Stereophonics have shot down the notion of celebrating the 20th anniversary of their landmark debut ‘Word Gets Around’, looking ahead to the future instead with their ‘escapist’ new album ‘Scream Above The Sounds’. Watch our video interview with the band above.
Now on their 10th album together, the Welsh rock veterans say that they are driven by the ‘freedom’ they enjoyed on their last few records – with 2015’s ‘Keep The Village Alive’ beating both The Libertines and Bring Me The Horizon to the No.1 spot.
“When you’re making the 10th album, it doesn’t really feel like it,” frontman Kelly Jones told NME. “I never wanted to be in a band on our 20th year going ‘oh, let’s go do a big ‘Word Gets Around’ tour. It’s not about that. It’s about 20 years of catalogue. It’s about all of those songs, all of those different styles and everything you’ve done in those years.”
He added: “It becomes a bit too nostalgic for me. We did a [one-off anniversary] gig at the ULU and it was great. It was a great little punk rock gig and a lot of fun. It was great learning ‘Word Gets Around’ again and all the b-sides. I forgot lots, stuff blew up, and it was really energetic.”
While the band’s drummer Jamie Morrison used to play in a Stereophonics tribute band, even he rejects the notion of focussing too much on former glories.
“A lot of bands can’t make new stuff after a certain amount of time,” said Morrison. “We’re still making great, relevant, amazing music. There’s still hundreds of thousands of people who wanna come and see us. Why not continue to make new music rather than rely on what you’ve got? The world’s already got that – but the new ‘Phonics stuff, that’s what it’s about. The 20 years is about this. It’s about the future, not necessarily the past”
While the world is a state of division, Stereophonics say that they prefer to find the personal in the political to make for a much more escapist album – trying to find a way out from the wave of ‘constant bad news’.
“You need to give people an excuse to go and buy another Stereophonics album,” said bassist Richard Jones. “We keep finding new things about what we can do. There’s a lot of optimism on [this album]. There’s a lot of bad news being constantly fed to your phones. Entertainment is the release from that. That’s basically what we do.”
Kelly Jones continued: “I’ve always written from a guy on the street’s point of view. What am I going to say about Theresa May and Donald Trump that no one else is saying every other fucking single second of the day anyway? It’s chaos from the top down. There’s stuff happening on the streets that is not good.
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“People are constantly distracted all the time. There’s no looking out of a window thinking of a cool idea. There’s no time for imagination. I think the record is talking about that, more than the politics. It’s good to be bored sometimes. You come up with some really good shit when you’ve got nothing going on in your head. If you’re bombarded with information all the time then there’s not a lot of space left. That’s what ‘Scream Above The Sounds’ means – it’s about trying to get above that noise that’s constantly there.”
Stereophonics release their new album ‘Scream Above The Sounds’ on October 27.
The band’s upcoming UK tour dates are below. Tickets are available here.
FRI 23 – ABERDEEN AECC ARENA
SAT 24 – GLASGOW THE SSE HYDRO
MON 26 – NOTTINGHAM MOTORPOINT ARENA
TUE 27 – BRIGHTON CENTRE
THU 1 – BIRMINGHAM GENTING ARENA
FRI 2 – LONDON THE SSE ARENA WEMBLEY
MON 5 – BOURNEMOUTH BIC
TUE 6 – CARDIFF MOTORPOINT ARENA
WED 7 – CARDIFF MOTORPOINT ARENA
FRI 9 – MANCHESTER ARENA
SAT 10 – LEEDS FIRST DIRECT ARENA
MON 12 – NEWCASTLE METRO RADIO ARENA