Dave Rowntree tells NME.COM not to expect the follow-up to '13' until at least 2003...

BLUR’s DAVE ROWNTREE has scotched rumours that his band’s new album is almost complete, saying they were “closer to the start of the process than the end”.

Rowntree was at the Houses Of Parliament this afternoon (March 20), attending the official launch of the All Party Music Group, a cross-political group of MPs intending to work for the interests of the British music industry.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM, Rowntree confirmed Blur were returning to the studio in May but added: “All speculation in the NME about the title of the singles, or what we have recorded, is giving us all a good laugh. We are closer to the start of the process than the end.” The album, the follow-up to 1999’s ’13’, will not be released until next year, he added.

Last week Blur frontman Damon Albarn said they had recorded 14 songs and that one of them, ‘Don’t Bomb When You Are the Bomb’, was likely to be the new single.

Rowntree was joined at the launch by a number of industry big wigs including Rob Dickins, Chairman of the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) and super-producer and ‘Pop Idol’ judge Pete Waterman.