26 February 2010
Vocals done. Tracks mixed. Cool. Flight cancelled.
25 February 2010
Snow seems to be a running theme this winter. I was thinking late last year how I had seen far more snow as a child than I have in recent times, so it’s nice to finally get some. I spoke to Nora on the phone and she said that alot of the snow in Berlin had begun to melt. She was saying how she hadn’t seen so much dogshit on the streets in here life. She said it smells rank . Dog shit is a massive problem in Berlin. People don’t want to pick it up. I wouldn’t want to pick it up either. It’s dogshit! I need to not get started on dogshit…
Anyways more snow. Last day in studio. I am out here because I wrote 2 more songs way past the 12th hour. I am swapping them out with two on the record. The two in question were incongruous with the rest of the album. The 2 new songs are called “Shadow Boxing” and “Anything”. I have one more vocal to do. Wish me luck.
18 February 2010
It’s a beautiful sunny day today in Berlin. I have been writing and writing and writing. It’s been good. The strike rate has always been 20 flat songs and 1 that stands up by itself. These songs come from a different place in the brain than the others. I’m not familiar with right left brain responsibilities but I think the reason it is hard to write a good song maybe relates to it coming from an unconscious area of the brain so there is no way of repeating it because it’s unmapped, unknown. Like being blindfolded and taken in a car somewhere and then blindfolded on your return, you would never know how to get there again. A song from here is a postcard which ignites upon consumption this area of the brain.
When I hear something which comes from this unmapped place, I get a little jolt and for a moment I am transported there. This feeling is addictive. It is escape.
Anyways I got one of these the other night. It is nice to know if I empty my head enough, I am still light enough to float off to that cool secret place.
On another note, I was driving the other day and I heard a familiar voice singing on the radio. It took a while to figure out who it was because the lyrics and his voice were beautifully juxtaposed and later it all made sense when the announcer said it was a cover. The song is by Magnatic Fields and the singer is Peter Gabriel. Still one of the best voices Britain has produced. The song is called The Book Of Love. I’ll take it down if it’s naughty to have it here.
It comes from his new album of cover versions buy it
and buy the Magnetic Fields original
18 February 2010
Just spent a joyous evening with Rufus Wainwright and Douglas Gordon. Rufus glows.
12 February 2010
Ok so it’s low fi today as I am still in deep writing mode.
Q1 from Kairamon… How do you feel about strangers approaching you because of fame & music, what kind of encounters do you enjoy?
A1… I don’t mind people approaching. It’s cool. The only time that it’s a pain is when I am doing animal things… basic stuff… like if I was having a pee and the guy standing next to me is like “Hey you’re that guy…Ahhh…It’s you… I love Why Does It Always Rain On Me” and he’s splashing all over the place… encounters I enjoy would be umm really anything that doesn’t involve someone peeing on me.
Q2 from Pocketchange 78…Your last postings show ABBA & MJ w/different lyrics than released. Which Travis songs started out as something different?
A2… Nice question… here is an example of pre lyrics… click to make bigger.
Q3 from ALLYXIS What is your favourite brand of clothes?
Q4 HArtyLFC…I know you’re a wellknown Celtic supporter. Did you catch the match? Thought Keane looked sharp but was unlucky. C’mon you hoops!
A4 I think not having football fans around me whilst growing up left me not really bothering as an adult. If was to chose a team i would chose celtic. I always liked their spirit. They always seemed more noble than other teams, fighters. And the green and white strips always looked so cool. But I have no idea what is going on in football. I also hated that if you were catholic it would be celtic and if you were protestant it would be rangers. It’s all indoctrinated. I liked Partick Thistle too because the name is attractive. Footballers and sports people facinate me. It is very difficult to make it to the top of your trade if you are a sports person… there is a lot of dedication there which I really admire.
Q5 Cynthiaolguin … Her husband wonders Blur or Oasis…
A5 Oasis all the way.
Q6 Yauami … I’d like to know about why you chose some of your cover versions over the years. Lets start with Back In Black…
A6 Back in Black was borne from working with a great producer called Niko Bolas. He taught us how to play, how to rock and used ACDC as his example of how one should rock if that is what one wishes to do. I wrote All I Want To Do Is Rock after being inspired by this man. Most covers arrive because we ran out of songs for b sides. This was back when bands had to put 4 b sides out when they released a single and if you were releasing 4 or 5 singles, you were using up alot of material.
q7 minacco …Do you like taking photos? What kind of cameras do you use? I use Richo CX2 and i Phone. sometimes toy-camera like fisheye
A I love photography and I take pics. I use a Canon 5dMarkii as an slr and the ricoh GR2 digital as a handheld. The Ricoh is amazing. It was suggested to me by David Bailey. I have the Ricoh GR which is the 35mm version. This is one of the best point and shoot cameras ever.
Q8 What`s the difference between Healy`s solo album and a Travis one? After all you are the lead singer / song writer in the band ?
A8 Did I answer this already. If I did then apologies… I guess it’s just my songs played by some other people. I have always written about what is going on in my life whether it be falling in love, being chucked, having a child. I was told by the above producer Niko Bolas to write about what I knew, so that is what I do. The style of playing in Travis has always been dictated by the song that arrives. Some bands jam out and have all these sections of music to add lyrics and melody to. We have never been that kind of band.
Q9 fran why are you wearing felt hat recently? i always think you can bring mohawk style back anytime you want, it was cool.
A9 I wore the hat because it looked cool and it was kind of the look of Ode To J Smith. I was also growing out my hair. It is long and unkempt now soon to be cut but into what style I am unsure.
Q10 snemzer… What is your favorite medium & place to listen to music? CD? LP? iPod? Earbuds? Headphones? Huge speakers? Car? Studio?
A10 Great question. I would have to say that listening to a song in a studio from analogue tape has to be the best sound. We took some of the master tapes of The Invisible Band and The Man Who into the studio a couple of years ago to get the glass harp sound and e-bow sound from Drfitwood and the string sound from Sing. Nobody uses tape anymore. It sound SO good. There is a quality which cannot be copied digitally and that is the phenomenon of the tracks bleeding together slightly. Tape is physical and the 2 inch tape is split into 24 parts one on top of the other. You can record “the take” and then come in the next day and it magically sounds better. This is because all the tracks sort of merge microscopically. Listening to a song on headphone is also a great experience. When the walkman came along, it was the first time I had listened to music in the way and it kind of blew my mind.
Anyways everyone was a winner today and for that you all get this
7 February 2010
(Maybe Claes can supply a translation)