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“One of the things I most enjoyed about being in the studio rather than on the road,” Winston reflects, “was that you could play any instrument you liked; so you weren’t thinking, ‘I have to do this, play that.’ We all felt that we could do anything we wanted, and achieve much more in the process.”Believe, one of the new album’s key songs, was a beneficiary of this more immersive, collegiate process.

“We’d all gone to a wedding on this ranch in Texas,” Marcus recalls, “and they let us stay in one of the outhouses for a week, so we could write.

Eight years ago, we’d be going, ‘What’s compression again?

’”The band who once told an interviewer that if they didn’t play live they weren’t a band at all now accept that the deeper perspective that that five-month break – and those writing sessions at Eastcote Studios – gave them was something they needed in order to progress.

I felt free.”Lyrically, the album comes across like a series of snapshots – diary entries, postcards, internal conversations, about misunderstandings, heartache, commitment, deception and loss. Flitting in and out of the darkness of the shadows and brightness of the lights Sound-tracking these clamorous emotions is music of incredible intricacy and subtlety, drama and depth, urgency and soul, which undoubtedly sounds like the turning of a new page, yet is still identifiably the work of a band whose songs struck a chord with millions because of the passion and fervour they conveyed.“That’s the feeling that has always driven us to make music,” says Ted.

“Going to a gig, standing there with this feeling of how mystifying and amazing it all is.

“Those places were so welcoming, they seemed so pleased to have us there, so, when it came to planning a tour, we all thought as one: ‘Let’s do more of those.’“Doing it that way takes you away from this small nucleus of the band,” says Ben.Whenever I speak to people we work with, they seem proudest of that.So they’re the vehicle, rather than the other way round.We’d sit down and thrash ideas out.” Ben: “And we were much more comfortable in a studio environment this time.It was our third bite at that, and our understanding of how a studio works was different to how it was before.

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