Thirty years ago, when Fran Healy was just a teenager, he was worried he would never be able to write a good song. Nothing much has changed in the last three decades.
After nine full-length albums, numerous global tours, multiple Brit Awards, and four Platinum releases, Healy and his bandmates in Travis should know better. After all, their influence spawned a new generation of Brit-pop bands who all pay tribute even today—a list that includes Coldplay, Keane and a legion of other internationally known acts. Still, sitting even today at the desk in his home studio space, Healy says doubts his ability to unearth that musical gem—yes, even as much as he did back in the 1990s.
If that sounds a bit ridiculous, it’s important to understand how Fran Healy views the muse in the first place. It’s not about talent, nor is it even about luck. It’s simply about the willingness to dig. It’s about mining, again and again, over and over, to dig through the dirt to find the diamond. The only requirement there is the work itself.
These days, Travis is busy celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal album, The Invisible Band, with a special live album recorded on tour last year at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. That album itself is proof that the songs have been there all along for Healy—especially this one with singles like “Flowers in the Window” and “Sing” and “Side”. But at this point, there’s no convincing Healy of anything different. And really, who would want to mess with such a successful formula?
On this episode of The Resistance, we asked Fran Healy about the longevity of Travis and the discipline required to craft something meaningful. Few bands can speak from such an experienced perspective which is why we’re so glad to offer up this conversation for all of you.
*Photo: Ryan Johnston