Travis singer Fran Healy has admitted the band “exist as friends on the road”.
Formed 30 years ago as Glass Onion and with a 25th anniversary coming up next year as Travis with bandmates Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne and Neil Primrose it’s understandable when they finish touring the world they want to go back to their families.
But the 46-year-old singer has admitted lockdown has helped them connect more than they have for years making isolation videos for fans to promote new album 10 Songs, which will be released on October 9, instead of gigs.
Fran said: “Travis are like every other band. We exist as friends on the road. When we come off the road, we barely talk to each other.
“But lockdown has become a bonding thing. We’ve been doing these projects which have taken a lot of work. But it’s been good. We are communicating every other day with each other.”
Fatherhood, divorce and even drummer Neil breaking his neck diving into a swimming pool in 2002 haven’t stopped Travis.
Like many of us, Fran is worried about how damaging the pandemic will be to the music business because touring is everyone’s bread and butter nowadays.
But live music will return and Fran has a plan.
Glass Onion, formed at school in 1990 and was the band before Travis, guitarist Andy being the only constant. Fran joined in 1991 and bassist Dougie the final member to join in 1996. They became one of the UK’s biggest bands with albums The Man Who and The Invisible Band.
Fran said: “I auditioned and get the job as singer at Glasgow’s Berkeley 2 Studios. It would be so good to do a gig there to celebrate 30 years.
“But I look at Travis starting when Dougie joined. That will be 25 years next year. We’ve had a long life but I feel like we still have a lot to do.
“Travis are in really good shape.”
The group give us a taste of the new album with A Ghost, released today and featuring a video made by Fran and his 14-year-old son Clay while self-distancing at their home in LA.
Fran said: “The video started out as a mocked up picture of me and three ghosts playing the last chorus of the song in a deserted alleyway.
“Just when everything was ready to shoot, the world went into lockdown, so we had this great song with no way to make a video, so I decided to draw it.
“It worked out that it would take around 30 days, with 2500 drawings. Most of the animation is rotoscoped, and one day I was watching a sequence back and when it got to the end, it flashed and went into live action. This was the moment I realised I could shoot the mock up picture of me playing with my band of ghosts in the alleyway.
“It was clear that filming the last 47 seconds would save me 10 days of drawing, I could recruit my 14 year old son Clay as the cameraman as he has a drone, and most importantly, we could film it socially distant. It was the most bizarre video shoot I have ever worked on, but it turned out great.”