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Travis leader will balance solo, band work in future

of the Oakland Press

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Fran Healy wants Travis fans to know that the arrival of his first solo album, “Wreckorder,” is not a bad omen for the Scottish band he’s fronted since 1990.

“I just wanted a break from the band,” says Healy, 37. “I was pretty sort of ready for a change. Creatively I just wanted to do something different. The guys all wanted a holiday and I wanted a holiday, but I think more than just having a break I wanted to do something different.

“You can never be sure when you venture into these things whether or not it’s actually going to sate whatever that appetite is, but I really think it was the best thing I could possibly have done, ’cause I really enjoyed doing it.”

“Wreckorder” features guest appearances by Neko Case and Tom Hobden from Noah and the Whale, as well as “a young bassman from Liverpool who really needed a break.” That, of course, was Paul McCartney, who played his famed Hofner bass on the song “As It Comes.” And in appreciation, Healy and his wife decided to go vegetarian as a nod to McCartney’s own dietary devotions.

“Vegetarian life is great,” reports Healy, who anticipates both more solo recording but also another Travis album soon. “When I did take the plunge I thought, ‘OK, what kind of vegetarian is Paul McCartney?’ Does he eat fish, for instance? So I wrote to his office and said, ‘Hey, it’s me again ... ’

“And they were very nice about it, and I guess they told Paul what I was up to and the next thing you know we got a package with Linda (McCartney)’s cookbooks, which I thought was very sweet. It feels like more than just a musical kinship now, if you know what I mean.”

Fran Healy performs with Brandon Flowers on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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