And the Traveler
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And the Traveler

Yonkers, New York, United States | SELF

Yonkers, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jazz




"The Road. The Reason."

It’s no secret that the past two weeks have been nothing short of amazing for Yonkers based band And The Traveler. The trio just released their debut album entitled The Road, The Reason (which is a double disc), they packed The Studio at Webster Hall for an album release party and performance AND they’re setting up for another big show at Greenwich Village venue The Bitter End on July 26th. Between all the important gigs and practicing Max, (lead vocals and guitar) Donald, (drums, backup vocals) and Josh (Chapman Stick, backup vocals) managed to find time to share some beers and some laughs; not to mention talk about the past, present, future AND the traveler (see what I did there).

Left to Right: Max Johl, Donald Perdomo and Josh Goldberg Tell me about the formation of And the Traveler.
Josh: Max and I have been living together for…way too long (laughs) maybe about four or five years now. We moved from this one apartment into this big house with a ton of people and it gave us a space to practice music. So I came to him with this idea that I had, we started writing songs and it just kind of took off from there.
We had a couple of other members but that all fell through. I use to play guitar and Max would play drums and sing. Then I picked up the Chapman Stick and played that and guitar full time and we were looking for a drummer. Max got on the guitar, I got on the stick and at the time Donald had a fucking cast on his hand. Why’d you have a cast on your hand?
Donald: Skateboarding Cool! I didn’t know you skate.
Donald: Yea man! I fell trying to do a heelflip on a bank. The day I got the cast put on I was actually on my way to the post office and I caught wheel bite and I was totally oblivious to what was going on and I sprained my whole shit really bad.
Right before that I had met Max skating.
Max: Yup.
Donald: He was like “Hey man, come over to my house we’re having a show.” So I came through, got REALLY stoned and watched Max’s band play. It was trippy, weird as hell and I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. It was cool watching Max play drums and sing. I think it’s very difficult when you are doing more than one thing. It’s the same thing with Josh. He’s playing two rhythms at once. You have a dude who’s belting out opera style vocals and you’re trying to keep a steady rhythm. I thought to myself “This is cool and I want to be a part of this and make it better.”
It had potential to be so much more. It wasn’t punk or metal it was just…more.
Max: Josh and I were feeling really limited as musicians and we just looked at each other and were like “Yo, screw that! We should be able to do whatever we want.” So the first song we wrote together, which was Groove City, was written without drums. So we wrote this funk/power rock ballad and we were like “Are we allowed to do this? Of course we are because we can do whatever we want!” and now we play funk, we don’t care.
We had this crazy idea that we were gonna try to write and live record 6 songs in 2 days. We managed to do four (All I need is You, You Can’t Save Me Now, Groove City and Metropolis) and then we did this other weird thing where we were just jamming. So, we rehearsed heavily and I called Donald and told him we needed someone to mark beats and I knew he was good.
(Looks at Donald) What YOU don’t know is when you jammed with Josh he didn’t like you. (All Laugh)
Donald: The first time I jammed with Josh I stuck the drumstick up my cast.
Max: I was like “This dude doesn’t know how ill he really is!” So eventually he (Josh) was into it and I put it into this thing

And The Traveler ROCKING The Studio at Webster Hall!
called And the Scrabbler which was this free flow thing from take to take and you can listen to live versions of our songs. For as raw as it is I love listening to it, I STILL listens to it. The last thing we wrote we were just jamming and Donald wrote this core progression and I was singing this thing. One of the vocal lines in the core progression became the core progression on the vocal line for the last song on our record. So we wrote the last song on our record the first time all of us wrote together.
Donald: So what you’re saying is that I wrote Standing Waves.
Max: You did! You forged it from your anus and a hot press!
Donald: Sounds uncomfortable
Josh: It was actually really beautiful.
(All laugh)
Max: Josh and I worked for four years really hard and intensely but the band started a year and a half ago. Josh and I were just preparing ourselves by going in crazy musical directions for this moment. We were playing multiple instruments and we weren’t meant to play them; we were meant to do this with this permutation of people. I believe it. It seems like things worked out in an almost cosmic fashion.
Max: Totally I love how you guys keep referring to your sound and just how important it is. When I try to describe your sound to others I would say “There like Vampi - Carlos Lacayo

"Album Review: The Road, The Reason by And The Traveler"

No three musicians ever set out with such velocity as And The Traveler did to create their debut album, and their ambitions have produced quite a work of art—two discs worth of music known as The Road, The Reason. Now living in Yonkers, NY, Max Johl, Donald Perdomo, and Josh Goldberg have immersed in themselves in the scene. Their house, now famous for hosting the most energetic DIY shows in Southern Westchester, brings together some of the greatest acts from the Tri-State Area. And with their debut release, And The Traveler are here to stay.

