Portishead: ‘We burnt out’

Trio reveal reason behind their long awaited return

Portishead have admitted they were “burnt out” by the end of the nineties.

The trio, who make their long awaited return with a UK tour kicking off in Manchester on Wednesday (April 9), claim that they were so exhausted after they released their live album ‘Roseland NYC Live’ in 1998 that the last thing they wanted to do was record another album.

“Those years were quite dark,” said guitarist Adrian Utley. “There was no sense of ‘Right, let’s do another record’ – there absolutely wasn’t. We were absolutely exhausted.”

Utley also admitted that both his and producer Geoff Barrow‘s marriage break-ups affected their long awaited forthcoming studio album ‘Third’.

Utley added: “Our lives had gone into meltdown. There were times when I thought, ‘This is not going to happen’.

“We had Nick Gatfield, our MD from Island [the band’s record label], come down and listen to seven tracks. We said we’d meet him in a couple of months, we’d have a load more tracks and we’d pretty much be there. And almost exactly a year later we had six tracks.”

Utley told BBC News that despite the fact the album has taken ten years to finally see the light of day, it actually took four years to complete.

“It’s just the way it worked this time,” Utley explained. “When we’ve got kids and stuff, life’s a bit more chaotic this time.

“It’s our difficulty in getting things to the stage where we’re happy with them.”

‘Third’ is out on April 28. Portishead play the following UK dates:

Manchester Apollo (9)

London Hammersmith Apollo (10)

Edinburgh Corn Exchange (12)

Wolverhampton Civic (13)

To check the availability of Portishead tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS now, or call 0871 230 1094.