An Interview With The Las Vegas Rockers INVIDIA!
Posted On 17 Mar 2017
Las Vegas-based rockers, INVIDIA recently unleashed their new music video for “Feed The Fire.” The single is the second off the band’s forthcoming record As The Sun Sleeps set for release on March 31st via SPV Records.
Fans may recognize vocalist Travis Johnson as the bassist from in In This Moment as well as bassist Matt Snell as ex-member of Five Finger Death Punch. Guitarists Brian Jackson and and Marcos Medina have worked together in Skinlab.
Since forming at the start of 2016, INVIDIA has had one purpose – to create good rock music with no rules and an open mind, leading them to immerse in everything from ‘radio rock’ to ‘Bay Area thrash’ and all that lies in between. INVIDIA has allowed each of the members of the band to produce music in their purest form.
When asked about “Feed The Fire”, Bassist Matt Snell asserted: “this video will blow you away! Brian Cox and everyone at Flare Light Films really knocked this one out of the park.” Guitarist Brian Jackson added: “It was a fantastic experience being a part of this video and bringing the song to life. It was a pleasure working with such a talented cast and crew. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.”
It may sound trite, but INVIDIA is truly a brotherhood. Each member of this brotherhood has a story that reflects the quote above. When they came together to make AS THE SUN SLEEPS, they knew just what they didn’t want and how far they were willing to go to make it work on their terms.
Vocalist, Travis Johnson has been a bassist with the band IN THIS MOMENT for years. His devotion to music and lack of limitations on himself brought about the desire to sing. He had tried his hand at lead vocals with other groups, but when Guitarist Brian Jackson – formerly of SKINLAB and producer Logan Mader (ONCE HUMAN, MACHINE HEAD) came calling, he knew that the material they were putting together was an unmissable opportunity. Brian was between SKINLAB records and the material he was writing started going in a different direction. Calling upon his friend Travis to collaborate, the pair wrote 3 songs in 3 days. Fulfilling their promise to work together, they brought their material to Logan upon his return from tour to enhance what they already had. As Brian, Travis and Logan were tracking, Bassist, Matt Snell (ex member of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), asked them who was going to play bass for the group. “You” said Travis, who had been in a band called FLATLINE with Matt. Matt brought with him a drummer who had been a local friend in Sparks, NV. With a drumline background, Darren Badorine proved himself with the group.
Each of the members of INVIDIA have had obstacles to surmount… have been hit hard by elements of life in the world of music. Travis applied his love of Rocky movies to the band’s story. “I’m big on the underdog succeeding – on the fact that you are never out of the game… never too far from winning.” he explained. Coming together showed them that moving forward didn’t have to be so hard – because they would do it together.
For updates on INVIDIA, please visit:
Learn more about Invidia in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for you? What were some of the highlights for the band? What are you most excited about for 2017?
I would say as far as 2016 is concerned, it was a very interesting year to say the least. I went through a lot of tough moments but a lot of great ones as well including the formation of our band Invidia. Since the day we started the band, it came together so naturally and flawlessly. It’s been very surreal. I feel like we’ve accomplished more in this last year than I ever have in the past with any of my previous bands. We’ve been very overwhelmed with the amount of attention and success we made in such a short amount of time. We are blown away on how fast everything has been happening and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Some of the highlights for me were getting back on the road having a chance to do our very first tour together, signing a record deal with SPV records so quickly as well as working with Logan Mader, Shawn Barusch and our management company Music Gallery International and of course, gaining tons of new fans. I enjoy the personal interaction from the people that I’ve met while on the road and through social media. I enjoy being able to interact with them and hearing their stories on how the music we are making has affected them and means to them. 2017 is looking to be a big year for us. We have lots of tour announcements and we recently just signed a new endorsement with Ibanez guitars so we couldn’t be any happier. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Invidia.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall some of your earliest musical memories?
As long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a rock star. Some of my earliest memories were a couple of my older cousins that used to listen to Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Ozzy – things like that that really inspired me to pick up a guitar in the first place. I actually remember my cousin Josh with his bright red Charvel and his little Peavey amplifier in my aunt’s living room. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old and he used to play Van Halen constantly. I actually didn’t start technically playing until I was about 14 or 15 and I believe I played my first show at 16 years old. Ever since then, I’ve never wanted to turn back.
Can you talk about how this band first came together? How did you come up with your band name? Was it difficult to settle on one name that described your music?
