Neu York

17 December 2009

Touched down in New York this afternoon as the sun was setting. The past three weeks have been tense. We left New York the day after our last Joes Pub gig and arrived in Berlin the following afternoon. Emery arrived the following day and we started tracking the day after that. I am making my first solo record. It’s called Wreckorder. Why is it called Wreckorder? I think i liked that it sounds like recorder but looks like wreckorder, meaning change the order, wreck the order, which, by virtue of making a record alone (almost alone) and it definitely feels a world away from making a Travis record, the order has been well and truly wrecked. Also I wanted to have a Holiday, a vacation from the band.

I love making demos. I would bring them to the band and we would re-record them and make them sound better/more professional but the thing which made the demo magic would always be lost in the final recordings. We would have demo-itis early on, trying to recapture that “thing”. It took a while to realise our time would be better spent trying to make new moments. I suppose that “thing” is just connected to the first time you do something. There is a certain cool carelessness which comes from not knowing where something is leading you. The usual procedure would be write songs-make demos-take demos to band-make album. Taking Travis out of the flow chart meant the recording process would stop at demo stage. But it would have to sound good too. It has to sound like a record yet have the  effervescence of a demo…

So I bought a nice old 10 channel recording desk and some beautiful microphones and began making new demos. Writing for something other than Travis was a great release. There was no baggage. No map. When I had enough cool moments, I asked the producer, Emery Dobyns, to come out to Berlin and we finished them together, adding overdubs and embellishing.

So now I’m back in New York. Emery and I are travelling up to Vermont on Sunday to record vocals with Neko Case. She’s a brilliant singer. I met her in Berlin at her show and asked if she would like to do something. “Sure” she said so I wrote a song for us to sing together.

We also had a visit from Tom Hobden from Noah And The Whale. He played violin on three of the songs. Two in the background and a solo on another.

Bass was tough. How hard could it be? It’s only got 4 strings. But it proved to be my Achilles heel. Dougie is a hard act to follow. So I asked some proper bassmen to help me out. Sam Dixon who plays with Sia and Tony Shanahan who plays with Patti came through with some great lines. I also had help from a guy in Berlin called Bjoern Werra. He played double bass.

One of the biggest coups was getting Paul McCartney to play bass on a song. I’m not sure what non McCartney songs he’s played bass on but I couldn’t think of many. Anyways his bassline is brilliant. Nora and I were sitting and were thinking of a thankyou present and I suggested going vegetarian. Our son is already one so it would mean we would all on the same boat. I met Paul at his show in Berlin and told him what we wanted to do. He was visibly flabbergasted. Three days later the Fed Ex man delivered three Linda McCartney cook books.  We LOVE Paul.

Apart from that, it’s just me. Emery helped tie up all the loose ends and made it sound amazing. Nora made cool breakfasts lunches and dinners, tea, cakes and generally took care of us. Clay was patient. Very patient. We cut it on Tuesday.

It’s nearly midnight in NYC. I am tired. I am hungry. Where can a man get veggie lasagne at midnight?


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33 Responses to “Neu York”

  1. sammy says:

    Paul McCartney! What a man to flabbergast, what an awesome thankyou. It makes me want to join you! I tried going vegetarian last year but gave in after 2 months, then read up on the impact of the meat industry on the environment and wished I’d tried harder.

  2. Aubrey says:

    glad to see somebody else has hopped on the healthy bandwagon that is vegetarianism!! 😀 now if only i could get my fiance to convert. you seem to have transitioned easily, and you are a sweetheart for doing so! hopefully you will be a role model for my fiance. we’ve met you twice this year, and we do adore you so i think it may work. 😀 by the way, thank you SO much for touring the US and being so laid back and un-rockstar. come back to california anytime! 😉

  3. Aubrey says:

    my post is still here!!! woo! and to sammy, vegetarianism is the way to go. if you knew what they put in meat served in america, you’d never look back. :/

  4. sammy says:

    Well, I was just having a spot of lunch (lovely soft-boiled egg and soldiers) and thought, right, here’s a lovely bit of inspiration from Fran, if that doesn’t help, nothing will. So I’ve decided to become vegetarian and stick to it this time. Fran, if you should read this; thanks! x

  5. Kirstin says:

    Yay Fran on joining us veg heads! I was inspired to become a vegetarian 16 years ago after watching a video that Paul McCartney had prior to one of his concerts.
    Oh and just to let you know (b/c I know you really care), I think Linda’s second book, Linda’s Kitchen has the best recipes of her books.

