The latest music video from Travis was shot in Los Angeles at sunrise, with Fran Healy wandering downtown streets close to where he now lives, joined by the rest of the band using deepfake face-swapping technology to digitally insert them into scenes.

Filmmaking is something that Fran has been learning more about over the last year. In the absence of touring, there has also been an opportunity to delve into his own past. 

Next month, Travis’ debut album Good Feeling will be rereleased on vinyl with its original artwork.

The band arrived at Bearsville Studios, outside Woodstock in Upstate New York in December 1996, to record a collection of songs that Fran had been carrying around with him for six years, honed through early rehearsal sessions and gigs in Glasgow, then the first live performances in London that got them signed to a label. 

Fran vividly remembers sitting on the plane on the way to make the record, not quite understanding how he’d got there. A transformative moment stepping into the unknown, it was a strange, otherworldly experience for the singer who felt far from his upbringing in Possilpark, Glasgow.

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They arrived at the studio and it looked like something out of a movie set, all sweeping space and rustic Americana with attentive technicians to adjust guitars and manage cables. “I swear, if I dropped a plectrum someone would appear to catch it,” he recalls.

Good Feeling was produced by Steve Lillywhite, who had worked with U2, The Rolling Stones, Morrissey and Peter Gabriel in a storied career. 

He teased out the anthemic hooks of the group’s debut single, All I Want to Do Is Rock.

Fran says this two-week recording session saw the band at its rawest with levels of expectation, fear, enthusiasm and determination layered onto each of the tracks.

Touring the album brought the band back to Glasgow for bigger gigs and that felt like a breakthrough. “We didn’t really care that much about the singles, we didn’t really get high in the charts but we were on the road. It was so much fun, coming home,” says Fran.

"Being from Glasgow, you carry that with you everywhere you go and every musician I’ve met, from The Strokes to Rihanna, they talk about our crowd. It’s famous. Playing in front of it, with people screaming your songs back at you for the first time, your skin is getting flayed off your face it’s so loud.”

READ MORE: 'Nowadays, just writing a song is a radical act' says Travis singer

Why did the band decide to re-release the album on vinyl? “There’s an element to it that’s nostalgic, of course, but to me it’s legacy,” says Fran. “Our back catalogue, that’s our story. It’s the reason I made the documentary about the band. You’ve got to think to yourself, I’m not going to be here in a hundred years, but these songs are going to be here.

“So, you want to imagine someone discovering the band, leave breadcrumbs that give people clues to find the music.

Also, vinyl is how we listened to music before everything went invisible. It’s why our arms are this length, because if our arms were meant to be really short, that would be for CDs,” he laughs.

“We’re supposed to go to a shop and carry vinyl out under our arm. It sounds great, there’s a ritual to it. Gently drop the needle on, and then it begins.”

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Fran moved to London when he was 23 and spent time living in New York and then Berlin before moving to Los Angeles in 2017.

You can still hear Glasgow in his accent: “I was getting a burger and this really nice lady, she’s like, where is that accent from?. And I said I’m from Scotland and she replied "oh, that’s an old accent".

“It’s an interesting time in America, you forget how young a country it is. I miss our humour in Scotland, the way we can laugh at ourselves.

I think that comes from the fact we are an old people and we’ve been around long enough to develop our sense of absurdity. Everyone is quite serious over here. I do miss home, but I don’t miss the weather at all.”

Thinking about that sense of place, can Fran explain the story of his journey with Travis in terms of points on the map? He thinks for a moment and then starts plotting a course across Glasgow. 

“140 King's Park Road, up on the third landing," he says. "I would go out and make demos, and use the reverb in the close. I would set my four-track up, with a microphone, put another microphone up on the next landing. 

"I recorded More Than Us, As You Are and Good Feeling there. That’s where I lived with my mum, when we got our publishing deal.

“Glasgow School of Art is another big place on the map, because that’s where we all went, apart from Neil. Schuh is where Dougie and Neil met, down from Central Station.

“The Horse Shoe Bar, Neil worked there. Berkeley rehearsal studios is where I auditioned for the band and elbowed my way in. I wrote songs in my ex-girlfriend’s house in Jordanhill.

 “The Tunnel nightclub, I met Dot Allison the first night I worked the bar there, we still remain in touch to this day. King Tut’s let us play gigs and then put us on at the first T in the Park. 

“The Cotton Club on the hill, beside the Art School. There was a place called Apollo Two, round the corner from the original Apollo. A tiny place but that was our first Travis gig.

“Holyrood Secondary School, where I first got on stage and sung my first song, which was about the headmaster.”

Recording Good Feeling was a first step for Travis, but it was the release of subsequent albums The Man Who and The Invisible Band that catapulted the band to success and secured their position in the national consciousness at home. 

Their tunes are sung on the top deck of buses – “why does it always rain on me?” – and feature on playlists at parties and weddings. They are played out on Hogmanay and at football matches.

Fran says it’s not something he thinks about often but he likes the suggestion that they have somehow become a part of Scotland’s songbook.

“Nobody knows the distance people come to get to where they are. I think about being fortunate enough to have had certain opportunities, and luck’s got a lot to do with it,” he says.

“You just know that rock and roll’s middle class. It’s people with disposable incomes that can buy a guitar, or afford to go and get lessons, their mum and dad give them money to go and rehearse in a wee studio.

“The distance that someone from where I’m from has to travel to even get to that point is further than all my art school contemporaries travelled.

"So, it’s brilliant to think something I wrote is still being sung on the top deck of a bus in Scotland. 

“Me and my friends used to go to the indie night on a Thursday at Fury Murrys in Glasgow when I was 18 and the music would be blasting out and we’d be sitting at the table having a drink. I’d stand up and I’d scream at the top of my voice, because you couldn’t hear me: You will all buy my records! 

“My mates would just roll around laughing and I’d collapse back on the seat and laugh as well. It was our bit of a joke, but you know what? Be careful what you wish for, because those dreams can come true.”

Good Feeling is released on April 2,

This interview appeared in the latest edition of Best of Scotland magazine.