Review Fix chats with Coheed and Cambria guitarist Travis Stever, who discusses his side project Davenport Cabinet. Steever also discusses the band’s new album “Our Machine” and how they are different from Coheed and Cambria.
Review Fix: How was the band formed?
Travis Stever: It was just a project I created as a fun thing to stretch out in different directions musically. It acts as therapeutic for me. With Rory Hohenberger playing drums, it was a project where I would juts float along making new sounds. On “Our Machine,” I started creating more centered songs and really started playing attention to details more. And challenging myself. I also began practicing to become better vocally. As it turned out, my cousin Tyler Klose began working with me and I liked what we were doing. So much that I wanted it to be part of this project. Tyler then became a permanent fixture in the cabinet and a big part of our machine.
Review Fix: How do this band challenge you to be a better musician?
Stever: It challenges me to take new chances on new sounds and instruments and not be afraid of the results anything can turn out to be something usable.
Review Fix: What can you do with Davenport Cabinet that you can’t do with Coheed and Cambria?
Stever: In Coheed, I speak with my guitar. In Davenport, I can speak with whatever instrument I want.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration behind Black Dirt Burden? How was it written?
Stever: That song is actually about the hurricane that hit New York, Sandy. It is about how it affected the area I live in- farmers and other businesses, home owners. The music was actually all written around the banjo part that starts the song. I added a guitar riff that wrapped around that line and created a chorus and bridge riff and then I played drums. Tyler then added another guitar and I added the lead guitar with talk box. After all of this, I asked my friend Tom Farkas to play bass. I play bass on all rest of songs, but felt this song could benefit from another perspective. After we had all music done, Tyler and I wrote lyrics and vocal melody together about the hurricane.
Review Fix: What song on this album best personifies the band?
Stever: I would have to say “Drown it all.” It is a great example of how Tyler and I can harmonize well together. Both of our acoustic guitar comfort shows. And Rory plays a perfect driving beat with brushes.
Review Fix: How is the creative process with this band different from C&C?
Stever: It is and it isn’t. It’s different for me because Coheed is Claudio’s therapy in a sense. It is a place for him to write about the life experiences he’s has. And he does it in a very amazing and unique way. It is developed into a whole universe and story that people can dive into. Him being less of a heart on a sleeve person, that is how he is comfortable writing. That world covers him from being naked. When I write a song for Davenport, it’s pretty much heart on sleeves, that’s just how I am. It’s similar to Coheed in the way the music is built. It is usually built on a riff that Claudio has or even keyboard parts he may write. We all then add to that.
Sometimes a riff I show him tickles his fancy and he will write to that. It is always a great experience to write with him. I can usually tell if a riff might make him excited and may make Coheed ears perk up. A lot of Davenport stuff is from a different angle that just isn’t a Coheed kind of thing.
Review Fix: How do you want this CD to be remembered?
Stever: I want it to be remembered period.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the band?
Stever: To play some shows mixing our songs with some kick ass covers.