High school senior, Travis Carter, grew up loving music. As a young child he enjoyed sitting around and relaxing while listening to different bands express themselves through music. He learned to appreciate the range of human emotion music can evoke. This sparked a passion fueling his desire to create music and inspire others. Originally he aspired to be a drummer—however, the idea was soon abandoned once it was discovered how much room a drum set can take up in the home. Next, he moved on to the guitar. With no formal training, he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play.
Eventually he began to perform in front of others. Travis started out with a solo acoustic project in 2010 where he could be found singing and playing in small coffee shops. Travis loved what he was doing but wanted to take expand his music to a broader audience. He determined he could best do this by organizing a band. Travis didn’t have to look too far for band members. One of his best friends, Kody Hoopes, had been playing guitar for a few years and had recently started playing bass. For Kody this would merge two of his favorite things—hanging out with friends and making music. The band now had a bassist. While looking for a drummer and another guitarist, Travis heard about Ben Colvin and Jake Nelson, both members of another band. The timing seemed to be perfect. The band Ben and Jake belonged to had started to wane as other priorities like work and school began to compete with band’s ability to progress. Ben played the drums, and Jake was a guitarist, making their addition to the new band a perfect complement.
Now the new band needed a name. At about this time, Travis was deeply involved in a school research project. His studies introduced him to a German novelist and poet named Theodore Fontane, who was taken as a prisoner of war during the Franko-Prussian war in 1870. An idea was born and the band came to be known as :Farewell to Fontane.”
For guitarist, Jake Nelson, being a member of the band fulfills a desire he has had for years. He said, “I always have loved to sit around and listen to old punk bands.” His brother even played bass for a band in California. Jake’s start came one day while listening to one of his favorite bands, No Fx, and he felt moved to action. Inspired to make his dreams a reality, he decided to pick up a guitar and learn to play. Self taught, he has been playing since the age of 11. He loves making music and is excited to play their new song, “The Crowd That Never Sleeps.”
Drummer, Ben Colvin, loves hanging out with his friends and playing music. Before joining the band, he had been playing for about three years. He has found this to be a great outlet for him to build upon the genre of pop/alternative rock, which is where the band focuses their creative energy. The band meets three to four times each week in Ben’s garage to rehearse. Farewell to Fontane has written seven original songs that they play during their shows. This is what distinguishes them from most other small town bands—Farewell to Fontane writes their own music. By drawing upon references most people can relate to and trying to conceive catchy tunes, they strive to create songs people will remember. Travis pens the lyrics, and then the rest of them sit down to feel it out and play their different musical ideas. Each song can take anywhere from two to three days or up to two months for them to perfect.
Morgan High School’s theme for the upcoming year is “Turn of the Century.” Farewell to Fontane was approached to write a song reflecting this theme. The idea is to excite and inspire the student body and the band will have many opportunities to showcase this song at various assemblies throughout the year.
In correlation with the general economic cycle we are in, local music has also experienced a downturn. Travis explains that they are trying to “work and advertise as much as they can to inspire a local music revolution.” Kody encourages others wanting to try their hands at starting a band to “stick with it—it can get kind of draggy, but if you work well with others and just have fun, it really is fun.”
Already having put out an Extended Play or EP (basically a short CD), which can be purchased on iTunes, they have set their goals high for the upcoming year. The band recently played at Morgan’s Relay for Life as well as the Basement in Ogden. Farewell to Fontane has an upcoming show at Mojo’s in Ogden on Sept. 8. Anyone wanting to purchase tickets can get one for only $5 from any member of the band. By next summer they would like to have enough new songs written for a complete album, and begin promoting their music by touring.
For members of the band, the same fuel sparking their initial interest in music continues to motivate them. Music is beautiful, passionate, edgy—and can capture any human emotion. For Travis, all the hard work pays off when performing in front of a live audience. With excitement in his voice, he expresses how much he enjoys “getting up there seeing people jumping, dancing and just pleasing the crowd.”