“When Chris heard it he was like, That song is the best thing you’ve ever written!“ Coldplay's Chris Martin and The Killers' Brandon Flowers help Travis pay their respects to their favourite NYC bar

(Image credit: Steve Gullick)

Travis have called upon a pair of famous friends for an elegy to their favourite, now shuttered, New York bar.

The Scottish indie rock stars are joined by Coldplay's Chris Martin and The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers on Raze The Bar, their second single previewing their forthcoming album L.A Times, which is set for release on July 12 via BMG.

Discussing his inspiration for the song, Travis frontman Fran Healy says: “There was a great bar in New York City. It didn’t have a name but everyone called it Black and White on account of the black and white striped awning that hung over the entrance. They had poetry nights, great DJs, open mic nights. If you played a show at Irving Plaza or Webster Hall, chances are you ended up at Black and White till the wee small hours. One of the owners, Johnny T, looked after so many artists and bands over the years. If that bar could talk, what a story it would tell.

“During the pandemic, their landlord refused to negotiate a reduced rent and they had to close. So, in the middle of the night, they turned up with a truck and removed every single trace and fixture of the bar. Then they white washed the whole space so it could never be repeated. Raze the Bar is a song about a fictional last night in the bar. Johnny is in there, Jack, Richard and Johnny’s brother and bar co-owner Chris. The cameos were almost an afterthought! I just called Chris Martin in a bit of a panic because I couldn’t figure out what the track sequence should be. When Chris heard it, he was like, ‘That song is the best thing you’ve ever written!’ And because he and Brandon Flowers both live quite near…”

Watch the lyric video below.

Healy describes his band's new record as “our most personal album since The Man Who”, their second album, released in 1999, which has now sold almost three million copies in the UK alone. Travis' frontman has been living in Los Angeles for the past decade. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.