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Travoltas | Endless Summer | interview | punk | Lollipop

Travoltas

Endless Summer (FastMusic)
An interview with vocalist Perry
by Scott Hefflon

Travoltas are going to be huge. They're just too good to pass up. Writing some of the catchiest feel-good songs you've ever been blessed enough to hear, combining all the magic of Ramones, The Beach Boys and Weezer (at their best), you simply melt like ice cream on a warm summer day.

You're touring the States all summer (including a few Warped Tour dates), so Endless Summer is actually coming out here before it comes out in Europe, which is the opposite of the way you've done it in the past.
Yes, we usually release them in Europe first and then in America a year later, but with this summer tour, we switched it around.

I got Teenbeat (on Coldfront, run by Brett of Hitlist) and really, really liked it (I have the big quote on the one-sheet, goooooo me!), so I'm glad Fastmusic is really giving you a push in America.
Finally! We've never had a tour in America, so we're very excited. We've been together for, oh, 12 years, but for the first five or so, we didn't really do much of anything. We were still in school, just hanging around with nothing better to do than play in a band. But when we got out of school, we got serious about the band. That was about six years ago.

Have the band members stayed the same?
No. It was hard to keep people interested because some of the band members had other things they wanted to do with their lives. But the line-up we have now has been pretty stable for the last few years.

Not only because of the obvious Beach Boys influence, but Travoltas seem to have a real connection with California.
We're very fond of California. I actually lived in Los Angeles for two years and moved back to Holland only about a year ago. I traveled back and forth each time the band toured or recorded. But I grew up in Holland.

Not to sound stupid, but The Netherlands and Holland are the same thing, right?
Yeah. It's like the United States and America.

What's Holland like?
Half of Holland is the shore, it's along the North Sea. That's the sea that divides England from the mainland of Europe. We have Germany on the other side and Belgium in the south and the rest is all sea. So there are a lot of beaches and beach culture in Holland. Not so much wave surfing, but a lot of wind-surfing. A lot of people from Germany and Belgium come to Holland to vacation. In the summer it's usually... Well, in Fahrenheit, it's high 70s, or the low 80s.

The winters get very cold, and we get a lot of rain. The Fall starts in September and it rains through, say, April. So we don't have a long summer, but the summers are beautiful.

Swedish bands are becoming quite the thing in America, but that's way up North from you...
It's about a 17 hour drive North from here. Not much for beach culture there!

Do you get compared to Randy very often?
Not really. We get compared to American bands. Swedish bands are more popular in Sweden and America than they are here in Holland. We get compared to Weezer a lot, and, of course, The Beach Boys. But I think we have a lot more guitars than either of those bands, which is why people bring up the Ramones.

I didn't realize that you were signed to the European branch of Roadrunner...
Not anymore, but we did two albums for them. We didn't sign with them for American distribution, because we know that there they do mostly nü metal, and that's not our thing. But Roadrunner (Europe) did some good things for us in Europe and Japan. But with this album, we wanted to do things differently.

What record other than Teenbeat was on Roadrunner?
Club Nouveau. It wasn't released in America. But a few songs were put on an EP called Step on the Gas that came out this year on Nice Guy Records (in Ohio, www.niceguyrecords.com).

How did you hook up with Coldfront?
We'd put out Modern World, produced by Marky Ramone, and we played South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and Coldfront put out that record a year later, and then they put out Teenbeat as well. I, uh, really don't remember how we met...

Who produced Teenbeat and Endless Summer?
I did, with the guitarist Vincent. We've also produced records for a few Dutch bands. One is a really loud, garage punk band called The Spades, another is an all-female punk band called The Riplets, and another is a hard garage band called House of Destructo.

Holland is the place with the windmills, right?
Yes, (sighing) and the wooden shoes.

Amsterdam is the capitol? The place where you can smoke pot legally?
Yeah, but it's not as big a deal as people like to think... It's mostly tourists, especially young people. When bands come here, they go straight to the coffee shops to buy marijuana or hash. No one drinks coffee there.

There are canals there, too... Is it a big seaport?
Not anymore. It's not even on the sea anymore. In the 17th or 18th century, they closed off part of the sea and dried the water to obtain more land. So it's surrounded by land, but there's still a huge lake and a canal that connects to the sea. The biggest harbor in Holland is now Rotterdam. I think it's the third largest in the world, after New York and Tokyo. But that's pretty much it for big cities and industry. There are other, smaller cities, but the rest is very flat, with small villages.

What are the villages like?
Well, the buildings are old, but most of the people are up to date... No one's walking around in wooden shoes anymore.
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