Supergrass Coming Back To 'Life'
By Christopher Barrett
In 1995, amid the heady days of Brit pop, precocious U.K. rock trio Supergrass breezed to the chart summit with its guitar-fueled debut album, "I Should Coco." Seven years on, with many of its contemporaries long forgotten, Supergrass is making international noise again with "Life on Other Planets."
Released internationally Sept. 30 via Parlophone -- with a U.S. release slated for Feb. 11 on Capitol -- the set is being hailed by many as a superb return to form.
"It worries me that we have been away for a long time and whether we will be able to make it back," bassist Mick Quinn admits. "A number of factors slowed us down. We spent ages promoting the last record [titled "Supergrass"], and then we had to wait for our producer to become available."
During the wait, Quinn and long-time Oxfordshire school friends-turned-bandmates Gaz Coombes (vocals/guitars) and Danny Goffey (drums) traveled France in search of inspiration.
Quinn states, "We visited Normandy and southern France and wrote an album's worth of material that we eventually scrapped. We always write music to entertain ourselves, and if it's not entertaining us, then we don't bother."
Having not hired a producer since "I Should Coco," Supergrass' decision to employ Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air) came after much deliberation. "We interviewed lots of producers and put them through their paces," Quinn says. "It was quite an intense experience, but it was good to shake things up a bit and learn some new studio tricks."
"Life on Other Planets" showcases a return to the pop sensibilities that once provoked Steven Spielberg to offer the group a TV series. "The album is more upbeat than usual," Quinn admits. "It's difficult. We strive not to be upbeat, but we just can't help ourselves."
Having finished a late-2002 European tour, the band is eyeing a U.S. concert trek early this year.
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