Cosmic mountain rock band Ticket to Space brings together some of Teton Valley, Idaho’s more accomplished musicians to provide audiences with a diverse range of sounds. Moving seamlessly between rock, reggae, and funk, the band consistently delivers a show full of conscious lyrics, heady musicianship and tons of energy.
Formed in 2018, Ticket to Space plays venues on both sides of Teton Pass and continues to reach further into the musical stratosphere with each show. Their 2021 debut album “Outside My Door” features 10 original songs with titles like “Powder Day,” “Groovy Vibes” and “Kung-Fu Clickfarm.”
Since then, they’ve added a new member, Rachel Gray, on trumpet, percussion, and vocals. The band has five new songs they’ve been playing at their recent shows and plan on heading back into the studio in the spring of 2024 to record their next album.
In advance of their performance opening up for Midnight North at Music on Main on Thursday, July 27, guitarist Tom Toxby, bassist David Bundy and trumpeter Gray joined us in the KHOL studios.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: So for those new to the band, how did you all come together in the first place and flesh out the sound of Ticket to Space?
RACHEL GRAY: Perhaps a little nepotism being married to the bass player, but hopefully that’s not the reason. These guys already had a great thing going. Really fun sound. I used to be upstairs hearing them rehearse every week and they decided they wanted to add a little new flavor to the group. So brought in my horn and a little bit of backup vocals. It’s been really fun.
DAVID BUNDY: Rachel was doing a Cake song with us. She was playing a couple of different songs with us. She was at our shows and would sit in on a couple of songs, so it was an easy transition. We wanted to add some more vocals and stuff as well.
KHOL: How did you first meet? The origin story, if you will.
TOM TOXBY: Oh man, it was a jam session over at our friends, Al’s Place, I think right on Thanksgiving in 2018. Bundy was there. Lyle or Drummer was there. I was there. We jammed some tunes and we were taking a break. And I remember Buddy was saying, ‘Hey, I got some, free time looking to start something. You guys are cool. How about we get together and jam?’ And so we started jamming, throwing some songs together, and added Mike Patton on the Keys. So that’s kind of the origin story.
BUNDY: I had a whole bunch of stuff on my computer that could be songs, and I was kind of ready to start doing some of that. And Tom was like, ‘Me too! I got the same thing going on.’ It was kind of perfect. We then had our first rehearsal and played five songs of our own. It was pretty cool. We’re really into writing our own music.
GRAY: It’s been a cool process to witness. These guys all seem to have brought either an almost full song or just a little snippet of a song [to the group], and then to hear everyone chime in and say, ‘Hey, you know, it would sound good there, try this.’ It’s cool to see how these songs have grown.
TOXBY: It’s really collaborative, and I think that’s what gives the song some strength, right? Because everyone’s got their input. And Lyle, our drummer, he’s known as having gone to finishing school because he finishes all our songs.
BUNDY: I think that really helps our music. Not to sound the same. Every song is very different and we’ve heard that from folks saying, ‘You know, you have quite a variety of sounds.’
KHOL: What were some of your biggest influences on the last album as compared to this new one? Did it change at all? Did you research any kind of bands and want to soak up some of their style or was there any different inspiration for this one?
TOXBY: You know, we definitely come from our musical backgrounds and influences and everything else, but I would say that, we’re not specifically trying to sound like another band or be like another band, so we’re not making any conscious decisions to like, ‘Hey, listen to this or listen to that. Let’s try and do this, try to do that.’ We’re really trying to make it organic and make it our own. This is Ticket To Space music as opposed to, you know, Ticket To Space trying to do Phish or something like that.
BUNDY: And that’s exactly why we do so well because that’s the exact answer I was going to give! I think that sums it up really well.
Listen above for KHOL’s entire conversation with Ticket To Space.