Interview with Travis Beckett from Semprus
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?:
I feel like I've always been into music, there wasn't a moment where I wasn't connected with music. I grew up surrounded by good taste, a mother who listened to Prince and Amy Winehouse, a father who loved The Who and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and my older brothers who were blasting anything from Slipknot and Korn to Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, you name it, i was just surrounded by music culture. If music didn't exist in my world growing up I think I would have kept up my Martial Arts and would have lived my dream as a UFC fighter!.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
To be honest when I’m not playing music, I'm listening to it!. My favourite thing to do is watch old live shows on YouTube or rewatch documentaries of bands I love creating significant albums. Some people would say I'm like talking to a brick wall, but really I really am just in love with music 24/7. I can't tell you how many times I've rewatched the MTV unplugged series aha.
How long has your band been around?
Technically Semprus has been around since 2021 but it was just my solo project back then, Semprus didn't Really become a playing band till the end of 2022 when I solidified a 5 man lineup. Only notable thing we had done as a four piece was support Organectomy on their UK tour in mid-2022.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Guildford Surrey, It's a boring place, So i thought why not make my music mental, and in your face as much as possible. Maybe it had some influence in that way, a town filled with people so snail paced, it forced me to make music the exact opposite.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I came up with the name while sitting in a Wetherspoons in Scarborough, thinking of what I could call my new project. I recently had been watching Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, in the film Harry uses a spell he finds in Snape's diary "sectumsempra" it means to Severe Continuously in Latin. I liked the sound of Sempra, but I wanted my band name to begin and end on the same letter for branding sense, like my favourite band Nine Inch Nails. I wrote out Sempris, Sempras and Semprus, Semprus was the one. The name Semprus roughly translates to continuously, which resonated with me, whether you are continuously evolving as a human being or Musically, it represents what I want in life, to keep moving forward, especially when you hit rock bottom, Semprus as a mantra will help you move on.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
A few come to mind, being invited to come play Kerrangs iconic venue Blondies! it was sold out and people were crowd surfing of the tiny bar!. We played with Organectomy on their sold out uk tour for our second set of shows!. Recently we had been invited to Brickmakers in Norwich by Metal 2 The Masses, as guest headliners for the finals! Completely sold out and was the biggest crowd we have ever played!. Our favourite gig though has to be our first one at the Holroyd Arms Guildford, I planned and promoted it all myself, handing out flyers everywhere, no one knew who we were but we still Sold it out!, was such an amazing welcome to our music.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Favourite venue definitely was Brickmakers Norwich, The people were lovely and the stage was massive, that night we definitely felt like a professional band!. We would love to play The Underworld in Camden, it's such an iconic venue and would be a massive goal for us to have our music heard there!.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ohh god, it would be the weirdest line up ever - I would do a little day fest at the O2 Involving Semprus, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Thy Art Is Murder, Faith No More, Tool and Korn!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would tell this young person to make the music they want to make, do not conform just because everyone else in this industry is at the moment, all everyone is doing right now is writing tik tok music. I would tell my younger self to get on it straight away and not let his talent be held back by anxiety, because he is gonna be the king of his own music and it doesn't matter what others think.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I think it would be to be confident in your ability and would just be to make whatever music you like!.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
IDENTITY CRISIS definitely means the most to me, It's just so real, a complete stream of consciousness about how i felt in life at the moment of writing. I wrote the lyrics and vocal lines 6 hours before i recorded them, and it became the crowning achievement of the ep i think!. Before writing I had been struggling with my identity and mental health for a while, being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and OCD, then being put on Sertraline really shocked my world. That song helped me get through it all, it's just me letting it all out in hopes of moving on and learning how to accept myself and get better.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Desolation is the most requested song for sure! people just love that intro, it's so hellish and it gets everyone to open up and start the circle pits. Our favourite song to play live atm is definitely HATRED FT BEN MASON - massive beatdowns , the song is just full of riffs and brutality!!!.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I don't have one set process, but I can split it into 2 things. Sometimes I hear a sound inside my head or a whole song, then I will get on my laptop or guitar and spend hours or days trying to bring it to life. I'm very different from others, although my music is heavy, it is not inspired by other heavy music. A lot of my music is inspired by acts like Bjork, Tame Impala, Radiohead, 90s trance. I hear rhythms and strange sounds in this kind of music and try to recreate it into something dark and heavy, because I cannot seem to write happy songs hahaha. We will continuously move our sound forward, i don't see us always being brutal, i want to explore everything.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The message we'd like to get across is to not conform and continuously move forward in life and we hope our music relieves you of trauma you have been through in the process.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Of course we have disagreements, it's five guys! - but we pull through. there's been minor troubles in the past, sometimes everyone's personality doesn't work together. especially when you're cramped in the car for days on end doing shows!. Any problems we always openly speak about eventually, so it's always calm in the end.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I am in the process of recording new music for Semprus, But for now!
INSANITY is out July 28th!, we've got HATRED FT Ben Mason of Bound In Fear coming out September 22nd. Full ep A FRACTURED REALITY, COMING OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH