Travis leader Fran Healy is hoping his upcoming North American acoustic tour will yield the band's next album.
"We're gonna hopefully write the whole thing, me and Andy (Dunlop, Travis' guitarist) on the bus," Healy tells Billboard.com. "I like the idea of writing an album going across America. I can kind of write anywhere; mostly I tend to sit in hotel rooms and quiet places, but I've written in the loudest, noisiest places imaginable, too. It's like taking a shit; you can do it anywhere, but sometimes it's nice to do it in a nice, cozy toilet rather than in the bushes."
Healy adds that the tentative plans are for Travis to record the follow-up to 2008's "Ode to J. Smith" in Nashville sometime in the new year. "I've just heard so many good things about it," Healy says. "We've recorded in Los Angeles, in New York, in upstate New York, in other different places. Nashville is another music town. We know lots of people there, and there are some great studios. These are just pipe dreams from which actual plans will be hatched, but at the moment that's the idea."
Meanwhile, Healy and Dunlop are starting to work on material for the acoustic tour, which begins Oct. 8 in San Francisco and is dubbed An Evening with Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop: A Chronological Acoustical Journey Through the Travis Back Catalogue: Laugh Out Loud Stories, Scottish Accents, Handsome Scottish Men, Naked Torsos. "To be honest, I don't know what to expect," says Healy, who will cull the setlists from Travis' body of about 150 songs and a selection of covers. "I've done this kind of thing once, in Australia, and that was impromptu, unplanned. The reaction it got from the crowd of people who were there was just phenomenal. It make me think, 'This is a really good idea. I should do this.' "
Healy and Dunlop plan to sit down next week [week of 9/28] to start going over material and arrangements. They plan to record the shows and put out at least a CD and possibly a DVD from the venture.
"It's almost like taking baby pictures of the songs and showing them to the audience -- except it's getting the real baby and showing it people," Healy says. "I think it's going to be really special. I have a slide show, sort of a projector screen and a projector, so it'll look a little like a town hall lecture. That's the vibe of it. I can't wait."