By MIKE CHAIKEN
When it comes to his new single “All I Want To Do” and the EP of the same name, Travis Mills, leader of the band T. Mills is short, sweet, and to the point.
“It’s dope song,” he said. And he’s proud to release it as the first track of his upcoming effort.
The record company press materials explain “All I Want To Do” is “an infectious, upbeat party song that shows off Travis’ fun signature sound.”
As for the entire four-track EP where the track finds its home, Travis said, “People are really going to like it.” The response to those who have heard the EP already has been positive. “I’m excited to have people hear it.”
T. Mills comes to Toad’s Place in New Haven on Wednesday, March 19 on the “All I Want to Do Tour.” The tour allows T. Mills to promote the new EP as well as lay the groundwork for his upcoming full-length, “Hippy Hop,” which is due for a May release.
For those not in the know, press materials for T. Mills explain, “Riverside, Calif. native Travis Mills has been able to turn a laptop musical experimentation in his bedroom into national tours and a deal with Columbia Records, all in just over two years. In March 2012, Mills received a 2012 MTV Woodie Award nomination for Best New Artist. Over the past few years, he has amassed a dedicated and loyal fan base with over 45-plus million cumulative YouTube views, 1 million Facebook fans, 400,000 Instagram and 300,000 Twitter followers.”
Listening to the earlier efforts from T. Mills, before he signed with major label Columbia, you hear a band that draws from a lot of different influences.
Travis said the T. Mills’ sound reflects the music he listened to when he was growing up. “We’re a product of what I grew up with,” said Travis of T. Mills. “The genre is really blurred.”
The diverse sources of the music he listened to growing up, said Travis, “allows me to make music without a box.”
“There’s not one side of my music that I like more.”
Although his music tends to veer toward hip-hop meets rap meets punk, Travis said if it’s good music he’s all for it.
When he was interviewed, the Californian said he had just watched the Grammys the weekend before.
“The Grammys were really cool,” said Travis. There were also a couple of musical surprises for him as well. He enjoyed the joint performance Kendrick Lamar and the Imagine Dragons. He also said, “Lorde was different.”
Additionally, said Travis, “Kasey Musgraves (who won best Country Album at the Grammys) was great,” said Travis. He said he typically doesn’t like country but he had to buy her album after the awards show.
“I really admire her writing on the album. It’s clever and chic,” said Travis of Musgraves. “That’s something I try to do.”
But he said fans shouldn’t worry. There is no Kasey Musgraves-style country album in the works from T. Mills.
Speaking of his songwriting process, Travis said, “I don’t have a particular writing style…. Every song comes about different.” Sometimes, he said, he’ll begin with an idea, watch it snow ball and transform along the way to its finished form that surprises even him. Other times, songs are born fully written as soon as he commits it to record.
When T. Mills comes to Toad’s Place on March 19, Travis said fans will see a musical force that is most at home on the stage. Although T. Mills, obviously, has to hit the studio to record, Travis said he likes life on the road.
On stage, he said, “There’s where I have the most fun and I’m the most comfortable.” He especially enjoys the opportunity to meet with fans face to face when he’s on tour.
Plus, Travis said, “I love to travel.”
With all the places, he’s been, does Travis have a favorite city from his travels?
“I love Bristol,” Travis said, jokingly.
Continuing, however, Travis said, “I don’t really have a favorite.” Mostly, Travis said, he likes the places where he finds the most fans. “I love the big city,” said Travis. And he also likes the funky towns in between the big metropolises.
T. Mills comes to Toad’s Place, 300 York St., New Haven on Wednesday, March 19 on the “All I Want To Do” Tour.
For more information, go to ToadsPlace.com or tmillsmusic.com. For T. Mills’ video of “All I Want To Do” go to http:// smarturl.it/AllIWannaDoVideo.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.