Travis James Is Raising Hell and Having Fun

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Travis James
It's 2014 and high time you got some new music into your playlist -- seriously. And that's doubly true when it comes local music, of which there's an abundance in metro Phoenix. The Valley's music scene is gifted with burgeoning bands and emerging artists who will be making waves and getting attention this year.

Up on the Sun is highlighting more than a dozen such acts for our series 14 Bands You Need to Hear in 2014. Today, writer Nicki Escudero profiles anarchistic and nihilistic musician Travis James.

Travis James not only doesn't care about convention, he strives to disrupt it as much as possible. As such, the local musician is known just as much around town for his stick-it-to-the-man antics as he is his raucous punk music.

The frontman for Travis James and the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists has committed rebel acts such as taking over downtown Phoenix for an urban game of Capture the Flag with 100 or so friends, as well as organizing punk shows at permit-less spots like underpasses and squat houses. Heck, he even helped create a bizarro hybrid music genre as part of the eight-piece "fantasy folk metal band" Wizard Teeth.

"I prefer to surround myself with and appeal to trouble-causing creatures who value reckless abandon over being accommodating for people's sensibilities or respecting surroundings," James says.

Now he and the Arsonists have buckled down (a bit) to record material for an album due out this year, appropriately titled Over Dressed & Under Arrest, on which James promises to have "at least something for everyone to get upset about -- that, and more piano."

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