Travis Bass Interview

January 24, 2015 3:59 PM

New York’s Greenwich Village is now home to a new and amazing club created by the ultimate party planner/Pop Up Club designer, Travis Bass, called ZAZOU. Bass was inspired by the old school NYC nightclub scene and promises an incredible set of DJ’s, live acts, themed nights, and spectacular dancing at ZAZOU.  

TWELV had the opportunity to pick Travis’s brain about his own life and experiences as well as his passion for nightlife and curating experiences.

 

“My favorite thing about nightlife is that it’s the one time we can be ourselves and hang out in a room with the people we want to be with.” 

“The people in the crowd are the ingredients that make the club special!”

“I love big cities, as they are an ecosystem with so many cultures coming together to create a very complex single culture.”

“To have a big club in Greenwich Village is so unique and soon won’t exist anymore, so it’s very exciting to be one of the last underground places in the area where underground was born.”

 

 

-----------------Travis Bass's INTERVIEW-----------------

 

1. What brought you to NYC?

Travis Bass: I moved to NYC in 1998 to work with Peter Gatien. I had a chance meeting with him and he hired me to help with the reopening of The Limelight and the Tunnel Nightclubs. I filled both clubs with 40-16mm film projectors that projected visuals onto nets and giant orbs. I had always wanted to move to NYC and am obsessed with the film After Hours and the 80's Soho scene. I immediately found a 3 thousand square foot loft inside an old bank in Chinatown, so I was living my dream life and my love affair with NYC has never stopped since.

 

2.  What is your favorite area of NYC?

T: I love Downtown for the people and I love Uptown for the culture and history. Downtown I like Chinatown for the quirkiness and the community and the West Village for its romantic charm. Uptown is my escape that can feel like taking a trip to Paris for the day. Lincoln Center is my favorite place in NYC and Carnegie Hall is right up there as well. I love Cafe Sabarsky, an escape to old Berlin, The Carlyle for the drinks and the Jazz and its old NYC charm. And of course there are the museums!

3. What aspect of NYC life do you like the best?

T: The diversity. This is what makes NYC so great and this is also what makes a club great. Everyone loves downtown so much because it is a recipe made up of all the flavors that this world has to offer.

 

4. What is the best part of your current job?

T: The best part of doing Pop Up Clubs and events is that my sole job is to entertain people and create environments for people to have fun in. I can't think of a more noble profession, especially in a city like New York where people work hard and need a place to let loose and hang with friends, new and old.

 

5. Tell us about your past working experience.

T: In LA in the 90's I threw parties that were much like the ones in Party Monster with tons of club kids mixed with the fashion/art crowd. We created these really crazy sets, costumes, and themes. I became so obsessed with the design of these that I eventually started designing everyone else's parties, raves, and clubs. I moved to NYC after a chance meeting with Peter Gatien in which he hired me to do visual installations at the Limelight and the Tunnel. I started designing clubs soon after and moved to Toronto to design Peter Gatiens 50,000 square foot mega club 'Circa'. The pop up clubs I do now are a culmination of all my experience in events, throwing parties, and designing clubs.

 

6. What is your favorite part about nightlife?

T: My favorite thing about nightlife is that it’s the one time we can be ourselves and hang out in a room with the people we want to be with. That is why it is important to make sure we curate the room and let the right people in and keep the bad ones out. Having a bad crowd at a club is the same as having a bad meal at a restaurant. The people in the crowd are the ingredients that make the club special!

 

7. Why did you start event planning and designing?

T: I love the design process and conceptualizing events. The process from the initial seed to the fruition of the event or club is so special! This is how I express myself much like a film-maker makes films or an architect builds buildings.

 

8. What have you learned from your job?

T: I’ve learned how to build environments under pressure of time and in the parameters of the space I am given. This helped me to start doing Pop Up Clubs as it enlists the same skill set.

 

9. Have you always been interested in the big city nightlife scene?

T: I love big cities, as they are an ecosystem with many cultures coming together to create a very complex single culture. The nightlife in big cities, when done right, taps into this by bringing together all these different types of people into one room. This is what I am always trying to achieve, this and making sure they all dance together!

 

10. Have you experienced any major turning points in your life?

T: I grew up in Beverly Hills, which is a very sheltered place. When I was 24 I dropped out of society and spent a year driving cars down to Costa Rica and buying classic motorbikes in Guatemala. I had a long beard and read the Holy Quran and the Bhagavad Gita, meditating 3 hours a day. This is the time during which I changed the most, and I still look back on it as the best and most rewarding experience in my life.

 

11. What were your dreams when you were a kid?

T: To be a filmmaker like Fellini or Godard and create fantasy worlds. I have done this with events but will eventually make a film as well.

