“He put on a tape, and it was OK Computer. We were there going, Oh, that’s quite good.” Travis frontman Fran Healy recalls nights out with his friends in Radiohead

Travis and Radiohead in 1997
(Image credit: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images | Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Travis frontman Fran Healy has spoken about his band's long-standing friendship with Radiohead, and revealed the mutual respect between the two British bands. 

The groups have a mutual friend in producer Nigel Godrich, who first worked with Radiohead on their 1995 album The Bends, and first worked with Travis on their 1999 album The Man Who, but were introduced before that connection brought them closer.

“We’ve known Radiohead since 1997,” Healy reveals in a new interview with The Irish Times. “We played in a little tiny bar, and [Radiohead’s bassist] Colin Greenwood was there, and afterwards he said, ‘Do you want to come back to my place for a cup of tea?’ He said, ‘We’ve just finished our new record. Do you want to hear it? And he put on a tape, and it was OK Computer. We were there going, Oh, that’s quite good.”

Healy admits that he and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke were initially somewhat guarded with one another - singers are “tricky fuckers”, he tells the newspaper - but bonded, as so many musicians do, over alcohol, on a night down the pub. 

“Nigel and him were out, and I turned up,” he recalls. “Thom was, like, ‘What the fuck?’ We had the best night. He got me. He got close enough to be, like, ‘Aah’. Nigel was, like, ‘Thom [says of Healy] ‘He’s really cool.’ And I was, like, Yesssss ... Thom Yorke thinks I’m cool. But, look, he’s a hero of ours – like we are, maybe, to some people. How awesome is it when you hear they think you’re all right?”

Travis will release their tenth studio album, L.A. Times, on July 12 via BMG. Look out for an extensive interview with Fran Healy on Louder on July 15. 

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.