LIFE THRU A LENS?

The disillusioned Travis frontman fancies a career change, while the band's drummer is just glad to be alive...

TRAVIS frontman FRAN HEALY has become so disillusioned with the music industry that he is contemplating a career change to become an assistant to NME photographer TOM SHEEHAN.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM last week, Healy said that six years constant work pushing Travis to chart glory has left him “numb… completely knackered” and disillusioned with an industry “collapsing in on itself”.

“I said to Tom, ‘ I want to be your assistant… and learn a couple of tricks’,” Fran explained. “I’ve got a darkroom in the house and [Fran’s partner] Nora does photography and I did a bit at art school. So we were doing a photoshoot with Tom and I really liked him, he’s such a nice guy. So I said ‘Would you mind if I popped in and helped out.’ I haven’t got round to it yet.

“When you tour as much as we toured, you get tour psychosis. You become numb to everything. It happens to every band. And we didn’t stop since we moved to London – from ’96 to 2002 it was this relentless thing. And eventually it reached a point where you’re going through the motions.”

He added that Travis drummer Neil Primrose’s near-fatal pool accident in France in July was “like God’s way of saying – stop right now”.

Primrose is well on the road to recovery from the accident. However, he revealed that at the time he almost died – only pulling himself back from the brink following a near-death experience. The drummer severed vertebrae in his back when he when for a midnight dip at a hotel in Belfort in eastern France.

“I dived in, heard a crunching noise and realised I’d banged my head. Thankfully I didn’t panic. Then you go to move your body and its totally paralysed. You can’t move, you can’t even blink, you’re totally still. Then you think – shit. Someone’s going to see me in a minute, don’t panic, it’ll be okay. All I remember is waking up.”

He was pulled from the pool by his bandmates, given mouth-to-mouth and rushed to hospital. Following a seven-hour operation – which saw a two-inch plate inserted into his neck – Primrose spent three weeks in a French hospital before being moved home to convalesce.

To read the interviews with Healy and Primrose in full, see this week’s NME, on sale in London today (November 12) and the rest of the UK tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Travis‘ new single ‘Love Will Come Through’ will be available to download on www.travisonline.com from November 15. Money raised from downloads, which cost £1.50 each, will go to the Spinal Injuries Association.