Record #3 for TRAVEL was started in May of 2000. The four of us convened in Cincinnati, Ohio with the idea of touring behind the forthcoming "This Is Our ~Music." Over a long weekend, we tried to 're-learn' those cut & paste tunes and cull them into some sort of set list. After about 14 hours, we could get in the ballpark, but two things became evident:

1) We felt like a cover band (doing our own songs!)
2) What we had done in computer was extremely difficult to recreate in a room.

This was an ironic revelation, especially considering the improvisations used as basis for that record were, originally, done in a room. We wanted to tour and this was pissing us off. But we didn't want to go out into the world and play shows that didn't recreate any of the battle energy and oddness of "~Music." Simply falling back on standard punk rock clichés (play loud, jump around, and no one will notice) isn't really our style. Plus, those tunes were a year old (though the album was a few months from release.) I was especially sick of them, since I had been sequestered with Mike Po to finish the project; I suffered from a bad case of burnout.

So, our solution: we were already rehearsing at Starfish HQ. There were microphones and a mixing desk on the premises. Why not just record another record instead? So, in the eight remaining hours we improvised out another 20 tunes and departed happy. I dodged the touring bullet!

I can honestly say I was not relishing doing more cut & paste stuff - a fascinating process I had done on two records ("~Music" and "Martian Chronicles".) When it looked like it was going to be needed on this new TRAVEL batch, I begged off. The (wise) decision was made to leave the tapes in Cincy with Matt & Eric, and they would finish the record on our behalf. Over the next 18 months, they chiseled away, recorded vocals, mixed and mixed, and came up with this little gem. It doesn't have quite the epic scope of the first two records, but it is one hell of an interesting ride. It sounds like a much different band, yet is unmistakably us. The poetic intentions are intact, but the majority of the material is sung, not spoken. It's a low-fi masterpiece.

This is really Eric & Matt's record. It sounds like the music they love, and it's interesting to hear TRAVEL through that lens. "Opus Oil Slick" (the first TRAVEL record) was mostly my baby, and "~Music" was Po & me, and I love the fact that this band's sound is intact, its vision so strong, that it can be helmed by new producers, sound fresh, and still rock.

If you're not already a TRAVEL fan, I don't know what you're going to think of "Me & My Friend Noise." If you loved the first two albums, this one will take your head off. I can't even really describe it here. Listen to the sound clips if you're really confounded. Jeez, this band is hard to convey in words. It's coming out a little out of sequence for me, artistically, with "Berlin Record" and "Stellar Lovers (1)" book-ending it. I am most certainly not in a noisy period, but it was recorded before my ambient ventures. I play a little bit of synths on the record, but otherwise it's almost exclusively electric guitar.