Time Travel Interview with Matt Reis of Traveler By Thomas Amoriello Jr.
Posted by NinaBRR on January 14 2020 09:18:01

Time Travel

Interview with Matt Reis of Traveler

By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

Boston Rock Radio 


What was once referred to as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal has for now close to a decade, has taken on an international resurgence from countries such as Italy, Germany, Canada, the United States of America and many more.  This second wave of NWOBHM is being created, generational speaking, by lads young enough to be the grandchildren of the Saxons and Diamond Heads.  This brings us to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the group known as Traveler.  Originally a project of guitarist songwriter Matt Reis has filled out to be a rocking ensemble with vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud, bassist Dave Arnold, drummer Chad Vallier and dualing guitarist Toryin Schadlich.  Today we visit with band founder Matt Reis to discuss current happenings within the camp.  Thank you Matt for granting Boston Rock Radio this exclusive interview.



The positive reviews are pouring in from all over the world about the February 2019 release.  Has there been interest from some larger labels with all of the attention or do you plan to keep it DIY and with the current indie labels?

It's been pretty overwhelming to be honest. But it's a good problem to have. Larger labels have definitely been contacting us, but larger labels tend to complicate things as well as push a band further. So it's bitter sweet. I'm not sure if we'll ever want to leave Gates Of Hell Records at this point. They've done everything we could have ever asked for, with none of the expectations and rights larger labels tend to ask for. This is something we'll have to feel out later on in our career. But right now, we're happy.


The Traveler full length debut came out on Gates of Hell Records on CD & vinyl and on Caligari Records on cassette tape.  How has it been working with those labels that support your genre?

Like I said before, we're happy! We're in a really comfortable position right now. Laid back with no stress. Enrico and Brigida are insanely easy to work with. They truly do care about the music and the artists and that's something a lot of labels can't answer honestly. But there's plenty of great labels to fall under. We're just thankful to be working with Enrico and his team.

Traveler - Logo

Are you a self-taught guitarist or did you take lessons?  And what was the moment that drew you to playing in that fast "gallopy" metal style? 

I took lessons when I was a kid. Maybe from about 10-15 years old. A lot of that was just having fun playing music with my teacher. I didn't know anyone at the time that wanted to take music seriously but my teacher introduced me to Maiden. From then on I was absolutely hooked. Never looked back since.


Live you have been on stage with the Kramer with the reverse headstock, did you use that on the demo and full LP or do you use different equipment while recording?

The Kramer is pretty much my go-to guitar. I have a few others and one really nice Jackson RR1. But honestly, I haven't played a better guitar than that Kramer. I traded a pretty high end Fender Strat for it a long long time ago. I realized I'm just not a Strat guy.  So almost everything I've recorded has been on that guitar outside of my other band Hrom where I mainly use my Jackson.


You wrote all of the music and lyrics released by Traveler so far.  In a previous interview you mentioned that there will be more input from the live band members. Can fans expect a slightly different sound for the next release?

Well his time around I didn't write everything. Dave contributed a song. As well as JP Fortin from Deaf Dealer. He gifted us an old song of his that never got recorded. JP Abboud is taking on most of the lyricso t, so heoretically there should be a different vibe to this album. I tried a few new things but I feel like it's still in the same wheelhouse as the debut.


The debut full length was dedicated to the late Canadian drummer Ty Gogal who toured with Shotgun Dolls and Riot City.  Was he someone you were close with in the Calgary music circles and a supporter of your projects?

Ty was the man. We played a lot of shows together in the early Gatekrashor/Hrom days. He was one of the rare ones where he had no ego.  Just a genuine good guy and amazing drummer. After he quit Riot City, he wanted to focus more on the rock side of things and not take things too seriously, so he would do open jams at a blues bar in town. But I didn't see him around too much near the end there. It's one of those things where you kick yourself for not checking in and seeing what's up every once in a while. But that's the way it goes.  We'll miss him a lot.


What are some plans for the band in 2020?  Recording? Touring? Festivals?

All of the above! New album on the way. Euro tour. Festivals (Brofest, Hell Over Hammaburg, Up The Hammers, Hells Heroes). It'll be a busy year. More shows to announce later on. But for now we're focused on preparing for tour and getting this new album inside your ear holes. So keep a look out!                                                       




Boston Rock Radio Guest Contributor Thomas Amoriello Jr. is a heavy metal guitarist, children's picture book author, educator and recording artist who resides in Lambertville, New Jersey, USA. You can learn more about Tom at https://thomasamoriello.com