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buzzbands.la: Video premiere: Sumo Princess, ‘Kali Ma’

As the queen of thump, the goddess of thunder, the sista of 60Hz, Abby Travis has traveled a musical journey that has rumbled across the musical spectrum. After building herself quite the 30-year career as the go-to badass session/touring bassist in town, she’s now fronting her latest revelation, Sumo Princess.

Travis has thumped alongside the Go-Go’s, KMFDM, Eagles of Death Metal, Masters of Reality, The Bangles, Beck, Elastica and, yes, even Cher. Her partner in din, Gene Trautman, has a similarly impressive CV, having pounded skins for the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan and the Miracle Workers.

Together the duo blast forth an unholy racket that surely must register over at Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory. Best described as some sort of deconstructed gonzo jazz stoner metal, Sumo Princess is Frank Zappa copulating with Motorhead and then birthing unidentical twins named White Stripes and Ornette Coleman. None of it makes any sense, which is, of course, why it does. Having been hired guns for so long, this project allows Travis and Trautman to flex their muscles without restraint, hence the unconventional song structures. Their lyrics are playful on the surface, and wryly political underneath.

Let’s discuss Travis’ amps for a moment. The ordnance in question are Travis’ dual Ampeg SVT heads atop massive SVT 8×10 cabinets. The Department of Defense may want to consider weaponizing them. To be honest, they’re quite terrifying. You can “feel” them rearranging your organs. Somewhere in the afterlife, Lemmy is smiling approvingly.

And when you’ve worked with as many people as Travis has, well, why not use those connections? Her podcast Sounds Off with Abby Travis has featured guest luminaries such as Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Exene Cervanka (X), Alice Bag, Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Monique Powell (Save Ferris) and more. (Another preeminent bassist, Mike Watt, interviewed Travis for his show as well.)

Directed by Steve Carter, the video for their latest single “Kali Ma” invokes the Hindu goddess Kali. The playful puppetry by Emily Connell conveys joy, but Travis explains that there is a deeper message, “It’s my view that humankind is hurtling towards an inevitable tipping point of destruction / renewal. There is an awakening chaos form of the feminine. See it macro in the effects of climate change and micro in the rising tide of feminism in response to the tightening patriarchal stranglehold. Kali energy is the trigger. She is action and transformation. On a lighter note, who wouldn’t want a four-armed drummer?”

Their full-length debut, “When an Electric Storm,” came out on May 8 (vinyl on Ruined Vibes).

 

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Discover LA: Sumo Princess Record Release Party

Fresh from their tour opening for The Meat Puppets on the East Coast; Sumo Princess return to their hometown to celebrate the release of their new album “When an Electric Storm”

Sumo Princess, Abby Travis (The Go-Go’s, KMFDM, EODM, Masters of Reality, Beck, Cher, Elastica) and Gene Trautmann (QOTSA, EODM, Mark Lanegan band, The Miracle Workers) will release their first full length album, “When an Electric Storm”, May 8, 2019 on ruinedvibes.com. The band will support The Meat Puppets on the East Coast with West Coast headlining shows to follow.

Sumo Princess is the brainchild of bassist/vocalist Abby Travis who plays heavily fuzzed and effected bass while singing in her 3 octave range. Equally influenced by stoner rock, post punk, and deconstructionism; the band has been compared to Royal Blood meets the B52s and Motorhead meets Nina Hagen.

The first single “Kali Ma” has Travis styling a vocoder vocal over Lemmy-esque distorted bass and an epic drum solo by drummer Gene Trautmann. Steve Carter will direct the forthcoming video. “Wait till you see these completely insane psychedelic puppets,” says Travis, “Invoking the goddess of destruction and subsequent rebirth is both timely and necessary.”

www.sumoprincessband.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abby_Travis
https://www.instagram.com/sumo_princess_band/

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DoLA: BOOTLEG THEATER PRESENTS SUMO PRINCESS

Sumo Princess
Los Angeles based, bass and drum duo Sumo Princess is the brainchild of bassist/ vocalist Abby Travis (The Go-Go’s, Cher. Eagles of Death Metal, Masters of Reality, Farflung, The Bangles, Beck, KMFDM, Elastica) and drummer/cohort Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stoneage, Eagles of Death Metal, The Miracle Workers, The Twilight Singers, Mark Lanegan, Drag News, Mojave Lords)

After working for 30+ years, as a gun for hire: Travis got sick of being appropriate and tasteful so she started creating a new, post political, music from her gut. Sumo Princess has the balls of teenage rebellion with the experience and chops of two alt rock music veterans. Travis and Trautmann have been friends since the 1980’s when she was in The Lovedolls and he played drums with paisley undergound stalwarts The Miracle Workers. The sound they are creating draws heavily from their misspent youths with direct lines to the Residents, Butthole Surfers, Devo, Black Flag, acid during the Reagan administration and legendary LA punk rock clubhouse Rajis.

