Scottish foursome Travis are back in North America this week to once again to tour in support of their fourth effort, The Invisible Band. For the group, who began the American leg of their North American jaunt in Washington D.C. on October 2nd, the tour is a chance to continue their longstanding commitment to the American market.
Although they could easily spend their career as many of their U.K. peers do, selling out arenas in Europe, according to frontman Fran Healy, the outfit say they look forward to the challenge of cracking the American scene and getting their music out to a broadening fan base.
"I think it's an old fashioned sort of work ethic that is shared by very few bands," Healy says. "The bands that share it, have a shared history with each other, like U2, R.E.M., Radiohead, ourselves, the Beatles, etc. They all know the value of getting on a bus because all of these bands are never taken on radio, so you have to get on the bus. You have to actually play gigs. That's the only thing you can do if you wanna get your music out there and radio won't play it.
"You're either built for it or your not and I think that's one of the things, if you don't like Travis and their music, the fact is you can't knock that they're a band that get on the fucking bus and bring it to people, which is more than can be said for a lot of bands. But there's still a long way to go from a songwriting point of view, from a band point of view, from a life point of view. There's so much to be done and so many more songs to be written and played."
And Healy says he's already begun that process of penning new tracks, despite the fact that The Invisible Band is only a couple months old. "I try and write as much as possible. Just daft little songs," he said. "There's two [new songs]. One's called 'Leaving' and the other ones called 'I Don't Wanna Be Like You Any More.' Those two keep popping back into my head, you know when you're just sitting about and start humming a song and it's 'Oh right. It's that one."
With new material, 550 gigs in four years under their belt and more to come the band is certainly productive, but Healy says they are planning a reprieve from all the work beginning sometime in 2002. "We're gonna have a year off and in that year, I wanna actually do bit of living, like life, cause I think one of the most important things to actually be able to write [is] to have a life. When you're on a tour bus, it's like some kind of dulling effect on your brain. You don't really get much experience of normality if you're gonna write. I don't wanna write songs about getting on a tour bus."