The band came together just by chance. It was just kind of a decision that happened overnight. Honestly, I was bored and I couldn’t sleep one night. I was working on a project with one of my former bands and things were not progressing in the manner that I wanted them to at the time. I had some material that I was working on that didn’t fit the vibe of my other band. I came across Travis on Facebook and saw that he was singing again so I reached out to him, told him that I had some ideas and I would love for him to sing some vocals and he said “yeah man, send them over” and that’s pretty much exactly what I did. We began emailing files back and forth from Las Vegas to New York where he was living at the time and we started putting songs together spontaneously and before you know it, we were in the studio a couple weeks later working on a record before we even had a full band. We really didn’t have a direction or even really know what we were doing at the time other than having fun and writing great songs. Before we knew it, we had Matt, Darren, and Marcos all in the band and a finished record. Travis actually came up with the band name and after giving us an idea of what he felt the name represented, it was a no-brainer and that’s what we settled on. There really wasn’t a lot of thought put into it, it just felt right.
How does being in INVIDIA compare to being in your various other groups? What’s different about the dynamics of this supergroup? Has it been difficult to balance your time with INVIDIA and the other bands you are all in?
This band feels a lot different for me. It came together so naturally. We find it funny that people refer to us as a super-group based off our previous or current bands that some of us are in. There is definitely from time to time scheduling conflicts but we always make it work in the end. Our goal with this band is to do as much possible with what we have to offer and move forward in the most positive direction on the highest level possible. This is definitely not considered a side project for any of us. We want to be contenders with the top dogs and we want to play ball in the big leagues. We take this very seriously and we are definitely very happy with the outcome of the product that we have made.
Next month, you will release your debut album, “As The Sun Sleeps.” Can you talk about what it was like putting this collection together? How long did the process take? How is this collection’s sound different than anything else you put out?
We are very excited about the release of this record. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears and hard work into this. We are thrilled with the fact that we finally get a release our music into the world. This is a very personal record for me for a lot of reasons – not just the fact that I was there since the beginning of the formation but I had a lot of say in the direction musically and vocally together with Matt, Travis, and Logan. I’m very proud of what we have done and I feel like this record has a lot to offer for a lot of different reasons. All the songs on this record are completely different lyrically and musically. There’s a lot of various influences people will find and I think people be pleasantly surprised once they hear the album in full. There’s a little bit of everything for everybody. It came together much faster than I could have ever expected.
What was the inspiration for your single, “Feed The Fire” which is already out now? How creatively involved were you all with the making of the video for this song?
All of us had a lot of input in the direction of video. Brian Cox, the director, is very easy to work with and he had a lot of great ideas right when he first heard the song. He was very open to suggestions from us all. At the end of the day, we are very happy with the outcome of the video.
What musicians continue to inspire your music? Is there anyone that you would all love to work with one day?
There are so many musicians that inspire me daily it’d be hard to make a list. I have my favorites from the past – I’m a huge Beatles fan ,Pink Floyd, The Doors, stuff like that but I also love bands like Alice in Chains for their vocal harmonies and many other heavier bands as well. From Death Metal to active Rock and everything in between, I have influences from all genres. If I had to choose one musician that I would love to have a chance to work with one day, it would be Mike Patton from Faith No More. He’s a genius in every way and I’d be honored to have a chance to work with him someday.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all like to unwind from it all?
Well, besides being a musician, I’m a full-time single father and I own a moving company in Las Vegas (so I’ve been a business owner for the last 9 years) which takes up a lot of my time. I usually stay pretty busy so I don’t have a lot of time to unwind but I enjoy going to concerts, seeing friends, barbecuing, hanging out with my kids and on a very rare occasion actually sitting on my couch and watching a movie, haha. I also try to take at least one real vacation every year but that doesn’t happen all the time, I have been trying to make it a routine lately to keep my sanity. I’m a workaholic so I do enjoy working especially within the music industry and I like to make money just like most of us do.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
At the end of the day I hope the songs inspire people. I hope it makes them feel good about what they hear and I hope we can change lives with our music just like the music that we were all influenced by inspired us.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music or the band?
I would like to say thank you first and foremost to all the supporters that have been helping out along the way. We would love for everybody to please continue to follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We will be updating as much as possible as far as tour dates, meet and greets, and pretty much anything else band related.