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Published: 2011/10/04
by Justin Sachs

The Infamous Stringdusters Share The Festy Experience

Justin: So you just mentioned a live album. Can you tell me some more about that, is it a compilation or it is a certain show? How’d you guys end up picking the tracks for that particular album?

Travis: What we did was we planned five shows in May—we did Charlottesville, Virginia which is sort of our home base, and we played up in Burlington, Vermont, Boston, D.C., and New York City and then we did a compilation of that stuff. We really wanted it to be good, we knew we could keep it simple and package this one show but we don’t like to put a bunch of pressure on ourselves, so we figured we’d just do it over five nights and we’d put together what we feel like is an amazing compilation that is the best recorded representation of our band right now.

We’re all just fucking thrilled with this record, it’s called We’ll Do It Live, and because we own it, we decided that we were going to, in the spirit of empowering our fans, we figured we would let them name their own price. So you can go on there, it won’t be available for another week and a half but you can preorder it, you can buy it for a buck if you want, you can give us 70 dollars, whatever you think it’s worth you can pay us for it. And that feels amazing, you know? To really lower the barrier to entry, if you only have a buck you’re good to go, you can get our record. And if you can afford to pay us more you can do that too. I’m just thrilled for people to hear, and I’m really psyched for it to get out.

Justin: That whole “name your own price” thing seems to be the big thing in the music scene, people seem to be enjoying it. I like the fact that music is now more accessible to anybody.

Travis: Yeah I mean it’s not original in any way on our part, there’s a lot of people who have already done it, but you know, for us it all comes back to just wanting to create the best experience for our fans, for our family, for our people. We were talking about it and we thought to ourselves “Well what better user experience than naming your own price?” I know when I have done that with records it feels so good to just determine the value and when I’ve downloaded things for less money than down the road, sometimes I’ve poured more money into the band because I felt like I got a really good deal. Sometimes I’ve paid more for something cause I feel really good about it, you know, the music industry and recorded music is such a crazy thing right now, nobody really knows what’s going on and it’s interesting to see also what people are paying, and allowing the customer to sort of determine the value.

Justin: Yeah, it seems like a more interactive experience.

Travis: It’s real, for sure.

Justin: So speaking about the craziness of recorded music, congratulations on you Grammy nomination, unfortunately you guys didn’t win it, but could you tell me more about that, about your nomination for “Best Country Instrumental Performance” for “Magic #9?”

Travis: Yeah I mean, there’s not much to it. We weren’t even thinking about it, people just started posting on our Facebook “Congrats on the Grammy nomination” so we booked our flights and went down there and hung out and did all the parties, and the best part of it was watching the ceremony, you know, getting to see like, you know, Mick Jagger and Eminem, it was ridiculous. It was one of the best live shows that we’d ever seen, and just being down there and being part of it and being able to observe that whole L.A. Grammy scene, it was really fun. We didn’t have any expectations of winning, we were just there for the experience and it’s totally cliché but it’s just an honor to be nominated and it was a really really fun party.

Justin: Yeah I’m sure, was there any memorable experiences that come to mind from that?

Travis: One thing that was really funny was when we were walking down the red carpet and we got our picture taken with the Situation from the Jersey Shore, it was hilarious! He had his whole thing, his skin was all glistening and he was puffing out his chest and making his pouty face, it was surreal. Being around that L.A. thing, we’re just a bunch of normal dudes, most of us grew up in the woods. We’re just normal guys, so to be around that whole scene was pretty funny, it was pretty entertaining, we loved it.

Justin: [laughter] Yeah I’m sure that would make a good album cover or CD insert at least. So I was on your Facebook, and it said you just announced a tour with your wife Sarah. Can you tell me more about that? What kind of music is it, and how did that come to be?

Travis: Yeah my wife Sarah is an amazing songwriter and she’s putting out a record, she and I have been doing tours mostly in Colorado for a few years now, so she’s putting out this new record, I don’t know how else to describe it but she’s a singer/songwriter, sort of folk-pop. She did the whole record herself, everything from all the instruments, she engineered, she mastered, she produced, she did everything. It’s really cool, It’s just an opportunity for us to hang out, I grew up out here in Colorado. Right now I’m in the middle of a mountain bike ride and I’m just sitting on the side of the trail, it’s a prime opportunity for us to come out, play some shows, hang out together, make some music and we’re doing this for a week and then we’re going to drive back to Virginia for The Festy.

Justin: And I assume you’ll be playing bass with her?

Travis: Yeah I play bass, a little bit of guitar too.

Justin: Well thanks for taking the time out of your day to speak to me, I really appreciate it.

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