If anything, consider the Travel Guide a validation of the mantra “practice makes perfect.”
The band, which has existed in some configuration since 2010, released its first studio-recorded album (through Air House Records) in December. The album, “Trading a Dream,” is loaded with songs that have been honed through years of playing on stages in Wichita and across the Midwest and South.
In June, the band embarked on a three-week stretch of shows on the East Coast, touring off its December release – a rare feat for a Wichita-based rock band.
“We had done tours through the Midwest and a little bit of the South in the past, so we decided to do an East Coast tour this time just for a change of scenery and to get into some new territory,” said Thayne Coleman, guitarist and vocalist for the Travel Guide.
A highlight of the tour, Coleman said, was performing at a bar in New York City’s Lower East Side called the Cake Shop.
“You just don’t know what to expect the first time in New York. Are people going to be receptive or are they going to be jaded and be like, ‘Who are these yokels?’ ” Coleman said. “People were surprisingly receptive there.”
The Travel Guide’s lineup – Coleman on vocals and guitar, Kristyn Chapman on guitar, Will Erickson on drums and Caleb Drummond on bass – is an amalgamation of members of other Wichita rock bands.
Collaboration, members of the Travel Guide say, is key to success in Wichita’s indie rock scene.
“The Travel Guide can bring people out to a show – we can bring our people out – but there’s more potential that we aren’t tapping into,” Chapman said.
One of the main reasons the Travel Guide tours extensively is that “there’s somewhat of a ceiling you can reach in Wichita as a local band before you have to go out and try to prove your worth,” Drummond said.
Coleman and Chapman’s suggestion as to how to improve the Wichita music scene? Introduce an all-ages venue where people under 21 can go to see shows.
“There’s a lot of good bands in town … but there’s kind of a shortage of ones coming up,” Coleman said. “I think the all-ages scene plays into that – kids see shows, they get inspired and decide to start their own bands. I know that that’s why most of us started doing this.”
As of Monday, the Travel Guide needed to sell five more copies of its album, “Trading a Dream,” to break even on recording costs. The album is $10 and can be purchased online at www.thetravelguideband.com/trading-a-dream.
You can next see the Travel Guide live Sept. 30 at Kirby’s Beer Store, 3227 E. 17th St.
Until then, see a live performance by the band featuring all new songs in the video attached to this story.