The Road, The Reason is without question a concept album, and in my opinion should be listened to holistically. As in, get a good thing going, grab a couple beers, and listen through from start to finish. The music departs listeners on a voyage—an unabashed narration perfectly complimented by great compositions. In order to get a first-hand view of the voyage, And The Traveler created a webisode series “12 Days 1 Space,” which best explains how and where they recorded their album. The first episode can be seen below:

Max, Donald, and Josh—accompanied by the extremely talented production duo Seth Nicholson and Rocky Russo—really found their sound in Massachusetts. Max, their lead vocalist and guitarist, utilizes an impressive vocal range on every track. Donald hypnotizes people with his talent on drums, and Josh absolutely wails on his Chapman stick—Yes, that’s what I said, a Chapman stick. After much refining, several huge shows to ground a solid local following, And The Traveler just totally annihilated The Studio in Webster Hall for their album release show. What I believe sets these guys apart from the rest of the lot, is their masterful instrumentation and steadfast drive.

Both discs are unique—I like to think of the two as a kind of Speakerboxx/The Love Below. I see The Road showcasing their compositional creativity, where as The Reason is the crowd-pleaser album. The Road starts off with a great opener, “Steps,” full of speed and energy, showcasing the rhythmic diversity—which is very prevalent throughout the album. The chorus of “Steps” resonates so well with its vocal harmonies, making this song highly single-worthy. Both Donald and Josh take solos towards the end, pronouncing their profound musicianship. “Groove City,” a more jazzy and seductive song, exhibits the passionate side of their writing. Following suit, Max’s voice really shines in “Underground,” one of those songs that always gets people singing together live. The sixth track, “Metropolis” is a sleeper track for me, a song I love but never hear live—they finally dropped it for their album release show! Fans of post-rock will love “Metropolis,” as though The Dear Hunter and Mars Volta had a love child (I highly recommend they make “Metropolis” a single). Probably the song they have the most fun playing, “You Can’t Save Me Now,” is a hard-rocking sing-a-long and crowd favorite—every time they perform it, I always see fans and friends jumping at the microphone to shout the chorus.

Okay, And The Traveler totally meant for listeners to enjoy an intermission—step away for a minute, grab a sandwich, and give yourself ample time to reflect.

Ready for The Reason? Let’s do this! And The Traveler begin the album by alluding to the first disc with “Reprise: Underground.” Shortly afterwards, you will find yourself uncontrollably singing “Breathe with me/Breathe out please” while consequently slapping your palms twice against your lap because “Spiderclass” is just that type of song to get a chorus stuck in your head. The next hit from The Reason, “The Plunge Part 1,” finds And The Traveler at their finest. They utilize catchy hooks and powerful riffs together for what I can say may be my favorite song on the album. After an interesting interlude, Donald, Josh, and Max shine brilliantly on “The Plunge Part 3.” And then there’s “Circles,” which is a great name—spiraling listeners as they’re face to face with the climax of the Traveler’s album. Disheveled, I wake up to a distinctly calming breeze—my shirt is torn and there’s a ton of sand caked in my shoes. I am in love with how “Standing Waves” brings me to, inspired and facing the Atlantic…

I cannot wait for what’s to come from these three, rumors of Art Tours and great shows are in the near future so be sure to grab a copy of The Road, The Reason and I’ll see you at their next show! - Tim Robbins


The Traveler's Guide EP (February 2012)

The Road, The Reason. double disc LP (May 2013)



The sound of And The Traveler can be summarized as up-tempo progressive rock with jazz and classical undertones. The group incorporates elements of melancholy rock, jazz, experiemental composition, roots, acoustic, ambient, and straight ahead rock. They are modern day bards, trying to relay stories through their music and striving for excellence in both their story-telling and their musicianship. The listener will hear massive, full sections transforming to clean intimate parts, each pertaining to a moment the band is choosing to capture. With the wildly different, yet utterly complementary ways the members of And The Traveler view music, they have created unique, creative, and complex melody lines and harmonies for the general listener as well as the hardcore music fan. And The Traveler will truly make the listener feel like they are going on a journey.

Band Members