Stereophonics' Richard Jones in Dubai

We speak to Welsh rock trio's bassist after Sandance gig

Tell us about your forthcoming new album.
We’ve been recording for the past year and a half – we’ve built our own studio in London and we’ve been using that as a creative space. It’s not a departure, it’s something we’ve always had in us, but this bank of material is a different side of the band. We’re just itching to get it out there.

Do you worry about having to replicate the band’s early success?
We never gauge the next bit of work on success. We’re always so focused on what we’re doing.

How have Stereophonics fared compared with other rock and indie bands from the ’90s?
It’s really hard. A lot of bands that were around the same time as us have stopped or found it really hard to continue in the industry. The only way you can stay at this level is by not taking everything for granted. You have to realise at every gig there are fans that want to hear the big songs – to continue to be successful you have to play them, or they might not come back.

Some say you lost credibility after your collaboration with Tom Jones in 1999. Do you regret doing it?
No, because we got the chance to work with somebody who’s been in the industry for more than 40 years. Credibility can be very much what the press say, and you’re never going to fall in favour all the time. We realised that after the second and third album.

What’s your most embarrassing lyric?
We’ve done a couple of dodgy cover versions: Hot Chocolate [‘You Sexy Thing’] for a War Child compilation. Fortunately we don’t perform that live.

The most embarrassing thing you’ve done?
I’ve fallen off the stage during a gig. A roadie pushed me back on stage – it was a bit Spinal Tap.

Are you still rock ’n’ roll on the road, or do you prefer a post-show cup of tea?
We like to enjoy ourselves. It’s what you make it: if you’ve got that extreme side, you can go as extreme as you like.

You’re seen as the quiet one of the band.
In the beginning, with Kelly [Jones] and Stuart [Cable], you had a frontman and drummer with big personalities, so there wasn’t room for another big voice in the group.

How do you pay tribute to former drummer Stuart Cable, following his death in 2010?
Every time we play songs from when Stuart was in the band, we think about those times. We’ve got some brilliant memories of our early gigs.

So it’s been 20 years – will you make it another 20?
Hopefully! I don’t think Kelly or myself had realised it’s been 20 years. So if we can forget the next 20 years, hopefully we’ll be in a pub and go, ‘Blimey, it’s been 40 years.’
Download Stereophonics’ new single, ‘In A Moment’, free at www.stereophonics.com.

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