Since recording their last album and during the course of over two years, the boys had become accustomed to the routines of their everyday lives. With writing and recording paused, Nick, Matt, Jamie and Alex were each able to indulge in their own bespoke approach to enjoying life in their early twenties.
Matt, ever the sophisticate, had settled back into life in Sheffield neatly. Initially, and very happily, he spent his days devising new extreme sports, testing their quality by building prototypes for numerous watercraft, boards of all kinds, huge foam weapons and even two pocket-sized jets in his 'house of the future'.
Jamie, who had developed a taste for all things exotic and adventurous, managed to effortlessly combine his new found interests in perilous travels to unexplored and far off lands. He felt fulfilled, notably by his discovery of not only a previously unknown and violently potent spice within the bark of a tree in a rainforest in sub-Saharan Africa, but also by his unverified sightings of two new species of giant anteater in deepest Bolivia.
Nick’s exploits during the boys’ sabbatical might well be described as the most curious. Whilst the others were content to rely on all manner of fastenings and clasps, Nick had developed such an unhealthy addiction to zips that he could not leave the house without six or seven about his person. Having weaned himself off with a cocktail of press studs, buttons and hooks, Nick was clean, and latterly vowed to ‘go velcro’.
Alex, having completed work on an ambitious audiovisual project in the form of his musical version of Enid Blyton’s well loved series ‘Binkle and Flip’, attempted to satiate himself with an interesting and novel pursuit. Having originally sought, discovered and purchased what is believed to be eleven derelict London Tube stations, Alex found himself in the privileged position of owning nearly a third of London’s underground landscape. Comprising a vast and mysterious network of tunnels, bunkers and, allegedly, an opulent and breathtakingly large hall directly beneath Berkeley Square, Alex’s secret underworld rapidly became the envy of the social elite.
And so it was, with the boys refreshed, poised and with vim, vigour and new ideas abounding, that they themselves reassembled, assembling a body of work which has now taken the form of their third album.