 

12. How did you come up with the idea of the "Pop-Up party"?

T: I have done event design and production for 15 years; essentially creating pop up environments. I was in a very underground bar in Berlin that reminded me of 1980's NYC, and I realized that clubs of today are too expensive to open.  As a result they end up looking too done up and less fun than when they used to cost almost nothing. For this reason I decided to do pop up Clubs as they are exactly like the old clubs that people loved so much and still miss.

 

13. What do you enjoy doing on your days off?

T: Going uptown to Jazz at Carlyle, the ballet or opera at Lincoln Center, or going to museums. Dinner parties with friends. Washington Square Park or Central Park with the dogs. Watching old films at Film Forum. Walking around the city and exploring.

 

14. Do you have a favorite designer?

T: APC, Acne, Margiella, Rick Owens, and Vintage Helmut Lang.

 

15. What are you most proud of?

T: Being a vegetarian for 25 years and living a more healthy lifestyle for planet earth.

 

16. What are your lifelong ambitions?

T: To be happy every day, to make a great film, to write a good book, and to make a change in the world.

 

17. What five words would you use to describe yourself?

T: Loyal, intense, emotional, fun, and loving.

 

18. Who do you admire most? Why?

T: James Bond, because he had a great attitude towards life: make all the girls happy and have a great sense of humor.

 

19. What are some of your hobbies?

T: Chess, sports, music, movies, travel, and chilling with friends.

 

20. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

T: Strengths - Fun loving Weaknesses - Too much to handle at times...

 

21. Where do you see yourself in five years?

T: NYC.

 

22. We have heard that you just opened a new club! What is it called and where is it located?

T: ZAZOU, Greenwich Village

 

23. How did you come up with the name for the club?

T: I have always been obsessed with the Zazou movement in Paris during the German occupation. They risked so much to dance to American jazz and dress up in zoom suits in basements. Their logo was the name Zazou inside of a Jewish star. They were the biggest badass kids that lived to dance. It just happens to sound sexy and cool as well, so Voila!

 

24. What is the style/vibe of the club?

TOld School NYC nightclub. Dancing on a proper big dance floor with many rooms. Always changing. Live acts and big DJ’s, like the days of Peter Gatien.

 

25. What has been the most exciting part about this new adventure?

T:  To have a big club in Greenwich Village is so unique and soon won't exist anymore, so it's exciting to be one of the last underground places in the area where underground was born.

 

26. What fun things can we expect from this club?

T:  Big live acts, themed parties, big DJ’s, and losing yourself on the dance floor.

 

INTERVIEWED BY: RACHEL IIMURA

WRITTEN BY: SUSAN SCHELL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY : ELLI WU

related posts

Why is Everyone in Hollywood Buzzing About Actress Malgosia Garnys?

Have you ever felt like you were beautiful and powerful and the universe was conspiring in your best interest, and your opportunities were endless because you’ve lost people you loved...

March 02, 2019 10:00 PM  |  People

R.I.P Chek Wu

We at TWELV are deeply saddened to announce the passing of talented photographer, boundless free-spirit, and our friend, Chek Wu.

November 28, 2018 12:00 PM  |  People

GatherNYC: Everything We Love About Church With No Weird Stuff

GatherNYC is Everything We Love About Sunday Service With None of the Weird Stuff

 

November 17, 2018 3:00 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #33: Catherine Casias Inteview

If fashion is an expression of experiences, Catherine Casias has a lot of area to cover. She has excelled as an Olympic volleyball player, a philosophy major, and a fine artist....

October 12, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People

Party Czar Carmen D’Alessio, Empress of the Sun and the Queen of the Night

You may not know Carmen D’Alessio by name.

October 08, 2018 10:00 PM  |  People
Shot by CHAMA

IKEMEN #39: JORDAN HENRIQUEZ

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 28, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #38: WARREN KAY

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

August 07, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #32: ALEXANDER ROYS INTERVIEW

"Introducing an innovative Men’s designer to inspire you with the visions of future and the rise of technology."

June 26, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People
Silvia Mella (right) with Thomas De Bruyne for "House of Molteni"

Branding in the Worlds of Art and Commerce According to Silvia Mella

Branding is everything. For an entrepreneur, it is the difference between viability and bankruptcy. On social media, we are all our own brands.

May 21, 2018 4:00 PM  |  People
Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker. Video Still.

Interview: Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker

TWELV sat down with Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker, in the brand’s New York City...

May 21, 2018 2:00 PM  |  People
Krystal and Marilyn Lavoie

New Type #31: Angela Mitchell – Krystal and Marilyn Lavoie Interview

We are living in the age of fast fashion, and even Europe’s most storied luxury brands have been moving their factories to Asia to reduce costs.

