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Veröffentlicht am 8.06.2016 | von Eva-Marie

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TRAVIS – Interview

Travis spielen an diesem Abend in der Live Music Hall in Köln. Viele Gedanken macht man sich, wenn man da jetzt gleich eine Band interviewt, zu der man sich mit zwölf Jahren im Pyjama den Herzschmerz aus der Seele gesungen hat. Wogegen in diesem Satz „Herzschmerz“ und „gesungen“ deutliche Anführungszeichen verdienen, konnten Travis genau diese beiden Dinge schon immer sehr gut miteinander verbinden. Die Band wuselt noch im Backstage umher, als Fran Healy den kleinen Raum mit dem roten Sofa betritt, strahlend die Hand zum Händeschütteln ausstreckt und sich anschließend in die Polster lümmelt. Meine Güte, der ist wirklich so sympathisch!

When I told my friends I’m going to do an interview with you all of them had a special memory involving a song of Travis. And I’m sure you don’t hear that for the first time.
That’s true.

So, why is your music so touching?
We make real proper songs, written for a reason. They are written to a person, they are not written for the radio, they are not written to be commercial. It’s never ever been that and that is why our commercial success is like this, cause when it’s going well and songs played massively on the radio it’s lucky. Hardly everyone writes in that commercial way, because the music business is quite cynical. You have to make it fit, you have to write for the market. We don’t do that, so when songs like ours get into the mass market, it really goes deep, because they are actually written to people and we are all not as different from each other as we think we are. And we go deep because they are real songs and that’s kind of nice.

Your new album is named ‘Everything At Once’. Why did you choose that name? Is it kind of the main theme?
It’s an arrangement. I think it reflects the album, because for nearly ten years we were doing our family, we were doing our kids – being with our families and putting out albums, but not like we used to do. And now we’re back and it’s almost like the songs come all at once. Also looking outside the album; we are getting hit by everything at once, but it is a illusion. Because you can switch the TV off, you can unplug and then there you go and you walk around and it’s all nice. I think too much information is happening.

I have a question about the song with the same name on the album. It sounds a little bit like a nervous breakdown, because it’s very fast and …
It’s Dougies Song! I didn’t write it so I don’t know.

And you cannot say what it’s about?
No, I can sing it. (laughing) First when I tried to sing it, I didn’t like it, because it’s impossible to sing. There’s no breath! So you are not breathing and that’s not a nice feeling. So I really didn’t like it. And then after the album was finished, I began to like this song again, because I’m having to do it, I had to sing it live. But Dougie helps me out.

Travis exists since 1997. Is there a comparison with other bands you don’t like?
Never actually. We’ve been called everything, but we’ve never been compared. Well, we’ve been compared to Radiohead, because we had Nigel Godrich, their producer. He’s about 80% of Radiohead’s sound. So of course he was about 50% of our sound, because our thing is so different to their thing. So to be compared to Radiohead, that’s a nice compliment. Their sound is amazing. But we never were compared to a shitty band ever! We’ve been always our own band. After our second album we became us.

Do you have a current album that is especially inspiring to you?
The last album I remember was by a band called Caveman from New York. This guy’s voice is beautiful. He’s a big, beardy, bear-like guy. They sound a bit like The Killers, but they also sound a bit like something else. I love american music, I’ve always loved it. I did a radio show in the UK, like four shows, and I didn’t realize, but every single song I picked was from an american band. At the end of the first show I was like: Fuck, there is no british music in here, none! And I had to put a british song in just not to make it all american. I think America is just a big melting pot, and they always come up with such fantastic stuff.

Do you feel like you can work as the artist you imagined twenty years ago, when your first album was released?
I never even thought about it, and I still don’t. I went to art school to be a painter. And I realized, once I made it – because getting into art school is a really big thing – I was like: Oouuh, I didn’t really want to paint. So with the band, I think internally you create goals, but like… boy it’s hard… I never thought about it! The trick is not to think about it. Just try to get into the state when you were four years old. When you are four you just live moment to moment, and that’s great. When you start to think, it starts getting complicated. Your thinking voice gives you all these different choices but your four year old just goes: “That!”. (Points with his finger somewhere) But then you go to school and they fuck you up, they get rid of that four year old, they try and make you forget about it. But if you are in a band or if you paint or make any kind of art, or play football or are some kind of sportsman, it requires this connection to that instinctial four year old. By the time I got to be in the band, I had left school and tried to ditch all that shit I’ve been taught and get back to this save place of instinct. You should try to hold on to this. And I think that may the problem with modern music. It’s all about the: “You need to evolve” and “You need to get away from where you were”. But no! You may naturally move away from that, but that’s the flow of the river. You’re holding onto the rock in the stream, and that’s your instinct, that’s the thing you can’t let go off. Otherwise you just flow with all the other fishes. So I’m still holding onto the rock.

So you are happy with the current situation?
I’m not a happy person, but I’m content. I’m 42 and I always wanted to be older. I grew up around really old people, I was brought up by them. So I idolized my grandfather and aunts and grey hair-people. So I was so happy when I grew my beard. I was like: Yay! It’s grey! Oh my god: It’s white! But everyone in the band is in a great mood now. We’re playing great shows, I made a movie with the album as well and I never have done that before. I always wanted to. I love film, probably more than I love music. As an art form films are the ultimate collaboration. You’re not just collaborating with three other people but with a hundred people. It’s chaotic and exciting. And I’m a visual person. I wanted to be a painter, but wasn’t ready. I didn’t realize you could go to film school. And now I got to make a film. But I love music. The thing is: Music is not really an art form to me. We as humans have been doing music before we could speak. So it’s like one of the elements. Music is a thing that’s just there. You can make it an art form but music has something else in it. It does something to humans. I see it every night. People come in and you play a show and people are very (plays an uptight person). But then, as the band goes, you break down the audience, you flip them over on their back. You expose the guts part of them. And it happens every night. You just get them, do this strange thing, and this is music. Film doesn’t do that really. Do you understand that?

Not sure. I think some are more talented than others with that…
Yeah I know. That’s the art form music. But as soon as we started making moving pictures it became an art form: the arts and the sciences. Because it was art and science, the chemicals and everything. Before movies we just saw with our eyes. Movies put things in a box and you watch it, and there it is. But music, you don’t listen with your ears to music. Something else is going on. It goes in your ear, but it goes way below your neck, and it can touch certain areas of you, like primal things. So music is an art form, but not at it’s basic level. It just touches us as animals, where we don’t speak, we’re speachless. (laughing) I kind of don’t remember what the question was!

The question was whether you are happy with your situation.
I’m really happy, because I’m a father, I’m a bandmember, I flip people over every night and they let me do that. It’s a lovely experience to be trusted by people. It’s a nice feeling. So yeah, I’m really content.

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