They’ve fielded the inevitable question so many times they must be tired of hearing it. So what did happen to Embrace?
Not sighted on the rock music radar for the best part of five years, the Bailiff Bridge band are now back in the studio recording an eagerly-anticipated sixth album.
“After five years of writing we have a bunch of big tunes. Everyone is smiling but we aren’t patting ourselves on the back yet,” said lead singer Danny McNamara.
“We need to write more and get the performances and the music right. It’s going to take a while but we were born to do this.
“Mark my words, it’s going to happen.”
The band already have a string of successful records under their belt, starting with their debut The Good Will Out, which went to number one in the UK albums chart in 1998.
Two more albums followed, plus a tour supported by Coldplay, but the band was dropped by label Hut Records in 2002.
Comeback album Out of Nothing shot to number one two years later, as did This New Day in 2006. In the words of the World Cup anthem they recorded the same year, they had the world at their feet.
“We were at our most commercially successful standpoint and we just stopped,” said Danny. “No fanfare, no big announcement, nothing. But we didn’t split up, oh no.”
The band know their break away from the spotlight means the pressure is on to really deliver with this record.
“It’s always been there but it’s just a lot more obvious when you’ve been away for five years and it feels like everyone has forgotten about you,” said Danny.
“It’s why whenever we go away we always come back armed to the teeth with big tunes. If you want your record to matter to more than just your hardcore followers you are going to have to write something that’s such a distilled, burningly amazing tune that no-one can ignore it.”
The five bandmates, who have been in the same line-up together since the start, are closer than ever, he said.
“There’s a chemistry between us that I never really saw before. Being away has enabled us all to see it for the first time,” said Danny.
“I’m enjoying it because for the first time I’ve accepted that making a great album isn’t easy.
“In fact, if it’s going to be the best then it’s probably going to be the hardest and we have to take our time.
“But it’s hard for all the right reasons. We’ve not got rich and bloated living on islands with drugs habits.”
A release date for the album has not yet been confirmed.
“What will become clear over the coming weeks is that I’m not in this for money, power or fame,” said Danny.
“I’m writing songs again because it’s really the only thing that makes any sense to me.”
“What I want is for all the work, all the belief, all the promises we’ve made over the last 15 years to finally be met with the most blindingly unquestionable piece of work we’ve ever created.
“The five of us are in the process of making our best album. A watershed. A landmark album of fearless melody and fearless music.”