‘We’ve been saying in a month for five years’

Embrace
Embrace
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Embrace released their debut album in 1998 and, after an eight-year break, return with the self-titled Embrace this month. They’re on tour from May 9 with two dates in the North West, sadly not Lancashire. We talked to singer Danny McNamara about moving forward and getting the music bug back...

THE FIRST SONG YOU CAME BACK WITH, REFUGEES, DOESN’T SOUND LIKE AN EMBRACE SONG AT ALL

I think we always move things forward and try new things.

We’ve been away for quite a while, and for us it feels like natural evolution.

People have said it sounds different, and another mate said it sounds like we’ve gone into ourselves and therefore more like Embrace than ever before, in a totally new way.

That made me feel great, as that’s just how we feel about it.

WHY THE EIGHT-YEAR BREAK? WHAT HAPPENED?

We finished seven years ago and literally stopped everything.

We didn’t play any gigs, didn’t write any songs.

I couldn’t even look at my guitar. It was in my room next to a cupboard and I had to put it away.

I just got to the end of the road with it all.

The last album was really successful, we’d become really successfully commercially, but that ran away with itself and left the music behind.

We were playing a massive festival and I felt the most disassociated I’d ever felt.

The rest of the band had that to different degrees, too.

HOW DID YOU RECTIFY THAT?

I became disillusioned with the whole thing but the bug comes back.

My brother Rich got it first, he was working in a studio, and wrote some stuff that sounded like nothing we’d ever done before, and then I started writing again and it all spiralled from there.

That was five years ago and we’ve been writing since then.

We actually only finished the album earlier this year, which is a weird feeling because I’d been saying the album would be ready ‘in a month’ for the last five years.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW IT WAS RIGHT TO COME BACK?

We wanted to make something that was better than our first album, and I think we’ve done that.

I think the fourth album Out Of Nothing is really good, and there is obviously some good stuff on the others, but this new one I think is great.

If someone asked me what we were about as a band, I would play them All You Good Good People or Ashes from our back catalogue, and then I’d play them the whole of the new album.

That tells you what I think of it.

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR SEVEN YEARS?

That was only the beginning.

It’s been 10-15 hours a day for the past five years working on this album, and working on everything surrounding it.

Art work, videos, which we have a big hand in.

I did the first video, scripted and directed, and we’re doing a treatment for the second.

There’s a whole story around all that.

TOUR DATES Include

May 9 - Liverpool O2 Academy

May 17 - Manchester O2 Academy

July 12 - T In The Park Festival, Kinross

August 16-17 - V Festival, Stafford and Chelmsford