Frontman James Lavelle explains why the time has finally come

UNKLE are gearing up for their first-ever live show at London’s Islington Academy next week, and will release their third studio album, ‘War Stories’, shortly afterwards.

Frontman James Lavelle admitted that he’s nervous about the sold-out gig, and explained why the band has never played live before.

“I’m nervous about our first show, but you’ve just got to get on with it, don’t you?” he said.

“It felt like the right time (to play live) now that we’re three records in and have a load of material. With the first record, (DJ) Shadow went on and pursued his own career, which was why we couldn’t go live. On the last two records we’ve recorded a lot more band-type material, and on this record even more, so it felt like the right time.”

The new album features renowned collaborators including Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age and Ian Astbury of The Cult.

“Josh is really an amazingly talented musician and singer as well,” Lavelle said. ” I’ve known Josh for a while – we’ve collaborated before, we’ve done mixes for him and we help each other out. He was a really supportive, inspirational person to work with.

“Ian was great too. We spent quite an intense period doing songs together where we recorded the tracks from scratch with him there for the whole process.”

The band recorded the new album in London, Los Angeles, and Joshua Tree in the California desert, which Lavelle said helped create a “rawer, more organic” sound than UNKLE‘s previous albums.

“Being in the desert was a very different from what I’m used to,” he said. “It was very open and mystical and strange. So the whole experience was pretty unique. It definitely influenced the sound of the record.”

‘War Stories’ is due out July 9 in the UK and Europe, and July 24 in the US. The band will support the album with a UK and European tour this summer, and plan to hit the US this fall.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

Find out more about NME.