Major changes ahead for this Travisty in ‘09

by Ryan Snyder

Thomasville’s the Travisty (www.myspace. com/thetravistyband) iscomprised of the stories of some of its individual members. The band isbuilding up plenty of buzz in their hometown and beyond for theiraggressive playing, emotional lyrics and mesmerizing stage presence,but at the root of their burgeoning success is the inspiration providedby family hardships and a shared love of music. But you hadbetter not blink, because the Travisty will be gone come the first dayof 2009. The band itself isn’t going anywhere, however, but the namewill. The name had already been copyrighted by another act severalyears ago and thus they have received a rather nasty letter insistingthat performances under the name “The Travisty” cease. The band soon tobe formerly known as the Travisty will operate as Across My Eyes in theNew Year, though the music and the personnel will stay the same. “Theother bad hasn’t even played a gig in four years according to theirMySpace page,” said guitarist Corey Oshin. “They sound like amix of Blink 182, Nirvana and GWAR,” he added with a smirk. BassistMichael Southern said that should the name the Travisty ever becomeavailable, the band wouldn’t hesitate to snatch it back up. A lot ofeffort has gone into marketing themselves under that name and there arestill concerns that the loss of name recognition may have a detrimentaleffect for the time being. “We hope the change goes prettysmoothly. We’re getting it out on MySpace and at our shows,” addeddrummer Tanner Delphino, “but we’re still a little afraid that it willhurt our fan base, or at least confuse them just a little.” Notthat the band has a problem with being recognized. In fact, severalmembers have been called out in the most arbitrary of places, evenoutside of their hometown. “I was in a gas station at Raleighone time and a bus driver recognized me from the band,” said guitaristBrandon Webb with a look of puzzlement. “I couldn’t figure out how heknew that.” That sort of unexpected public recognition is the pleasantresult of the effort and dedication to their music that each of thefive members of (soon to be) Across My Eyes has poured into their work.The undeniable chemistry between each of the members is the other. “Thisisn’t something we’ve just played for fun,” said Delphino. “It is fun,but I’ve sacrificed so much for our music and I wouldn’t have a reasonto get up in the morning without it.” Each member draws upon his ownunique inspiration in order to stay motivated, though some of themembers say that Oshin does his best to keep everyone in line as theband’s taskmaster. Vocalist Jesse Hill, who joined the band after hewas found wandering though Southern’s backyard, is a prolificsongwriter with the uncanny ability to write great material completelyoff the cuff. He constantly amazes his band mates not only with hispowerful voice, but also his writing ability. While away from practice,the rest of the band wrote the music to “Break My Wheel.” Webb playedthe music on acoustic guitar just before a show and Hill came up withlyrics that the rest of the band loved in only 10 minutes. He says he draws upon the difficult relationships that he’s experienced for the emotional themes that mark the band’s music. Forinstance, he finally met his biological father as a 17-year-old kid,only to have him have him die in a truck accident shortly thereafter. Still,he took it in stride and even finds the wherewithal to joke about itwith his band mates. “We have this crazy theory that it wasn’t his realdad that was hit by the truck, who we think is actually Phil Collins,”Southern cracked about Hill’s coincidental resemblance to the formerGenesis drummer. But flukes seem to be a hallmark of thisgroup and such is the case with Oshin’s reunion with his own father.Oshin moved from Florida to live with his brother and in aserendipitous occasion, discovered that his biological father lived ina house behind the home of Southern along with a brother and sister hehad never met. Southern himself owes a great debt to family he’s nevermet. It was recordings of his greatuncle Leon Prince that spurred hisinterest in music from a very young age. Prince was murdered at 21, butleft a lasting impression on Southern, who described him as a guitarprodigy in the class of Randy Rhoads. “He as sent a recordingcontract through the mail, but my family sent it back saying sorry andthat he had been dead for six months,” Southern said. The band will berecording material for a live DVD release on Friday at Greene StreetClub in their last performance under the Travisty. However, Across My Eyes will open 2009 with several performances in the month of January.