Travis Hayes (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)
The thought of freshly-made cookies and concert tickets hand-delivered by a musician you paid to see sounds like a project you wouldn’t picture most artists tackling, but Travis Hayes has made it part of his pre-show routine.
The indie-rocker says the idea was inspired by a New York musician, and he first tested it out on fans who pre-purchased tickets to his concert at The Great American Music Hall back in May.
“I like doing something that’s fun for everyone regardless of whether they like your band or your music in the first place,” Hayes said. “If anything, they get a free cookie out of it.”
Hayes also offered a cookie pre-sale for his upcoming show at The Independent on September 15 with his accompanying band The Young Daze. “It’s a huge show for us. The Independent is an awesome venue,” Hayes said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a show at The Independent that I haven’t loved.”
Hayes and his cohorts have spent the majority of the past year recording his newest album Sleepless. He’s excited to take a break from the studio and focus his energy on his first performance at The Independent with supporting acts M. Lockwood Porter and Vandella.
“We’re headlining, which totally blows me away, and I’m extremely humbled by the whole experience,” Hayes said. “We’re playing with some of our favorite local bands and musician friends. It’s going to a big party celebrating really great music in San Francisco.”
Hayes started as a solo singer-songwriter when he first moved to the Bay Area. It was a different direction from the various punk and hardcore bands he was used to playing with at the time. “I didn’t really know how to play guitar that well, and I definitely couldn’t sing. I kind of needed to play with other people to cover that up I guess,” Hayes said. “When I moved to San Francisco where I knew literally no one, I started focusing on my own stuff.”
Moving away from his hometown forced Hayes to create a sound all his own. His music is raw, real, and touches upon heartfelt moments in life. Since his first album, Young Daze, Hayes has added a full-time backing band to the mix.
“It’s nice to have that camaraderie and to have people on the road with you, and people you can lean on and talk to and get through things with,” Hayes said. “It kind of makes the lonely a little less alone.”
What Hayes enjoys the most about his accompanying band is that most of the members also play in other Bay Area bands. The Young Daze consist of a rotating cast of his close friends and favorite local Bay Area musicians. He says this makes him feel a sense of community.
“Everyone who’s been in the band will forever be a part of The Young Daze,” he said. “As much as I would selfishly love to have all of them all of the time, it would be a little unrealistic to have a dozen people in my band for every show.”
The lineup for The Independent will be stripped-down version of the band, including drummer Cade Weidenhaft, lead guitarist Brent Curriden, and bass player Dakota Salazar.
“The four of us will be a power quartet,” Hayes said. “It’s all the same songs and we’re playing a lot of new songs off this new record.”
Photos by Estefany Gonzalez