May 17, 2018 3:00 PM  |  People

Ikemen #37: Dominik Halas

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

May 03, 2018 12:00 PM  |  People
Bianca Allen, Carolina Sarria, and Samantha Deller

New Type #30: Carolina Sarria & Bianca Allen Interview

Both Carolina Sarria and Bianca Allen knew they wanted to become fashion designers from a young age.

April 16, 2018 5:00 PM  |  People

Interview & Backstage: Christian Siriano Celebrates 10 Years in Fashion

After the successful launch of his book Dresses to Dream About, a decade-anniversary celebration on the runway, and a whirlwind of striking celebrity looks on the red carpet of...

March 09, 2018 11:00 AM  |  People
Jackie Astier. Photo: BFA.

New Type #29: Jackie Astier Interview

Astier places its identity within the advanced adaptation skills of the modern New York woman.

February 24, 2018 11:00 AM  |  People

INTERVIEW: Meet Kiko Arai, Miss Japan-turned Face of Balmain and Zara

Kiko Arai hails from Osaka, Japan, and after winning the title of Miss Japan 2012, the now 27-year old is captivating a new audience– the fashion world.

February 06, 2018 12:11 AM  |  People

Interview: Parisian Designer Frédéric Robert's Debut Shoe Collection "ME.LAND"

A vibrant brand of Italian-made shoes for men is emerging this year as one-to-watch.

January 26, 2018 10:00 AM  |  People
Maxime Tiliouine and Quentin Hernandez

New Type #28: the Design Duo Behind Maxime Hernandez Interview

The streetwear phenomenon in the fashion establishment is not slowing down anytime soon.

January 12, 2018 2:00 PM  |  People

MICHEL NAFZIGER INTERVIEW

With a wealth of experience shooting some for some of fashion's most renowned clients (Yves Saint Laurent, Guy Laroche), ...

December 29, 2017 2:00 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #36: Jérôme LaMaar

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

November 27, 2017 12:00 PM  |  People
Alcone Backstage Set Designed by Roger Padilha. Photo: Santiago Felipe.

Alcone 65th Anniversary @Capitale: Interview with CEO Maria Stewart

No make-up company has a more storied history firmly ensconced in New York showbiz.

November 13, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

Ikemen #35: Zaher Saleh

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang

"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"

October 31, 2017 5:00 PM  |  People
Keith Kattner

Interview: Neurosurgeon-turned-Artist Keith Kattner on the Surgery of Classical Painting

Dr. Keith Kattner does not have the typical background one would expect of a successful neurosurgeon.

October 25, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

New Type #27: Nika Tang Interview

San Fransisco-based designer Nika Tang has emerged as boldly committed to her ideology as to her pieces. Her namesake brand centers...

October 06, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People

TWELV ARCHIVE JOE McKenna INTERVIEW "Call Me Joe"

CALL ME JOE

October 04, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People

Interview: Becky Donnelly's Fashion Creatures

Quirky girl from Dublin with a penchant for drawing fantasy creatures relocates to London after art school.

October 02, 2017 12:00 PM  |  People

New Type #26: Herman – Raif Adelberg Interview

Authenticity.

September 29, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People
Brooke Candy & Kaimin. Photo: Mark Hunter

Kaimin Interview & S/S18 "Slut from the Future" Presentation @ the Top of the Standard

Pulsing with a heavy beat and hazy with a deep rouge glow, the Top of the Standard is as glamorous a place to be as ever. And tonight it is packed with partygoers.

September 28, 2017 10:00 AM  |  People

Yasmina Alaoui Interview & Opera Gallery Exhibition

Yasmina Alaoui burst onto the international arts scene in 2003 with "Tales of Beauty," a collection of nude...

September 11, 2017 5:00 PM  |  People
Søren Solkær

Søren Solkær Interview

Stepping out of a cab into the urban symphony of Midtown, the entryway to The Quin Hotel was easy to spot— with classic architecture and...

September 11, 2017 10:00 AM  |  People

Kyra Ross of Mona Liza Studios Interview

TWELV sat down with the charismatic Kyra Ross, founder of Mona Liza Studios which falls under his larger moniker "...

August 28, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People
Photo by Giorgio Codazzi for Gioia Magazine

Ira Sumbaeva Interview

TWELV sits down with model Ira Sumbaeva to give a glimpse into the story of the cutest Belarusian...

August 25, 2017 8:00 AM  |  People

Benjamin Shine Interview: Master of Tulle

Benjamin Shine is an award-winning international artist whose work stretches across industries from fashion...

August 16, 2017 4:00 PM  |  People
Sarah LeBlanc

New Type #25: Mémère – Sarah LeBlanc Interview

Upon arriving to the Mémère studio, it felt like stepping from the bustle of New York City...

July 26, 2017 10:00 AM  |  People

NEW TYPE #24: JOHNA STONE INTERVIEW

July 21, 2017 11:00 AM  |  People

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