Travis Collins ready to rock Gympie Muster with new album
IF YOU'RE on a good thing, why change it?
Travis Collins certainly has done well for himself as a self-producing singer songwriter.
Fans voted him CMC's Male Artist of the Year for the past two years running and his My Backyard collaboration with Amber Lawrence was a smash hit.
But the country musician wasn't content with doing more of the same when it came to his new album, Brave & The Broken.
He travelled to Nashville to collaborate with Music City's foremost composers such as Jason Duke (Keith Urban) and Dave Turnbull (Luke Bryan).
He then returned to record with producer Luke Wooten (Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley).
"In the past I always produced my own records. I just didn't have contacts or budget to have someone else to do that," Collins says.
"It's something I've been proud of with my past records. This time Luke reached out and we'd spent several months trying to get someone of his calibre. He said he had a window in January and within five minutes I had my air tickets booked."
The pair then assembled a dream studio band including Mike Rojas (Luke Bryan) on keys, acoustic guitarist Carl Miner (Taylor Swift) and bassist Jimmy Carter (Alan Jackson).
"I handed the reins over completely," Collins says. "I had to trust these strangers were going to have that same level of care and detail for my music that I did. With this whole album it felt like I'd gone back to school. I didn't know how to make my next album better on my own, so I had to find the people to do it and teach me. They definitely did that with this record. I feel like I'm so lucky I get to sing on this record."
Collins headlines the Gympie Muster Main Stage on Friday, just one week after the release of Brave & The Broken. He still remembers making his Muster debut in 2004 as the Toyota Star Maker winner.
"One of the things I'm really proud of the Muster for doing is they give a platform for emerging, unknown artist," he says.
"In 2004 I was as green as a tree and trembling with fear. I had to go on after John Williamson. I was 19 years old watching him side of stage and he had 20,000 people in the palm of his hand. I turned to the boys and went 'We're seven people and we are scared of what Willo just did on his own'. Fast forward and here we are again, and guess who I've got to go on after? John Williamson. I will be just as in awe. I've never seen anyone command a crowd single handed (like him)."
Collins will play six of the new album's 12 tracks live during his Muster set including the first single, break-up song High Horse.
"The new show features half of the new album. It's nerve-racking to be honest, but I have confidence in the songs and my band," he says.
"High Horse isn't something I recently felt, but I'm at a stage in my life where I've been there and I recently helped a couple of friends get through some breakups. Something nobody wants to hear is 'put your chin up and get over it'. Sometimes you want to sit there and be miserable for a while."
But there are plenty of more upbeat, party songs to get the Muster crowd stomping their boots.
"One of the new song I'm loving is call Happy. It's just about throwing caution to the wind and doing what you want to do," Collins says.
"Everyone's got an opinion and they feel like they can tell you how to live your life. This song is about cutting out all that noise and listening to your own heart and mind. Do what makes you happy even if it's frowned upon by other people. I can't wait to play that live at the Muster. I think it's going to really kick some dirt.
"I'm also going to sing a song called Church of Rock n Roll. It looks at musical connection, people and live music as some kind of church we go to. For the record I'm not really a religious person but I am a spiritual person, and the most I've ever been moved is when I've been connecting through music to somebody else."
Brave & The Broken is out now. Travis Collins plays at the Gympie Muster on Friday at 7.15pm.