They followed it up with 2005's well-received Open Season, touring with the likes of David Bowie, The Flaming Lips and Jarvis Cocker. On the eve of the forthcoming album Do You Like Rock Music? we caught up with British Sea Power frontman Yan to hear tales of helicopters, soldiers, and playing every city in the world…
You guys are certainly getting a lot of press at the moment, Do You Like Rock Music? is seemingly going to be one of the most talked-about albums of 2008, as well as earning you plaudits like 'the British Arcade Fire'. Is the band feeling any extra pressure as a result?
It's a surprise to talk to so many people! We haven't sold bucketloads of records before, but we've had a fair amount of attention in other ways. It's just how it is. It's better having people that want to talk to you than no-one wanting to, isn't it? (laughter).
True. Zane Lowe's named your new single the 'Hottest Track in the World Ever'.
Yeah! We just got record of the new on Stuart Maconie as well. It's nice because we weren't too sure what was going to happen. It's been a while.
There's a few interesting stories floating around about recording the album. What's the story involving the army?
Well that was in Cornwall, about halfway through recording. We'd sort of borrowed part of a deserted fort owned by the army down on the coast. It was massive, and empty for the two weeks we were there. Then all of a sudden soldiers started turning up and there were helicopters and battleships doing army exercises! There's an interesting video of Martin Noble (guitarist) dressed up as a bear with all these young army lads fully camouflaged just laughing at him!
How did you go about recording the album?
We did some in Montreal with someone from Silver Mt Zion and an old guy from Arcade Fire. We thought we'd get away from London, and it'd be better being in a studio run by musicians. The idea was if we had a bit of an adventure when we were recording it'd come through onto the record and we'd have a better time ourselves.
You've played in some strange places. What's the plan for next year?
We're gonna try and play every city in the world! We've played on a boat up the Mersey, and a gig in the highest inn in England. I think we've got that sort of stuff out of our system for a little bit. I think we'll go for normal places now, hopefully the better ones where you know people are gonna be at the gig!
[interview by David Mercer]