Improvisation and strange vocal stylings are main ingredients in Sumo Princess’ work. When singing, Travis seems to take on different characters in each narrative. This is big departure from her earlier, more personal, solo work. (Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop, Glittermouth, IV, The Abby Travis Foundation) Through filtering her bass guitar through a myriad of strange pedals, she creates a new sound she calls “Artcore”

Travis is surprised that such reactionary, non results oriented work is resonating so deeply with fans: “I started this band to preserve my own sanity”, Travis says, “My initial goal was just to play at my brother’s club. (Dave Travis/ Café Nela) I’m amazed at the audience response we are getting.”

Trautmann says:
“When Abby asked we to play in Sumo I was stoked because I knew her musicianship and drive would challenge me to better my own playing and to do things I wouldn’t normally do in the standard rock paradigm. We’re really hitting marks across the spectrum of style and I like it like that. Also I get to sing and play orchestral percussion, which is awesome.”

Look for the debut Sumo Princess release in ‘17.

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LA WEEKLY: Album of the Week: Sumo Princess’ When An Electric Storm

Sumo Princess have been around for nearly three years, but it’s taken until now to release their debut full length album. It’s been worth it, because When An Electric Storm is a half-crazed, schizophrenic, operatic, swampy beast of a record.

Despite the curveball nature of the album, reference points are made easy because all we have to do is look at the duo’s resumes. Drummer Gene Trautmann has played with Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan and ’80s paisley underground band The Miracle Workers. Meanwhile, Abby Travis has had a bit of a journeywoman-like career, performing with the likes of The Go-Go’s, Cher, Beck, Elastica, KMFDM and Masters of Reality.

Put all of that together, and you can see the shape of Sumo Princess start to form. Certainly the Sabbath-esque elements of QOTSA and Masters of Reality, the quirk of Beck, the fuzzy indie of Elastica, the melodic suss of the Go-Go’s and even some cold KMFDM ‘tude. It all makes sense.

“When Abby asked me to play in Sumo I was stoked because I knew her musicianship and drive would challenge me to better my own playing and to do things I wouldn’t normally do in the standard rock paradigm,” said Trautmann on an accompanying press release. “We’re really hitting marks across the spectrum of style and I like it like that. Also I get to sing and play orchestral percussion, which is awesome.”

“A lot of this music is my reaction to being a hired gun for so long,” added Travis. “I just got sick of being appropriate and tastefully restrained. Most of Sumo Princess’s music is very aggressive and quite political, albeit by metaphor rather than an anvil to the skull.”

So we get the dark and epic “Kill the King,” complete with Travis’ mildly Tori Amos-esque vocals. From there, one song blurs into the next as the band takes you on a wild and wacky journey, complete with arty drum fills and odd instrumental interludes. Bear with it — the album is worth the effort.

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KJAG: ROCK DUO SUMO PRINCESS, FEATURING ABBY TRAVIS AND GENE TRAUTMANN, SET TO RELEASE FULL LENGTH ALBUM MAY 8TH, 2019 TITLED, WHEN AN ELECTRIC STORM

 


ROCK DUO SUMO PRINCESS, FEATURING ABBY TRAVIS AND GENE TRAUTMANN, SET TO RELEASE FULL LENGTH ALBUM MAY 8TH, 2019 TITLED, WHEN AN ELECTRIC STORM
THE BAND TOURS WITH THE MEAT PUPPETS MAY 8-18
Travis and Trautmann both have impeccable rock’n’roll pedigree including work with rock luminaries such as Cher, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Masters of Reality, the Go-Go’s, Beck, KMFDM and more.

