It had been 23 years since I last spoke with Travis Tooke. We were just beginning our lifetimes in the music biz. His on the stage, and mine behind the mic. That last time (and only time) was just weeks before his band For Squirrels suffered a horrific van accident returning home to Gainesville, Florida that took the lives of vocalist Jack Vigliatura IV, bassist Bill White and tour manager Tim Bender.
The loss of these guys, just young men with a love of music and creating art made the subject matter of For Squirrels posthumous album Example even more profound. The lead single Mighty K.C. was a veiled memorial to Kurt Cobain, who himself met a tragically young end barely a year before.
Tooke's guitar in For Squirrels echoed the fuzz of Cobain's work while the vocal drawl of Vigliatura drew comparisons to early R.E.M. I was all about it. I was sure that this kudzu covered grunge, made by guys it seemed like you'd hang out with was going to be a huge success. But fate changed things. I still think Example is among the best albums of 1995. A year not short on great recordings.
Travis formed Subrosa in 1997 and put out the Never Bet the Devil Your Head album. Punkier and heavier than For Squirrels, its another sleeper from the 90's you've got to hear.
Better late than never.
Helixglow, Tooke's current band visits Savannah's El-Rocko Lounge this Friday night (11.09) on a bill that features The Hypnotics, Airpark and Babe Club.
We talk Rock 'n Roll in the segment below. Listen.