Mr. T & The Tripatronix
Imagine this, your outside, its dark and as you stand there shivering from the freezing cold, you notice a blanket of dense fog crawling at your feet. You find yourself walking in an alley surrounded by old, abandoned, warehouse buildings; when suddenly, you hear a noise.
As you pause to get a better listen, a strange sensation fills your body. Calmness sets in and you feel as if you’re floating on air. You take a deep breath, and watch it as it gently escapes your body. You turn to follow what sounds like water dripping and your gut tells you to enter one of the open doorways of a particular building. The sound of the dripping water gets louder, and louder as you continue walking towards it. Suddenly you’re in a tunnel filled with miles and miles of plumbing; pipes are just everywhere. You follow the tunnel until you see a bright light. Above the light is another door. Your heart begins to race as see a shadowy figure of a man standing in front of the doorway. As you take one step closer, the shadowy figure speaks to you and says, “Welcome to the West Coast Underground son.”
They say that the underground has no boundaries, limits or rules. It’s pure unadulterated art. When I hear the word underground, the first name that comes to mind is, Travis Nole, also known as Mr. T.
Signed to Vulture’s Crotch Records, Mr. T & The Tripatronix started in 2005, and released his first album in 2007, Volume 1, Double Bass to your face. It’s a hybrid of Funk, Ghettotech, & Metal. It’s a West Coast hybrid.
I first met Mr. T around 4 years ago when we had a jam session at my pad. He brought a guitar and bass and shredded on both till our heads spun. Since then you may have seen him live with various projects ranging from Funk, Blues, Hip-Hop, Metal, Ska, and Punk all the way to Country. I was lucky enough to hang out with him recently; we talked music, the scene and drank beers. Here’s a summary of what was discussed including some Q&A.
Born in Clovis California, Travis played guitar as a kid and played in bands such as The Jokes, and The Johnson Committee. Currently involved with Disarm The Tyrant (another upcoming article), he has recently filled in the role as bass player for the well known Power Metal Group, The Gods & Kings. When he’s not composing masterpieces, mixing, recording, producing, editing or jamming he can be seen running Obsolete Industries, putting on the wickedest of the sickest underground shows here in the valley. Uber Fest was one of his most recent shows last November; check out this short video highlighting the event:
Just prior to the creation of Mr. T & The Tripatronix, he was in the Hip-Hop crew “Home & 6th.” It was after a short break when he felt the need to venture into a darker, more sinister side of Hip-Hop. Though always a Metal-Head, Mr. T first got into Hip-Hop at the age of 19. As you listen to his work, you will hear drum tracks, bass, guitar, keyboards, and vocals along with other cool sounds.
Mr. T writes and composes all the music for each instrument in each of these masterpieces himself. He’s like a mad man, or genius, full of ideas and creativity painting the universe with his musi
Rob: When do you find the time to arrange such masterpieces?
Mr. T: Usually in the early morning when everyone’s asleep.
Rob: How do new pieces come to life?
Mr. T: It all starts with a drum track. An idea or beat in my head, then I iron it out using a program called Tune Track, plus Adobe Audition. I love Tune Track but could use a new PC.
Rob: So with all the various instruments you play, which one is your favorite?
Mr. T: The bass. It usually goes underrated, but if you have a solid bass player that holds everything down, it’s the greatest!
Rob: So what are you currently spinning?
Mr. T: Veil of Maya, Meshuggah, Chimp Spanner, Soil Work, Refugees and after reading your article, The Mars Volta! I even listen to New Rock 104.1 and don’t laugh, but the new 103.7.
Rob: So who are your listeners?
Mr. T: Mostly my close friends though 1 of my pieces got like 6.000+ hits a day from Japan. They were eating it up.
Rob: Your first album is called Volume 1, Double Bass In Your Face, What’s your 2nd album called?
Mr. T: “Central Valley Hell”. It’s sick, but I’m really excited about the 3rd album. That’s where my focus is. I plan on putting disk sets together then eventually offer boxed sets. At that point I will look for a distributor. Plus I’m working on a mini-movie, called “The Tripatronix”.
Rob: One of my favorite pieces is “Chill out & wilt”. What’s yours?
Mr. T: I’d have to say “We can’t all be the same.”
Rob: So where can people contact you and hear the sounds of Mr. T & The Tripatronix?
Mr. T: Just check it out on MySpace, www.myspace.com/TravisNoleMP3
As we sat in his underground studio drinking Heineken’s, which thanks to Mr. T, I can now open with a lighter, he talked about one of his favorite bands, Meshuggah. Like a Historian, he compared Meshuggah to bands that were popular from 1987 – 2002, and, in various genres mind you. Naming each year, then the artists, and what songs ranked what place on The Billboard Charts, then added in underground acts; proving that Meshuggah was ahead of their time. There are bands out there today trying to copy their style from back in the 80’s he said. Their one to respect, one to appreciate, not to duplicate.
Rob: So what do you say to those that are first starting out in music industry?
Mr. T: Embrace your West Coast roots, plus you got to have really good chronic.
Rob: What’s your biggest challenge?
Mr. T: When I feel like I’m in a tunnel, and I need to open up and strive for that live sound. Plus I’m always trying to write something that my wife will like. She’s like my biggest critique. I take her opinion very seriously. I mean c’mon, she’s a roller derby skater, and my lady gets down. She’s really brutal out there, she’s hardcore man. I got to take her seriously.
Rob: If there’s one thing you’d like to tell the world, what would it be?
Mr. T: I would explain what the Tripatronix is. The Tripatronix is everything we are, it is everything we are influenced by. It’s your life, it’s my life, and it’s all life. Oh, and to smoke a bowl and chill for an hour, cause you ain’t getting that time back.