Same sound, new mindsets

Same sound, new mindsets

Travis are back after a break, with different lives and material


Scottish band Travis no longer live in each other's pockets, but their output is as enjoyable as ever.
Scottish band Travis no longer live in each other's pockets, but their output is as enjoyable as ever.
Photo: Freez Limited
It might have taken Scottish band Travis five years to whip up their latest album, Where You Stand, but during that time the band has learned an important lesson. The four musicians, most of whom are now family men, have found a new way to collaborate and continue making music together.

"If there's anything that's going to break a band, it's constantly being around one another," bassist Dougie Payne told Young Post in a recent phone interview.

The band's seventh studio album was released in Hong Kong earlier this month. True to form, the record features soothing melodies, powered by lead singer Fran Healy's vocals.

"It's an album that's about what it's like to be guys at our point in life," says Payne, 40, who helped write six songs on the 11-track record. "It's writing from our point of view."

The band got back together two years ago, after a three-year hiatus. Although their music still resembles the stuff of their early career, the way the band members interact with each other and inspire one another has changed.

The lads no longer stick together all year round like they used to. The night that Payne spoke with Young Post, he was calling from New York, while the other band members were spread across the world, from London to Berlin.

These days, they meet once every couple of months to jam and catch up.

This new way of connecting helped the band tremendously in putting out the new album. Every few months, the guys spent a week together in recording studios in different locations.

Payne describes how it felt to play together again for the first time after so long: "We just sat in a room and jammed, and I was like, 'Oh, I remember you. I remember why we became friends and played music together.' It was a nice moment."

The four brainstormed ideas for new music in different countries, recording most of the album in Norway.

Payne isn't shy to admit that Where You Stand is his favourite album.

"There are no weak moments," the bassist says. "All of the [tracks] are honest songs written in a lovely way."

One of the reasons for this, Payne thinks, is that the band members didn't think too much about whether the songs would sell while they were recording them. Besides, the name Travis already speaks for itself.

"The whole process was about following the melody, and not forcing our identity into songs," says Payne.

The band's take on their career has also changed since achieving fame in late 1990s. With families in tow, most of the band members have shifted focus to adopt a better work-life balance.

But this doesn't stop them from touring, and the band are currently travelling around America.

"We also hope we'll be able to come to Hong Kong again soon," says Payne, who played in Hong Kong in 2008. They're not the only ones who are hoping for the same.

You might also like:

- Where You Stand is not a revolutionary album, but everything is done to perfection within Scottish rock band Travis' comfort zone.

- Acclaimed British indie band The xx comes to Hong Kong more relaxed as performers

- The boys of Linkin Park are still going strong as they return to Hong Kong with a sound that goes back to their roots


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