  6. Connie says:

    I almost started crying when I saw the words “holiday from Travis”. I still remember the first time I listened to the album Good Feeling, I was hooked. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Travis, just go to my blog, I talk about the band all the time. But I am not one of those fans that thinks the object of my fandom owes me something. Fran you have always been so gracious to your fans. Thank you for doing this blog and sharing your reasons, my despair has been lifted. I hope this trip takes you to your destination and that it regenerates your soul and lifts your spirits. Thank you again, your music is part of the soundtrack of my life.

  7. […] album is called Wreckorder and Healy offered some insight on his thought process and motivation to record it: “I love making demos. I would bring them […]

  8. Kelly says:

    Do you ever wish you could time travel just so you could go back in time to tell Adolescent Fran that he will be friends with Paul McCartney?

  9. Donna Mac says:

    Hi Fran! I know for hardcore Travis fans, you taking a ‘a vacation from the band’ may be hard to deal with. But honestly, none of us can possibly know what it’s like to be in your position!!
    “There is a certain cool carelessness which comes from not knowing where something is leading you.”–> I certainly understand this. It’s kinda like we talked about when you were in Atlanta, it’s so amazing when the song(or poem) leads you to it’s own conclusion. I hope your holiday will be a time of new musical adventures for you. I can’t wait to hear “Wreckorder”!! You are an EXTREMELY talented songwriter and singer, so I know it will be an amazing collection of work!!
    Good luck with this!! Come back to Atlanta soon!!
    Love, Donna Mac 🙂

  10. Annette says:

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe!🙂. I’ll go and read some more!

  11. […] all, as Healy revealed on his official website (via TFB), he recently “bought a nice old 10 channel recording desk and some beautiful […]

  12. […] El álbum contará también con la colaboración de la cantautora estadounidense Neko Case. Aún no se sabe la fecha de publicación de este trabajo, por lo que seguiremos informando en cuanto haya novedades. Fuente: […]

  13. […] in a new blog posting Fran Healy has revealed to fans that former Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney is set to appear on the […]

  14. Hi Fran,

    Had no idea where you or Travis had been this last while! Great to hear you are working on your own stuff, I am very much a fan of your music. Love the idea behind the solo record and sounds like a real adventure!! Really looking forward to hearing it and seeing you live if you plan on visiting Dublin?
    Best wishes for 2010, Paul

  15. […] revealed the unlikely arrangement in a post to his blog (via Twentyfourbit), where he is documenting his “vacation from [Travis]“. Getting […]

  16. Lynne says:

    SO happy you are making a solo album so that we get to hear something else brilliant from you! Also very happy you have gone vegetarian. It suits your overall persona and I hope it inspires others to follow suit. I am bringing my 3.5 yr old daughter up as a vegetarian like myself, and its never affected her nutrition one little bit, in fact she has a deep understanding and compassion for animals. You rock!

  17. molly says:

    Fantastic story! If you’re looking for some vegetarian recipes, I run a vegetarian recipe blog. Not to spam your site! I know when I started being vegetarian several years ago, I loved finding new sites that had vegetarian recipes. Mine is, but I think is the best vegetarian recipe collection on the planet. Happy eating!

  18. franhealy says:

    Thanks Molly. I will check. What is your favourite recipe?

  19. Molly says:

    This quinoa risotto is my favorite. It’s super healthy because it has quinoa and loads of vegetables, and it’s tasty because it has cheese in it, and everything with cheese is delicious. Enjoy!

    Also, quinoa has all of the amino acids, making it a staple for vegetarians.


  20. […] his wife and one year old son have all turned vegetarian, the singer wrote on his blog, according to The […]

  21. Sonny Colom says:

    Hello webmaster I like your post

  22. Nice post, just bookmarked it for later reading.

  23. yummmmy… thanks for the hints , i’d love to stick to your blog as frequently as i can.use a wonderful day~~

  24. […] revealed the unlikely arrangement in a post to his blog (via Twentyfourbit), where he is documenting his “vacation from [Travis]“. Getting […]

  25. rafaela tatini says:

    fraaan I love you very much:)
    you have any plans for Portugal?
    Its been time since 2001:)
    Much has changed but the fans remain strong and even in greater number
    love you very much for your music and your voice is simply perfect
    I have no words to describe
    stees after all of my routine the only thing I need is to hear fran healy:)
    thank you for that
    I love you a lot:)

  26. Serena says:

    Oh Fran luv too bad ur not in Stpaul mn there’s a place called Pizza Luce that delivers vegie lasagna till 3am

  27. 在线代理 says:


  28. snmaster Idx says:

    Yes, it is very good

  29. […] wrote, “Nora [his wife] and I were sitting and were thinking of a thank you present and I suggested […]

  30. I just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more soon mate

  31. Metin2 Yang says:

    good luck. plz keep it away.

  32. You met THE Sir Paul McCartney?! Consider yourself extremely lucky! 🙁

  33. guitars says:

    nice! i can tell this was essential! very good job!

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