles for undisclosed reasons that also left many fans scratching their head.[10] When asked about the departure, she has alternately said "no comment", and "ask them".[11]

The Go-Go's[edit]

In 2012, The Go-Go's website announced that Kathy Valentine had injured her wrist and that Abby Travis would fill in for their remaining tour dates.[12] Valentine was supposed to re-join the band after recovery, but on March 8 of 2013, The Go-Go's announced she would not be returning.[13] Abby continues to play bass on tour.

Solo career[edit]

In 1997, Abby released her first solo album, entitled The Abby Travis Foundation on You Seem Like a Nice, Well Adjusted Person Records.[14] The album featured Redd Kross keyboardist Gerre Fennell, and drummer Danny Frankel.[15]

Her second album is entitled Cutthroat Sandards and Black Pop and released in 2000 on Educational Recordings. It was co-produced by keyboardist Kristian Hoffman and was called "an edgy, sophisticated and original musical journey." [16] Her sound has been compared to Roxy Music, Nina Simone and a gothic Marlene Dietrich.[17]

Her third album is entitled Glitter Mouth and was released in 2006 (Educational Recordings). They style was dubbed "Cabaret Pop" and was featured on NPR.[18]

Her fourth solo album is aptly entitled IV and was released by Educational Recordings in 2012. Music critic Steve Hochman gave it a strong review for the California Report comparing the sound to glam-era David Bowie.[19]

Acting and Other Credits[edit]

Abby's first film appearance was as Jane Fonda in Weatherman '69 (1989) which was written and directed by Raymond Pettibon and called "A strange spoof in the worst taste imaginable" about urban middle-class terrorists.Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth star.[20] She then appeared in Pettibon's The Book of Manson (1989) as Leslie.[21] She is credited as a Barfly in Bar Girls (1994) a lesbian-themed romantic comedy directed by Marita Giovanni.[22] Abby played a "Member of a Punk Rock Band" in Shadow Hours (2000) written and directed by Isaac H. Eaton. She played The Torchsinger in The Devil's Muse (2007), a film about The Black Dahlia murder written and directed by Ramzi Abed.[23] She appeared as herself on the first episode of MTV's Fashionably Loud performing with Elastica.[24] Ms. Travis is a recurring character on Justin Tanner's web series Ave 43 (2009-). She plays Ondria and has appeared in 40 episodes.[25]

Career Highlights[edit]

2011
  • Lulu single released
  • Music video for Lightning Squared released, directed and animated by Ursula Hitler.
  • Music video for One Hit Wonder released, directed by Fibbleypush Frinkledenk.
  • Launches a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her next album with fan donations.
2010
  • Don't Walk Away single released
  • Rosetta single released
  • Lightning Squared single released
  • Bassist for Masters of Reality (tour)
  • Touring bassist for Eagles of Death Metal
  • Cover of Velvet Underground's "New Age" out on "America Velvet " tribute album
2009
  • catalogue adapted for the musical "Little Black Veil" written by David LeBarron.
  • Vocals on Shira and Safia (Botanica/ Americanundone)
2006
  • Glitter Mouth - released
  • Bass on Light Years Kathy Valentine
  • Now Was music video released, directed by Rocky Schenck.
  • Shoot for the Stars music video released, directed and animated by Travis.
2005
  • Solo Cholo (Kid Congo Powers) vocals and bass on "You Hang The Moon For Me", vocals on "Power" (Credited as Botanica)
  • Touring bassist for The Bangles (through 2008)
  • Touring bassist for Tito & Tarantula
2004
  • produced "Stomping Back On Fire" Brian Grillo / Spitshine Records
  • Bassist for Original Sinners (Exene Cervenka)
  • Touring bassist for Gibby Haines and His Problem (Butthole Surfers Singer)
  • created and promoted her nightclub "Mata Hari" which took place at Tangier in Los Feliz. Travis hosted the night and frequently did two sets (Cabaret and full band) along a bevy of musical guests including: Rebekah Del Rio, Mink Stole, Ann Magnuson, Jane Wiedlin (through 2005)
2003
2002
  • Played Bass on "With All Seven Fingers" Botanica
2001
  • Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop Tour- Abby Travis accompanied by Kristian Hoffman
  • Through 2002 - Bassist in The Glitter Gangster All Stars (House band at Club Make Up @ El Rey Theater - backing up performers including Dee Dee Ramone, Cherie Currie, Jackie Beat, Alexis Arquette)
2000
  • Bassist on "Broken Bicycles" Botanica New Coat of Paint- songs of Tom Waits Album
  • Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop released
  • Music video for Everything's Wonderful released, directed by Dave Markey.
1999
  • Back up vocals on "You Love Me" Meat Puppets EP
1998
  • Botanica tour with Abby Travis opening shows (solo performances)
1997
  • KMFDM Symbols released (Travis co-wrote "Waste" and "Down and Out" and played bass on several tracks)
  • The Abby Travis Foundation released
1996
  • Bassist for Elastica
1995
  • Bassist for Beck and Elastica on Lollapallooza tour
1993
  • Bassist for Vanessa Paradis Natural High tour (France)
1992
  • Performed with Spinal Tap during their Break like the Wind tour as "Promethia Pendragon"
1989
  • Bassist for The Rails (through 2002)
1986
  • Bassist The Lovedolls - Spawned from Dave Markey's cult films Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and Lovedolls Superstar (through 1989)

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCombs, Joseph. "Biography: Abby Travis". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/abby-travis/670990
  3. ^ http://exclaim.ca/Features/Timeline/beck-in_saddle_again/Page/3
  4. ^ http://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/20010406abby4.asp
  5. ^ http://www.discogs.com/KMFDM-Symbols/release/73612
  6. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/276656/kmfdm/chart
  7. ^ http://mastersofreality.com/2010/10/masters-of-reality-announce-band-members/
  8. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/124489-Bangles
  9. ^ http://neworleansmusiciansrelief.blogspot.com/2008/01/lies-by-abby-travis-and-bangles-to.html
  10. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/124489-Bangles
  11. ^ http://abbytravis.yuku.com/topic/379/t/Not-with-the-Bangles-What-on-earth-happened.html
  12. ^ http://www.gogos.com/kathy-valentine-of-the-go-gos-injured/
  13. ^ http://www.gogos.com/update-from-go-gos-hq/
  14. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Abby-Travis-The-Abby-Travis-Foundation/release/1032581
  15. ^ http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/articles/16r02.html
  16. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/abby-travis/670990#m7AlXpy2Z0Hgk6Up.99
  17. ^ http://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/20010406abby4.asp
  18. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6268053
  19. ^ http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201203021630/e
  20. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098626/combined
  21. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096967/combined
  22. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109217/combined
  23. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372005/combined
  24. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/abby-travis/670990
  25. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2349472/combined