IDLES guitarist Lee Kiernan says there are “30 songs on the table” for new album

“We’re testing the waters. We’ve got lots of ideas,” he said at virtual guitar show Guitar.com Live

IDLES guitarist Lee Kiernan has shed more light on the band’s progress on their next album in a new interview, saying they have “lots of ideas” for the follow-up to ‘Ultra Mono’ and that there are “30 songs on the table”.

Earlier this week, frontman Joe Talbot revealed IDLES were already working on their next record, following the release of ‘Ultra Mono’ in September.

In an interview at virtual guitar show Guitar.com Live, broadcast October 3, Kiernan also said that work had already begun on the new album. “The premise is that we like to keep moving quickly, to keep writing when we’re excited and we want to,” he said.

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Kiernan also pointed out that though IDLES began writing ‘Ultra Mono’ nearly right after the previous record, 2018’s ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’, “nothing really came around until two months before we recorded it. That’s when the whole album solidified as its entity, with all the music together.”

It’s still early days for the next IDLES album, Kiernan said: “We’re testing the waters. We’ve got lots of ideas, there’s like 30 songs on the table.” He added, “But at this point in time…” and shrugged.

“It’s no pressure but we wanna find what this album means to us, what it’s gonna be, and that takes time, that’s why we start quickly.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Kiernan also discussed the importance of knowing songs inside-out in order to play an energetic live show and “go absolutely apeshit” on stage, and how putting a song first is the “hardest thing” IDLES has ever had to learn.

“Because as players, you’re egotistical. It’s natural,” he said. “You’re like, ‘I wrote this riff! Tell everyone who wrote this riff!’ Who cares who wrote the riff. It’s about the song.”

Watch the Guitar.com Live interview with Kiernan here:

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Organised by media brand Guitar.com, Guitar.com Live was a three-day virtual guitar show that took place this past weekend. Artists who gave exclusive performances included Anderson .Paak’s band Free Nationals, Holly Humberstone, Tora Dahle Aagård, and the roster of Third Man Records.

Other artists who also participated in Guitar.com Live were St. Vincent, Jason Isbell, Carlos Santana, Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, Joe Bonamassa and more. Revisit Guitar.com Live and its programming, including panels and masterclasses, here.

IDLES’ third album ‘Ultra Mono’ topped the UK album charts in its first week, making it the band’s first-ever UK number one album.

Next year, the band will embark on an intimate in-store tour of the UK before a summer tour of the UK and Europe, with support from Anna Calvi, Jehnny Beth, Cate Le Bon and more. They will also open for Pearl Jam at BST Hyde Park, alongside Pixies.

[Editor’s note: Guitar.com is owned by BandLab Technologies, which also owns NME.]

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