"We made it in Jane Seymour's house, which is rambling Tudor country house,
just like Blur sing about. We wrote and recorded it over a year, with us
bringing in a recording set-up and all living in the house. It's confusing
to remember when it was actually recorded. We set out to make an acoustic
album. It didn't work out like that. We ended up with an album that isn't
that quiet and features an Indian string quartet and a Colombian brass band
. . . No, I don't live in a big house in country. I have a nice two-bedroom
holiday home that I never see . . ."
You're often depicted as a terminal adolescent. Do you think you'll ever be
accused of making a mature album?
"I find that idea of maturity false. I think this album has some depth,
lyrically, but I think there are certain things that concern you in
adolescence that will always concern you. If maturity is thinking about
what colour your next car is going to be, then, no, we never will be
"The album has quite a range of moods, from 'Mint Car' and 'Gone', which
are quite wild and upbeat, to 'Bare', which ends the album on a pretty
You were notorious for your trainers at one point. Did you ever consider
creating a 'Bob Smith' range of plimsolls?
" Nah, we've never been keen on sponsorship. Though, we did once have a
meeting with Guinness. The meeting went on, much of their product was drunk
and we ended up agreeing a deal. But in the morning we changed our mind.
The only people I'd really like to be sponsored by is NASA."
Bought any jungle records lately?
"We ended up doing a jungle track during recording this album, with me
doing a West Country patois. We won't even play it to friends. I'm not too
big on jungle. When we were recording the album I was mainly listening to
the Supergrass album and the new Radiohead album."