Explore the Underground "Indie Garbage" That is The Hunger Artist

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The Hunger Artist (“H.a.”),who goes by his pseudonym Travis Moor, or ™, for short, is a bit of an anomaly. Constantly grappling between the need to create and the reluctance to unveil these creations to the public, he promenades through Denver’s underground music scene with his tribe and plays music for the hell of it.

It’s likely you have not heard H.a.’s music before, unless you’ve stumbled into one of their shows at The Deer Pile, or at a word-of-mouth house party. There’s nearly no music released online, which serves as a protective layer, as well as a call to action: if you’re going to judge their self-titled “indie garbage,” at least get up and dance to it in person first.

Since 2011, the band (Travis Moor, Hunter Fausnaugh, Collin Fausnaugh, and Stefan Short) have been creating music you can move your body to, but when examined further, their tunes also have a deeper meaning. Circulating throughout the themes of philosophy, love, and the overarching goal of self-actualization, H.a. teeters between a playfully punk attitude, pop-like beats, and a general quirkiness that does not fit any mold.

I had the opportunity to talk to Moor himself, which felt like a rare treat. Aside from discussing the general history of the band, their inability to fit into Denver’s exclusive music niches, and the hilarity of pigeons, what I found most fascinating about our conversation was the concept of creating for the sake of creativity, rather than for other people.

The rationale behind much of Moor’s creative decisions revolves around “inside jokes with himself,” and when prompted about what he wants people to know about him, Moor replied, “I’ve never really thought about it until I started thinking that people actually may want to know me. I want people to focus on what they’re doing and what they’re experiencing.” We discussed Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist,” which details the life of an archetypal artist, who, despite the declining appreciation of his craft, performs no matter if anyone is watching.

In the last few years, H.a. has been hitting it hard, finishing an album, recording music at The Spot Studios, and having enough music for a second and third album. And if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to hear some of it. The band just released their music video for “Gotta Live a Life” which adds a quirky spin to the concept of corrupted ideas and groupthink. The video was directed by Josh Mackey and stars the ever-bizarre punk musician Little Fyodor.

Watch H.a.’s “Gotta Live a Life” music video:

While the connection between artists and their fans is often highlighted, The Hunger Artist plays the devil’s advocate, and suggests that creativity should inevitably exist for the creator itself, because in the end, it’s your soul that rests in that piece of art.

Lucky for us, H.a. has an upcoming show with Stereoshifter, The Backseaters, Sliver, and Defying Mara at Moe’s BBQ on January 28th, and it’s bound to be a great time. Tickets can be purchased here.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.