The Travoltas are BACK. Until We Hit the Shore will be the Pop Punk/Power Pop soundtrack to the summer of 2017. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Perry Leenhouts about the new record and how it came together.
The music industry has changed a lot the last 10 years. What did it bring you? Now and then.
10, 15 years ago, once you hit a certain level you were really depending on the record labels. Nowadays, you have much more control over your releases and how you can promote it. With all these social media platforms, it’s much easier to reach a large, international audience that previously you would have needed a record company for to get that kind of exposure. That said, 10 to 15 years ago, the labels would bring in the big budgets to record albums and shoot videos, and get you on MTV. That’s basically gone, unless you belong to that select group of top artists. For us, it evens out. We always had a DIY approach, even when we were signed to CNR/Roadrunner. We’d still produce our own records. Now we do that on a much smaller budget, but luckily we have technology on our side, and a good set of ears!
Until We Hit The Shore, it seems you didn’t lose your craftsmanship for writing catchy tunes? How did the songs came together?
I never stopped writing songs, and after the 2014 reunion shows, I focused more on tracks for a potential new album.This time around, collaborating was a bit harder because the guys are in Holland, and I live in the States. So I’d work on demo tracks and send them to the band. Once we hit the studio, we had a clear picture of what we wanted, and how it should sound. We communicated on a daily basis throughout the process, something we do anyway, since we’ve remained good friends over the years.
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
I think very early on, when we started sharing ideas and demos, we knew we were on the right path. Since we’ve spent many, many years together, we have a good understanding of what we all dig, and we trust each other’s judgement. When everyone in the band reacts very positively from the get-go, you know you’re on to something good.
You are getting great reviews! What about that?
You’re always a bit nervous, because we may like the songs, but will our fans, and people who are just discovering The Travoltas? So far so good, and it’s great to see so many people are happy we are back with a new record. That means a lot. Above all, we hope people will use the record as the soundtrack of this summer.
She will decide on a 5 song mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
Ramones: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run
The Ronettes: Be My Baby
Buddy Holly: Oh Boy
Elvis Presley: One Night With You
The Beach Boys: Don’t Worry Baby
How will 2017 look like?
We’ll be doing a few shows over the summer and fall, but most of our attention will be around the record. We may release another video as well. It’s hard for us to get together and go on tour, at this point in our lives and because of where we are located. But for the right show at the right time, we’ll team up and hit the stage. Like I said, I really hope people will associate this record with the summer of 2017, that’s the goal. Anything else is a big plus. In the meantime, I’ve started writing new tunes again, so I promise you won’t have to wait 13 years for the next album !