Exactly one week before Christmas and shortly after their show at Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Travis Brown (guitar/vocals) of “Wake Up The Echo” gave insight on the band, musical influences, gear, Neil Young, and bandmates Nathan Price (guitar/vocals) and Ryan Steward (drums).

TCAS: What is the history of Wake up the Echo?

Travis Brown: “Wake Up the Echo was an idea that started in late 2006 when I was living in NW Indiana. I had moved up there to take a job (chasing a bigger paycheck), but quickly found myself miserable, alone, and totally bored. I started coming up with songs and recording them on a digital 8 track machine. They mainly consisted of guitar, drum machine, and other assorted noise/keyboard sounds. I moved back into the area a few months later and actually got together with my old friends, Alex Steward, Nathan Price, and Ryan Steward. We had all played in various incarnations of my previous musical outlet ERCEL, so it was a pretty easy deal to get everyone together. I reworked some of the NW Indiana recordings with Alex to add live drums and other instruments and we rehearsed a handful of times. We played one time at Sluggo’s (the old Brownsville location) and after that show I basically decided that I didn’t want to play live music ever again.

Flash forward to spring/summer of 2010: I had been recording some music with my laptop computer and came up with a very stripped down collection of songs (titled AVERY STREET) that I pretty much just emailed to my close friends. I still had no interest in playing in public but it was fun to be messing around with music again. Of course, I started getting bored with acoustic songwriting so I started messing with the electric guitar, especially with alternate tunings. This really opened up a whole new approach to guitar, one that really made playing a lot more simple and interesting to me. I came up with a bunch of demo recordings set to drum machines and around August started talking to Ryan and Nathan about getting together and seeing what would happen. We started practicing with some regularity on these new songs; Nathan and Ryan also had numerous song ideas that seemed to fit in perfectly with what we were doing. We played in public for the first time in November at James Hagan’s birthday party/roast. We are currently recording at the studio we have set up in my spare room. Alex Steward plans to join us as a bass player in the near future.”

TCAS: Musical influences?

Travis Brown: “I have been influenced by alternate tunings and fuzz pedals. I would be lying if I didn’t mention Neil Young at the Saenger Theater, which was really kind of a bizarre performance. I’ve never seen a solo artist get up and play fuzzed out guitar quite like that.”

TCAS: Were the dual Fender Thin Line, F-Hole Telecasters used by Price and yourself a coincidence?

Travis Brown: “I’ve always loved Telecasters and I picked up mine over the summer in a trade that I made via Craigslist. I wasn’t trying to totally copy Nathan, but I couldn’t pass up this deal. I think it’s kind of funny, but it would be a lot more cool if we had matching Electical Guitar Company guitars or Travis Beans. Nathan does have a Gibson SG that he has mentioned possibly using and I have a P-90 equipped Gibson that I will probably use in the future as well, so it won’t always be an “all-Tele” band.”

TCAS: Any projects in the works?

Travis Brown: “We are currently working on recording this batch of songs which we will make available (for free) to download when it’s all finished up.”

TCAS: Anything else you would like to add about the show or your band?

Travis Brown: “First, I am thankful to all of our friends who have provided encouragement, inspiration, and a level of enthusiasm that I never would have imagined. We will play in public again at some point, but nothing has been lined up yet.”

Check out Wake up the Echo