Travis has been rocking all over the world for over 20 years now. And this year, the Scottish band has released their 7th studio album called Where You Stand.
Travis teamed up with iHeartRadio when they were in New York City recently to Guest DJ a radio station that represents their personal taste. Check out their favorite tracks and the stories behind them below!
1. Pink Floyd - "Bake"
Fran: I first heard this in 1990 on an art course in Scotland, and I’m a very late developer, musically. I didn’t have brothers or sisters; we didn’t get a record player until I was like 13. When I heard this song it sort of blew my mind and we played it a lot and we learned [it] on guitar, and we played [it] to death (laughs). Whenever I hear [the song], like most songs, it transports you back to that moment. Actually I went out and bought The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and actually the other day played that Vinyl. It's so scratched, it’s ridiculous you can barley hear the music note. So we used that for our intro music.
2. ACDC - "Back in Black"
Andy: This song is the reason I play the guitar. When I was young I never really listened to Pop or Rock music, it was always like classical music for some reason. And then I heard this song, and I just thought I have to have the guitar. It just makes it sound like the coolest thing in the world and it still does. When I hear “Back in Black” it makes me wanna play a guitar.
Fran: Joni Mitchell, sort of the reason why I started writing songs, the way I write songs. This song is called “A Case of You” it’s from the album Blue. The whole record is this immense sort of emotional trip. She had just split up with Graham Nash, she went to Europe to sort of clear her head and this song is very much typical of that record. There’s a great line in it where she says, well it’s the hook line, “I can drink a case of you and I’d still be on my feet” which is amazing, beautiful. But she’s saying "I can take you, I’m just so much better than you, but yeah I love you, I could drink a case of you" and what a lovely thought.
3. Teenage Fanclub - "The Concept"
Andy: They were a band that we always aspired to be like when we were floating around in Glasgow, cause they made it, and it made us feel like we can do it too.
Fran: I remember when we were doing our demo before we moved to London. Teenage Fanclub were in the same recording place with Alex Chilton from Big Star and they were rehearsing for a show in Glasgow. I remember Norman coming over and just popping his head around and we were this little band. He gave us his equipment. He’s like "look at your gear it’s rubbish, you have really rubbish gear" and he’s like "here" and gave us his box amp and his big giant Gibson guitar they all they were just… So yeah, they’re a great band.
4. Friends - "I'm His Girl"
Fran: This is by a band from Brooklyn, or New York. I saw them play, and one of the cool things about living in Berlin is that a lot bands come through the city and you get to see them in really small venues. And my friend Wolfgang, German name, took me to see Friends. He really liked this band. Wolfgang is 60 years old and he works for the German "Rolling Stone." He’s kind of like the John Peel of Germany. So yeah we went to see Friends and we had no idea that one of her things, she comes off the stage and rubs guys faces in a really funny way. And it happens quickly, so we were maybe two [rows] back and she sort of hopped off the stage, and thankfully she got the guy in front of us. I’ve never seen my friend Wolfgang move so fast in his whole life.
5. U2 - "The Unforgettable Fire"
Andy: This to me is the U2 album, the whole album The Unforgettable Fire and that’s what I kind of love about U2 is everyone’s got an album that sort of defines themselves a bit. Everyone’s different, but this reminds me of being at a hospital in Glasgow with my appendix out, and those little walkman tape players. And it was the only thing I had, and there was nothing to do except listen to this all day, and it just was brilliant.
6. The Small Faces - "Lazy Sunday"
Andy: This is one of the songs in high school, everybody used to buy a bottle of cheap wine. Well we used to drink Thunderbird wine and Douglas, which I believe is a tramp wine! But it did the job and we couldn’t really afford much more at the time. So me and Douglas we’d get a bottle of Thunderbird wine, everyone would grab an acoustic guitar and head up to the Plint making building, which is just a good old building for everyone to sit in. It had nice acoustics, and [we would] sit and play songs and sing songs and get drunk, and this was one of the big songs we’d usually end a night with. It just makes me think of Thunderbird wine.
7. Pavememnt - "Trigger Cut"
Fran: I heard [this song] again when we were all at art school. A friend of ours, Toby, played it to us, and that album became the soundtrack to my first year of art school. Fast-forward to just last year, and I heard that Steve Malkmus was in Berlin, and I thought, I knew Nigel Godrich, and I met Steve when I worked with Nigel. So I got his e-mail, and said "hey man let’s go out for a drink." We figured it out and the night came and I’m a super fan, so I’m trying to be really cool. And so my door goes and I open the door and there’s Steve and he’s like "Dude, I live across the street (laughing) I can see in your house from my window." I go "oh my God, had you told me that when Toby first played me that all those years ago!" Anyway we went out and had a great night – he still doesn’t know I’m a super-fan. He’s back now in America, so maybe he’ll hear this ... and if you do it’s a confession – I love you! (laughing)
8. Talking Heads - "Once In A Lifetime"
Andy: Obviously done by Brian Eno, the Talking Heads, and we had good fortune to do a couple of days with Brian in the studio. One thing I never realized of him - cause you think all this cool music – is he just loves to sing. It’s the one thing more than anything he loves to do is sing. And this record you can hear him all over it cause he’s got really polished voices. We were doing stuff with him and he’d take it back to the studio, and just sing all over it.
Fran: There would be 100 voices on it like a barber shop. He’s right in the barber shop (laughing). So whenever I hear this all I can hear is Brian’s voice in the background.
9. R.E.M. - "Sweetness Follows"
Fran: It’s one of those art school soundtrack records – it's autumn, I’m outside the Calvin Grove Art Gallery in Glasgow, this is on my car stereo on repeat all the time. Whenever I hear this song it takes me back to that moment.
Andy: It was kind of a template for a band their was something to aim towards.
Fran: Yeah R.E.M. are, for me, if we could be like R.E.M. that would be – so I think there’s a lot of R.E.M. in Travis even if you don’t really hear it.
Listen to Travis' "Where You Stand" below!
Photo Credit: Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio