It is not very usual to see a music band from Malta on a small island such as Gozo but it is also true that music has no boundaries. The connection between the name of the band “The Travellers” and the island is very profound because crossing the river by boat daily is also known as travelling, right?
We're a very expensive group; we break a lot of rules. It's unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear .
The Travellers — Iljuni fis-Silġ
The band was formed in 2013 truly based on pop music with the touch and essence of Maltese music. It is a group of friends that became a band that exhibits the chemistry and gelling between the band members. This 6 member band has already created their own space in the music industry with the first successful release “Sempliċità” in 2016. Their next two creations “Dak li Int” and “Xemx u Xita” both got to the top of Maltese music charts. The main vocalist is Chris Gatt, on the bass is Clayton Bonello, lead guitarist, and secondary vocalist Andrew Vella, on soothing sounds of trumpet Joseph Xerri, rocking on the drums is Michael Camilleri, and last but not least on the sexy saxophone is Sylvano Mizzi.
For any music band, the appreciation and acknowledgement are far greater than anything. The Travellers have been performing concerts all over Europe finding their feet in and establishing their name amongst other popular bands. They have recently received four awards at the Lovin Music Awards 2019 for Best Band, Best Live Act, Best Song and Best performance of the night.
Altogether they have released 9 video songs with Xemx U Xita being their most-watched video on YouTube with over 660,000 views and still counting. Their work contains 4 singles Sempliċità (2016), Dak li Int (2016), Xemx u Xita (2016), and Ħafi Paċi Kuluri (2017). And they are planning to release a new album in 2020 with the belief that next year will be a life-changing year for them. Indeed they have certainly got talent and spark to be in the top tier and it is only a matter of time for The Travellers to hit the world music charts.
I was privileged to get a chance to have a small interview with the Maltese band hitting the hits!
Hi There, thanks again for taking the time, so let's dive in. What drew you to the music industry?
"A desire to create something different in the already widely diversified music scene. "
Who are you inspired by?
"Great artists such as Freddie Mercury, Chris Martin, Bob Marley, Franz Ferdinand."
Ah very nice, what about meeting each other, How did you all meet?
"Clayton (Bassist), Joseph (Trumpet), Chris (Main Vocals) and Andrew (Guitarist), were the original members who started playing together, while, Sylvano (Saxophone) and Michael (Drummer) joined the rest of the band later on in 2013. With contrasting influences from brit-pop to reggae, punk to dance music, the band was more than well equipped to bring the edgy, pop sound we are familiar with."
You have all come such an exciting long way. What’s an average songwriting session like for you?
"It really depends. I do my best to always mix it up as much as possible in order to keep ideas fresh by moving myself out of my comfort zone. But as a general format, I write songs by tracking everything directly on my PC. Sometimes I start with simple chords, sometimes with a beat or sometimes I would start with the lyrics. It really depends on what I feel like doing at the moment. What is important for me is to have fun writing the best music I can." - Andrew
What about hidden meanings in any of your songs, do you have any?
"It depends on the song. Some of the songs have very direct lyrics which would tell a story to the listener, leaving little to interpretation. Other times, I like to write abstract lyrics, letting the listener interpret the song and making it their own. So in a sense yes, certain songs have a hidden meaning to myself, but that does not matter. What matters is how does the song make the listener feel." - Andrew
What is your favourite part about this line of work?
"Probably the connection that you get to make with your fans, and the immense response you get during gigs and events. "
'Ħafi Paċi Kuluri'
Produced by Maka Visuals Track produced by Howard Keith Debono at Jagged House Studios
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
"To have a mindset and clear goals about what they want to achieve, and pursue them without giving up."
What is your favourite song to perform?
If you could have dinner with anyone, like anyone, historical, today, dead or alive who would it be?
Great choice! What are your plans for 2020?
"2020 is an important year for us, as we are currently planning to work on our 2nd album. We are very excited about this and very eager to release new material."
Good news for the local fans in Malta or if you can travel to listen to your favourite band, The Travellers are in the line-up for the New Year Eve celebrations taking place in Pjazza San Ġorġ, Valletta and guess what…….. the band will be leading the night!