Friday, 13 January 2012

Fran Healy interview in The Daily Yomiuri on 11th March 2011

Travis singer gets alone time

Stephen Taylor / Special to The Daily Yomiuri

Fran Healy outside Dingwalls, London, in January 2011
LONDON--Being a member of a pop group is often compared to married life. For Fran Healy, lead singer of Scottish band Travis, he's reached the rock ' n' roll equivalent of the seven-year itch.

"I feel like I've been in a marriage for years and years and years and, unlike real marriages, when you're in a band you should go and play with other players, 'cause it feeds your creativity," Healy said during an interview for The Daily Yomiuri before a recent show in north London.

Not that Healy is ready to file for divorce from his bandmates. It seems they all thought Travis needed a well-earned rest.

"We all came off the road in 2009, pretty tired, [and] we wanted a break, 'cause we'd done The Boy With No Name and then Ode to J. Smith right after it, and toured both, and we were like, 'Right, give ourselves a break,'" He said.

Healy saw it as a chance to do his own thing, though the 37-year-old found his initial inspiration from an unexpected source.

"I wrote one song, called 'Holiday,' and I thought it was about wanting to go on holiday, but when I listened to the lyrics...I was like, actually, this is me telling myself, 'Do something else, man, go and spread your wings a bit and follow your instinct,' so that's what I'm doing," he said.

The resulting album, Wreckorder, came out last year. The standout track features a bass guitarist usually known for his singing and songwriting.

"'As It Comes' is my favorite song on the album, and it just happens to be that's the song that Paul McCartney plays on. But I love it because it's short, because it's totally about something specific. When I wrote it, it made me feel great.

"He did it on the original Beatles bass as well, the one that's on all the Beatles records. That's why Paul's great, 'cause he knows that his best bass sound comes from that bass, it's got the magic," he said. Unfortunately, McCartney won't be joining Healy on stage next week for shows that will be quite intimate affairs.

"This is just me and an acoustic guitar. It's gonna be the new stuff and, hopefully, they'll get to hear their favorite Travis songs stripped totally down to the bone, just like the way they were when they were written in the bedroom, when I felt like, 'Wow! This is great,' he said.

The Berlin resident is enjoying his musical career, whether that is as a solo artist or as the frontman of a four-piece band.

"There will be Travis records, [but] I don't know when. Seventeen years knowing people is a long time, and sometimes it's nice to have a break, so that's what we're doing, and I'm loving it," he said.

Fran Healy will play March 14, 7 p.m., at Club Quattro in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. (06) 6281- 8181; and March 16, 7 p.m. at Blitz in Akasaka, Tokyo. (03) 3584-8811. For more information, visit
(Mar. 11, 2011)

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