The cosmic mountain rock band Ticket to Space brings together some of Teton Valley, Idaho’s, more accomplished musicians to provide their audiences with a diverse range of sounds.
Their debut album “Outside My Door” is out now and features 10 original songs that convey heady musicianship, conscious lyrics and smooth grooves.
In advance of their recent show at the Knotty Pine Supper Club, bassist David Bundy and guitarist Tom Toxby joined us recently in the KHOL studios.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Thursday, Jan. 6.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: You’re all seasoned musicians playing in a variety of local bands. How does that experience translate to creating new material with Ticket To Space?
DAVID BUNDY: I play for a lot of singer-songwriters, Aaron Davis being one that I’ve been playing with for a long time. So, as you back up people, you notice their songwriting techniques. Sometimes, you know, their skills at songwriting and what you find you like and can kind of take from them. So for me, it’s been a nice changeover for me to try and write my own songs based, you know, coming from playing a lot of other people’s songs.
TOM TOXBY: I think our musical experiences really come out in the songs we write because it isn’t just one genre. You know, we add some funk in there, some reggae, some rock n’ roll, you get a little heavier times, you get a little prog-rock at times. You know, I played in a lot of bands in Denver for 15 years before moving out here about seven years ago. I played in a reggae band. I played in a jazz quartet, so it’s an amalgamation of all these influences which really influence our writing and hopefully make the songs interesting. We really write the music for ourselves so when we’re in practice and we come up with a cool part, we’re like, ‘Yeah, that was awesome!’ Coming from so many different backgrounds and influences, really kind of gels into the music and we hope people like it as much as we enjoy making it.
BUNDY: Yeah. And I think this band has enabled me to break out of when I first tried to start writing songs. I’m thinking, like, ‘Who am I writing this for? What am I writing this for?’ But I started just to write for me and found out that these guys like what I was doing so that encouraged me to do more. So, like he said, we’re writing what we want to do and just going that route.
KHOL: With one of the tracks on the album called ‘Powder Day!’, not to mention this snowstorm we’re experiencing right now. You obviously draw inspiration from the surrounding mountains. Can you expand on that for us?
TOXBY: I’ve been skiing since I was four years old. It’s one of my great passions in life and I moved up to these mountains after living in Colorado for a number of years to experience more powder days and the wonder of just being out in the mountains during the winter. And for me, there’s no greater connection as a human being than being in the mountains on the snow, sliding, gliding, flying through the trees on the slopes. It’s just a total feeling of contentment, satisfaction and really of life. And so the song ‘Powder Day!’ is really about that feeling that’s really hard to express, well it’s kind of easy to express because it’s so great, that you know that you get charging down the mountain throwing the snow in your face with all the face shots, you know, following all the weather reports, we have a great local weatherman over here, Bruce, who does daily reports on the weather. And it really is just an ode to powder skiing, mountain living and the enjoyment of life and satisfaction that that brings. It’s also living every day to the fullest. We have too many distractions in life and there’s nothing like getting out on a powder day, getting up the mountains and being solely focused on getting those turns in. And I think that’s what brings a lot of people here to the mountains and what we’re all about.
BUNDY: Yeah. And I think, you know, we see that in the creative community that we have between both Teton valleys, you know, with musicians and artists alike all around, I think we have a lot of them here because of the inspiration that so many of us get from the mountains.
KHOL: Well, that’s one track off the album. Another track is the last track I played that I wanted you guys to touch on. [It has a] really interesting theme and topic. ‘Kung Fu Clickfarm.’ Can you tell us more about the writing process of that track?
TOXBY: I was reading an article online and it had a picture of just thousands of cell phones, all lined up on racks in this warehouse. And they’re all simultaneously liking and visiting websites, creating artificial human traffic where there really was none, you know, to generate a product or whatever it is to promote someone on the web. So, the song is really about that. It’s about a person who’s got this product. No one’s really interested in it. So, he hires the “Kung Fu Clickfarm” to create all this artificial human traffic. All of a sudden, people are aware of his product. They start buying it and he’s off to the races and has a huge success. So, it’s kind of a unique theme as far as you know, the world we live in and is everything really real or not? Like, if I go to a page and it has a million likes, is that really a million humans that went there and liked that? Or is that all robotic? So, that’s what the song is really about. It’s got some heavier moments with that big frog tone. That’s a guitar part, by the way, that has this crazy effect on it. Then it goes to a funk version and then it kind of goes to some power chords for the chorus. It’s really uplifting. It’s kind of a sinister message underlying some positive chord changes. Hopefully, that has people asking questions.
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Ticket To Space.