Elbow: Writing Mercury follow-up album was 'easy'

10/03/11

Elbow's Guy Garvey

Elbow's singer Guy Garvey has described the Manchester band's new release as "easier than any album we've done before".

Build A Rocket Boys!, out this week, is the follow-up to their Mercury Prize winning fourth album The Seldom Seen Kid.

The frontman admitted that he has a lower expectation for this album.

"Seldom Seen Kid won so many awards and did so well that we're not expecting this one to do anything like as well."

'Hardcore' fans

Garvey added: "We're just hoping the hardcore of people who've bought all of our albums over the last 10 years like it as much as we do."

There is no doubt that the Manchester band still looks back on their 2008 win at the Mercurys as a turning point in their 21-year career.

"Winning the Mercury was so important to us," he said.

"There's usually quite a lot of controversy over the Mercury winner in the press the next day.

"Everyone seemed to think it was the right choice which made us feel very loved and wanted.

"We made this album with an air of excitement and confidence. That's why it was the easiest to make.

"It really did change our lives. For a whole 24 hours I didn't think about music, I just basked in the success."

'Rougher' sound

Describing the sound of the new album, Garvey said it was "subtle in places and heavier in others".

"It's a little rougher around the edges than The Seldom Seen Kid," he said. "That was quite a grand sounding record. This feels like an old diary or something."

It really did change our lives. For a whole 24 hours I didn't think about music, I just basked in the success
Elbow's Guy Garvey

However, even before its release the frontman admitted that he'd got into trouble with his record label after he revealed the name of Build A Rocket Boys! too early.

"I got drunk and went on Mark Riley's Christmas show over at BBC 6 Music," he said.

"All the musicians in Manchester and I had one too many Guinness's and released the album title which meant a few people at the label had to work a little longer into their Christmas break.

"But there you go. Don't go on the radio drunk I guess."

Elbow embark on their first full UK arena tour at the end of March.

"We're trying to make these big rooms a little smaller, a little more intimate," said Garvey.

"You get the benefit of all the people there to help you sing the songs and at the same time keep it intimate. We want people at our shows to feel loved."

Elbow's new album Build A Rocket Boys! is out now.