“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
-Sylvester Stallone in ROCKY
It may sound trite, but INVIDIA is truly a brotherhood. Each member of this brotherhood has a story that reflects the quote above. When they came together to make AS THE SUN SLEEPS, they knew just what they didn’t want and how far they were willing to go to make it work on their terms.
Vocalist, Travis Johnson has been a bassist with the band IN THIS MOMENT for years. His devotion to music and lack of limitations on himself brought about the desire to sing. He had tried his hand at lead vocals with other groups, but when Guitarist Brian Jackson – formerly of SKINLAB and producer Logan Mader (ONCE HUMAN, MACHINE HEAD) came calling, he knew that the material they were putting together was an unmissable opportunity.
As Brian pondered the next SKINLAB record, he felt that writing all the material himself freed him up to use it however he saw fit. Calling upon his friend Travis to collaborate, the pair wrote 3 songs in 3 days. Fulfilling their promise to work together, they brought their material to Logan upon his return from tour to enhance what they already had. “Logan brought a lot out of me,” said Jackson. “I’d always loved Alice In Chains style vocal harmonies. He helped me find my voice, literally, to make it happen.”
As Brian, Travis and Logan were tracking, Bassist, Matt Snell (ex of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), asked them who was going to play bass for the group. “You” said Travis, who had been in a band called FLATLINE with Matt. “It was meant to happen,” he noted. “I have forced it to happen in bands, but this one I didn’t need to. It felt right.” Matt brought with him a drummer who had been a local friend in Sparks, NV. With a drumline background, Darren Badorine proved himself with the group. “We made Darren work his ass off to get this job,” says Brian. Next came Brian’s ex SKINLAB bandmate, Marcos Medina, who joined as a second guitarist once the recording was completed, rounding out the band.
The premiere single, “Feed The Fire,” is a song about a repetitive cycle – something about which Travis was quite familiar, having been an addict himself. Totally clean now, Travis puts his all into music. “We joke about the meaning of the song,” says Matt. “Sometimes it is about girl drama, we tell each other not to ‘feed the fire’ of that kind of stuff. Sometimes it is about substance abuse – trying to get healthy…trying to get it right.” Darren adds “you can really apply it to any struggle that someone is having in life.” In a major key, as opposed to minor like most hard rock songs, the chorus of “Feed The Fire” is massive and propels the song to heights beyond the rest.
“Rotten” is a textured, downtempo, dirge. A moody lament, it draws in the listener. “Now or Never” is the opposite – a powerful, hooky song. The intro to the entire album – when it finally busts into the song it tears the speakers up. Empowering lyrics make the track an anthem. The title track wraps up the album as strongly as it began. Each song on AS THE SUN SLEEPS is different, but consistent with the aesthetic INVIDIA has created in their short time together. As Marcos explains, it is true of each band member as well “Every one of us comes from a very different corner of rock and metal spectrum and it’s a good formula that delivers power and identity on every note.”
Each of the members of INVIDIA have had obstacles to surmount… have been hit hard by elements of life in the world of music. Travis applied his love of Rocky movies to the band’s story. “I’m big on the underdog succeeding – on the fact that you are never out of the game… never too far from winning,” he explained. Coming together showed them that moving forward didn’t have to be so hard – because they would do it together.
Travis Johnson (IN THIS MOMENT): voc.
Brian Jackson (ex SKINLAB): guit.
Matt Snell ( ex FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH): bass
Marcos Medina (ex SKINLAB): guit.
Darren Badorine: drums