Sunday, March 11, 2012


   Travis Neal is great at 'musical multitasking', being active in numerous bands, like Black Sky Ashes and Divine Heresy, to name a couple. He is a man of many bands, and today he is here to tell us more about his projects and all that lies beneath!

pdn: Hey Travis! First of all, I have to ask do you manage to give all your projects attention?  You have quite a few, among which Black Sky Ashes, Divine Heresy, Cyanide Serenity and so on!
Travis: Well, it can be hectic at times but for the most part it's manageable. Not all of them are active at the same time, so it gives me time to focus on other things

pdn: At what age did you start your musical path and how did you get started?

Travis: I took a serious interest in music when I was 15, My mom bought me a bass and a little practice amp and off I went. I started out being a bass player in a band with some Friends from school but then started singing and playing bass when our singer left. After a couple month's we picked up a bass player and that's when I developed my love for being a frontman.

pdn: How did you put the grounds of Black Sky Ashes? I understand it was an older dream of yours?

Travis: Yes it was. I had been really influenced by some artists that made records doing all the instruments, a true solo record. I always wanted to get to a point where I would be able to do it.When DH took a long break from things, it gave me the opportunity to get started. I had about 6 songs written with no vocals. That is when I had crossed path's with an old musician friend I was in a band with in 2001. We started working on a song I was stumped on and there became Black Sky Ashes! Ben (Peterson) came up with the name, I felt it fit what we were trying to do.

pdn: And how would you describe the sounds of Black Sky Ashes in a few of your own words?

Travis: Man... I would not really say we can comfortably have a sound just yet. We released a 3 song demo but since new members have joined me and Ben, the sound is changing and becoming more developed! The first 3 songs were very mainstream but had a very strong Euro vibe as well, so I don't think many people got it and I was trying to push somewhat radio rock on a sea of DH fans,lol... So I kind of went back to the drawing board and started adding more cooks to the kitchen and it has proved to be a good choice! So for a best described sound? Stay tuned! 

pdn: What experiences did being in Divine Heresy bring you? I know you've joined the band during a line-up change.

Travis: Well, the line up change was what opened the door for me. I knew coming into it, it was going to be tough thing to fill Tommy's shoes. That guy is a great vocalist and a great frontman! I knew that what ever I did, it had to be as good if not better then what DH did on Bleed the fifth. I feel I did that, obviously there are people out there that feel that they would rather Tommy in the band then me, but that is what is to be expected with a frontman change. There are a lot of people out there that love the change. We have a incredible mob of loyal fans all over the world! I can't wait to bring them all a new record from DH this year!!!

pdn: Tell me a bit about joining Cyanide Serenity. What was some unforgettable experience, moment being in that band?

Travis: I joined CS as a fill for them on a 16 day run in India. We all meshed very well and especially in the tough touring
conditions of India, I feel it really brought us all closer as friends and really sped up the getting to know each other process. We decided to make it a permanent thing when the Indian tour was over. We have been puting together a debut record that will be out this year via (?). We have since done a full European tour in support to Decapitated,Aborted and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Also on the tour was an amazing tech death band from Vancouver Canada called "Archspire". I would definitely say that one of the most unforgettable moments with CS was playing Hyderabad, India and the great Indian rock fest. It was such a horrible day and all of our accommodations were messed up, we were all exhausted from the flights and had not gotten hardly any sleep. I was miserable! We did not even sound check because we needed to rest.. so 3 hours of rest later, our cab is at the hotel to pick us up. we get the fest and it's looking good.. get warmed up and get ready to play this last show and get home... But when we got on stage, the crowd had so much energy that it ignited a flame in all of us!! By the second song, I had commanded the crowd to come through the barricades to the front of the stage. Being a festival, they were like 20 feet away and it sucked! I found myself spending more time down there with the crowd then onstage, so I needed to remedy that! Hyderabad's crowd was amazing!!! A crowd that I will never forget and would brave India to play for again!!!

pdn: I've noticed that you like to experiment with different sounds, which I think also explains your activity in various bands. Are there some elements that are common in each of these bands?

Travis: I try to individualize each band. It's hard when your the singer but I try to do different things with my voice with each project, so it breaks up the monotony. A lot of singers that I know that do side projects, they tent to sound like they're main band. I strive for that not to happen, to keep things different.

pdn: What are your personal and musical goals and ambitions in life?
Travis: Well, like anybody that strives to make something real happen from music. I would like to support myself and family from my music, but that is so hit or miss these days. I love to make music,play music and play live!! When I first started playing music and decided to pursue it seriously, all I ever wanted from it was to play on a different stage in a different city every night and hopefully connect with a few people in each crowd! As for my personal goals? I just want to live life, stay happy, watch my son grow up and become a man. I would like to get more involved in producing bands and artist, I have done it before and really enjoy working with other artist and musicians to help bring they're music to the next level!

pdn: And what are the plans of Divine Heresy for the near future? What about Black Sky Ashes, Cyanide Serenity and Sekond Skyn?
There is plans that have been put in motion for a new Divine Heresy record. We have lost some members but are seeking new replacements and moving forward with the music writing and plans for the band. I personally want to make the most brutal record that I have ever made in the new DH material! I want to make sure that people know that DH is here to stay and despite me and Dino's schedules with our other bands, we remain focused on DH and keeping the band on the tips of people tongue's around the world!! Black Sky Ashes has been idle for a few month's but only because we have been going back to the drawing board and creating a heavier side of the band that will compliment the sound that we have created. This project has taking a long time to materialize and I'm not rushing anything to get done. I have built the band members slowly and taken my time to find the right people so I'm gonna do the same with the music, taking the time to make the best that we can make! expect more from the band in 2012. Cyanide Serenity is currently writing a record that is actively being looked at by a good handful of labels and we are hoping to have our record out this year as well as putting together some killer tours!! Be ready! Sekond Skyn has been idle as well due to others and they're other projects and lives. I love the band and music and hope to make some new material soon!

pdn: Thank you kindly for your time!  Any final words you would like to add for your fans, friends?
Travis: Thank you as well for interview and opportunity to discuss my current endeavours!! I would like to thank each and every one of you for reading this, taking interest in any or all my projects and supporting my music. Without each and every one of you, I'm but a whisper in a room full of screams!! I miss you all and hope to see you all very soon!!! Make sure to stop by Reverbnation and pick up the Black Sky Ashes E.P. as well as on iTunes and pick up the Sekond Skyn "the rising tides" E.P.!!! Stay tuned for newer music from Cyanide Serenity and from Divine heresy this year!!!!

Much love and respect to you all!
Travis Neal

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