Oklahoma-based band, 9 Left Dead, released their debut album The Wrong Things through Dirtbag (Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group) on September 27th. I recently spoke with vocalist Travis Jones about his music, and how he got to where he is today. This is a talented band, and at such a young age, Travis has quite a life story to tell.
The band formed in Amber, Oklahoma in 1999 when Travis started the band under the name Harmful When Swallowed. In 2008, after bassist Jared Ellis joined the band, the name was changed to 9 Left Dead. I asked Travis about the origin of the band name and why the change. “When we were getting signed, we found out that there was another band already using that name. One night while I was watching the news, which I never do, I saw a story about nine left dead. It made me think about how you never know when you are going to die, so I thought Nine Left Dead would be a great band name,” Travis told me.
Travis grew up listening to a wide range of music, and tells me that there are so many different musicians and music genres that influenced him. While talking about this, he mentioned that Nirvana has been a big influence because of the way the band forever changed the music industry.
When asked when he knew that he wanted to make a career out of making music, it was not what I was expecting. Travis was diagnosed with leukemia as a child. At the time of his diagnosis, it had progressed to where he lost the use of his arms for a while. He spent years in treatment. During this time, many of his friends wouldn’t come around, so he was spending a lot of his time with adults. “My cousin, who is my best friend in the world, left his guitar at the hospital. I started using it to cope with things”, Travis said. This life-changing experience has helped shape him into who he is today.
Of Travis’ most memorable moments thus far, he said, “There have been so many memorable moments. Some good and some bad. I love to go to different places and to meet different people.” He talked about performing recently in Montana. They performed their version of The Doors’ “People Are Strange” and the crowd went wild. Travis’ favorite songs to perform are “Bad Girl” because “it’s fun and we get a great reaction from the ladies”, and “Put Your Guns Down” because of the great crowd reaction.
When asked why people should buy 9 Left Dead’s new album, Travis tells me, laughing, “the art work is great, and the drummer designed it himself…” On a more serious note, he said, “We recorded it with Cody from Hinder and it sounds really good. There is an assortment of songs and they are relatable to everyone, with catchy lyrics.”
The band is currently on the road and spreading the word about their music. There will be more dates announced soon, but in the meantime, check out their debut album The Wrong Things out now.
9 Left Dead is: Travis Jones – vocals, Jared Ellis – bass, Kreg Anthony – lead guitar, Nathan Parrish – rhythm guitar, and Bryan Whitley – drums
For more information about 9 Left Dead: http://www.myspace.com/nineleftdead