April 22, 2019 (Los Angeles) – Sumo Princess are set to release their new studio album, When An Electric Storm, on May 8th. Tour dates with the Meat Puppets (whose Cris Kirkwood calls Travis “one of the great bass players in the world”) run from May 8-18. The band will celebrate their album release with a show at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on May 26th.

Formed in 2017 by iconic L.A. bassist/vocalist Abby Travis, Sumo Princess are a post punk, stoner rock, art core duo. Drummer Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stoneage, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan) and Travis have been friends since the 1980’s when she was in The Lovedolls and he was playing with paisley underground stalwarts The Miracle Workers. Guest musicians on the album include Mathias Schneeberger (Masters of Reality, Bran Van 3000) who plays organ on “Crooked Plough,” and Tommy Greñas (Farflung) who plays synth on “Kali Ma.”

In a recent Sumo Princess interview with the LA Weekly Travis replied, regarding her choice of instrument: “… the band is just bass and drums. I’m looking for more high end and the Music Man [Ernie Ball bass guitar] gets so much fuzz and I’m looking for those overtones. It’s more comfortable to play and it gets the sound I want for that project.” She adds “I’m an Ampeg artist so I use an Ampeg VR and an 8-by-10 [speaker cabinet].”

“The album was recorded in 2017 and 2018,” Travis explains. “Basically any time I was at home, in between touring with Cher and The Go-Go’s, and Gene was also available; we’d just record stuff whenever we could.” Of the seven tracks, four were mixed and basics were tracked by by Mathias Schneeberger (The Obsessed, Sunn, Mark Lanegan, Afghan Whigs). But she adds “all the vocals and most of the keys I recorded myself at my studio, Tarantula Ranch.” The credits also include David O. Jones who recorded at Wasatch Studios and mixes Ed Munsef, Mathias Schneeberger and Travis.

Abby Travis has been touring professionally and working as a session player since the early 1990s. Her body of work includes international tours or albums with artists like Cher, The Go-Go’s, Beck, Elastica, KMFDM, Eagles of Death Metal, and Masters of Reality. Her career is punctuated by historic performances like her show with U2’s The Edge, Juliette Lewis, and Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk at the 2017 Women’s March in downtown L.A. which Billboard Magazine reported on.

“A lot of the music on this new album is my reaction to being a hired gun for so long” Travis muses. “I just get sick of being appropriate and tastefully restrained. Most of Sumo Princess’s music is very aggressive and quite political, albeit by metaphor rather than an anvil to the skull.”

Bass Magazine premiered the video for the first single, ” Click Bait,” and enthuses “Abby Travis plays heavily fuzzed and effected bass while singing in her 3 octave range…the band has been compared to Royal Blood meets the B52s and Motorhead meets Nina Hagen.” While music critic Steve Hochman (California Report) has compared her earlier work to glam-era David Bowie.

When An Electric Storm is available on vinyl through Ruined Vibes and digitally on Educational Recordings. The band tours with CDs for sale and also makes them available to fans on their website. In addition to Sumo Princess, fans can also tune into the podcast recorded in verité style called Sounds Off with Abby Travis (guests include Tom Morello/Rage Against the Machine, Exene Cervanka/X, Alice Bag, Norwood Fisher/Fishbone), and follow her studio and touring work at AbbyTravis.com.

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The Hype Magazine: Sumo Princess Announce New Album This Coming May

Sumo Princess, Abby Travis (The Go-Go’s, KMFDM, EODM, Masters of Reality, Beck, Cher, Elastica) and Gene Trautmann (QOTSA, EODM, Mark Lanegan band, The Miracle Workers) will release their first full length album, “When an Electric Storm”, May 8, 2019 on ruinedvibes.com. The band will support the The Meat Puppets on the East Coast with West Coast headlining shows to follow.

Sumo Princess is the brainchild of bassist/vocalist Abby Travis who plays heavily fuzzed and effected bass while singing in her 3 octave range. Equally influenced by stoner rock, post punk, and deconstructionism; the band has been compared to Royal Blood meets the B52s and Motorhead meets Nina Hagen.

The first single “Kali Ma” has Travis styling a vocoder vocal over Lemmy-esque distorted bass and an epic drum solo by drummer Gene Trautmann. Steve Carter will direct the forthcoming video. “Wait till you see these completely insane psychedelic puppets,” says Travis, “Invoking the goddess of destruction and subsequent rebirth is both timely and necessary.”

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