The Charlatans: ‘We wanted to keep it real on our new record’

Frontman Tim Burgess also hints at Shaun Ryder onstage collaboration

The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has told NME the band’s new album ‘Who We Touch’ is a “European autumn-sounding record”.

Following their flings with ska and post-punk on 2006’s ‘Simpatico’ and 2008’s ‘You Cross My Path’, the singer said the band were determined to get back to what they know on their 11th studio LP, out on September 6.

“With the last two albums, we made a ska record – and then basically I was on drugs and I was drinking 24/7 so I made it for those people. Then ‘You Cross My Path’ was a statement of intent when we gave the record away for free, and I wanted it to be a post-punk record,” Burgess explained.

“This time, I consciously didn’t want us to sound like anyone else, I just wanted it to be a descriptive quite wordy, emotional album. I wanted to keep it real. Having said that the first track on the new LP, ‘Love Is Ending’, follows on directly from the last song on our previous record (‘This Is The End’) because I wanted it to start off in the same place we left off. I kind of liked that idea, because we’ve never done that before.”

The band purposely decamped to London‘s Britannia Row and State Of The Ark studios with producer Youth – the aim being to capture a seasonal sound.

“I felt it was important to do it in Britain because I wanted to experience autumn and I wanted it to have crispy beats and frosty emotions. When we did [2001 album] ‘Wonderland’ in LA we had the same principle, capturing the vibe of where we were,” said Burgess.

The band are now due to head out on a UK tour with Shaun Ryder, kicking off at Newcastle O2 Academy on October 7. Burgess hasn’t ruled out an onstage collaboration, saying, “I’ve got no idea if we’ll do something together but I’m pretty impulsive so we’ll see. I think Shaun touring with us is a great idea though. He’s sober now too, so I’m sure he’ll be right up for it.”

The Charlatans recently celebrated their 20th anniversary of debut ‘Some Friendly’ with a series of UK gigs. Burgess told NME back in 2004 that he wanted the band to last for at least 20 years.

Speaking now he said: “I did go through a phase of thinking, ‘Shit, if you can’t last for 20 years then you’re no-one really’. I don’t know why I said it really, it was just to keep going. But I can’t really see myself doing anything else. I’m excited about what’s going to happen next.”