Life can’t get much sweeter for Moncton native Travis Cormier. In the last five years, the dynamic classic rock-inspired vocalist has been plucked from relative obscurity and thrust onto the national stage, his story serving as proof dreams can come true.
Speaking with the Times & Transcript earlier this week in advance of his show at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre on Friday night, Cormier begins by relaying how excited he is to be coming home to perform.
“Aside from being back in town for a couple of days here and there, I haven’t had the chance to perform. I’m looking forward to being back on stage in Moncton,” Cormier says. “The summer before this past one, I was booked to perform in the region, but there were a couple of travel complications that kept me from making the show. I’m looking forward to making it up on Friday night.”
Cormier’s passion for music dates back to the time he was 9 or 10 years old.
“That is definitely when I started getting passionate about music in general. I discovered my father’s CD collection and immersed myself in Guns N Roses, AC/DC, and Kiss, among others. Some friends and I used to routinely mimic AC/DC’s Live at Donnington show in my living room, pulling off as many of the moved as we could,” he says with a chuckle.
As Cormier’s parents sought to nurture his talent, they enrolled him in a “rock camp” summer music program. While Cormier’s first few years at the annual camp saw him participate as a guitarist, it was in 2009 that he stepped behind the microphone for the first time.
“The band that I was a part of didn’t have a vocalist, and so everyone voted on who they thought should sing, and I won the gig. I guess all those years of singing in my bedroom paid off for me, as that group won the Band of the Year award at the camp. It was a huge confidence booster for me, as I had never seen necessarily myself as a vocalist before that.”
As a high school student, Cormier and his rock camp band continued playing for audiences throughout Moncton, often resorting to putting on their own shows in local halls. After graduating high school, Cormier found his way to the other side of the continent, following his acceptance to Los Angeles’ Musician’s Institute.
“I had known for a long time that music was what I wanted to do with my life, but that idea really crystallized while I was in high school,” he says. “So moving to Los Angeles to attend a music-based school was, to me, the way to make a career in music happen.”
Despite never having previously travelled outside of Moncton, Cormier insists the prospect of moving to Los Angeles didn’t faze him in the least.
“I was never nervous about moving to Los Angeles, but my parents were understandably nervous. I had a hard time leaving friends and family behind to move to a city of more than 10 million people and not know anyone,” Cormier says.
“Looking back though, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I met so many great people, including a lot of my idols, in the three years I was there.”
While still in Los Angeles, Cormier’s talent ended up catching the attention of reality television show The Voice, who asked the singer if he would be interested in auditioning. But after successfully passing three auditions for the show, producers advised Cormier he wasn’t able to participate any further as he was not an American citizen. This would just prove to be a bump in the road.
Not long after he returned to Moncton, Cormier began posting videos of himself singing to YouTube. He subsequently received a call from La Voix, the Quebec counterpart to The Voice, who asked the singer to audition for the show.
Cormier’s searing take on Aerosmith’s “Dream On” quickly earned him legions of fans, and the support of La Voix judge Eric Lapointe, who Cormier says continues to mentor him today.
Although he was initially unsure about participating in a reality-based TV show, Cormier finished the fourth season of La Voix as the runner-up, and shares he has no regrets regarding the choices he has made.
“For such a long time, I wanted to steer clear of that whole world. I always had this romantic kind of notion of being discovered in a club instead, but when it came right down to it, I did my fair share of time playing in bars. To go from there to having upwards of three million people seeing you on television, that’s something you can’t put a price on. I have absolutely no regrets about the way my career has played out so far.”
Cormier is currently in the recording studio with acclaimed producer Bob Rock, the mastermind behind many of Metallica’s blockbuster releases. With the album’s first single due for release before the Christmas season, the singer says working with a music legend like Rock is something he never could have dreamed of happening.
“Initially, I was really quite nervous to be working with Bob, but he has this way of putting you at ease, and letting you know he’s there to help make the best record we can make together. I’ve been learning so much from him, especially from a songwriting perspective. I’m really looking forward to sharing these songs with the world soon.”
What: Travis Cormier
When: Friday Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $33 for members, $36 for others. Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379 and online at www.capitol.nb.ca