Almost three decades on from the height of the Madchester and Britpop scenes, English indie rockers The Charlatans are still producing original music and will be touring Australia this August.
The Charlatans released their UK #1 debut album 'Some Friendly' in 1990; last year the band released their 13th album 'Different Days', which features a number of high-profile friends of the band. “Every record we do is different just by circumstance,” the group's vocalist Tim Burgess says.
“You always have to go with a particular feeling and [with] writing it normally takes two or three songs before you understand where it's going to go.
"With this one, we're friends with a lot of brilliant musicians from around the world but one of our favourite musicians is Stephen Morris, the drummer of New Order, and he lives quite close to the studio.
"About two years ago I decided I should take it seriously and that I wanted to do this for a while longer."
“Three songs in I called Stephen and asked if he would play on a couple of songs, and he came down and played and that helped shape the sound of the album. What we were going for was quite a crystal, clean, syncopated sound; very sharp.”
With the album beginning to take form, a chance encounter on the streets of Manchester with their old mate from The Smiths, Johnny Marr, solidified the approach the band wanted for 'Different Days'.
“All of a sudden we started to have lots of guests on the album and that's how we think of this album now: it's an album where we feature some of our friends who are also brilliant musicians,” Tim laughs.
Formed in 1989, The Charlatans have outlasted the Madchester and Britpop scenes, and remain one of Britain's best-loved bands.
Tim says the key to their longevity and also his own artistic motivation is to always be working towards a creative endeavour of some kind. “About two years ago I decided I should take it seriously and that I wanted to do this for a while longer,” Tim laughs.
“What it is basically, is that there is a real desire I think from every member of the band, but every day I work on something.
"My partner is an artist so whether it's helping her, whether it's writing a song, whether it's doing something toward a book – I've written two books – whether it's a solo project or a project with a friend, every day I pretty much do something towards something creative, which is a very fortunate position to be in.
“Everything I do fuels something else.
"It's just a continuing thing and all of a sudden you take a breath and realise that seven years have gone past, or however long it's been, and although the band has been occasionally compared or thought of in the same idea as other rock bands or whatever, I've always looked back at my own work but always get my eyes back on the thing I'm focussing on.
"As long as the ideas keep coming and friendships keep rolling and life keeps going.”
The Charlatans Tour DatesFri 24 Aug - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Sat 25 Aug - The Metro Theatre (Sydney)
Sun 26 Aug - 170 Russell (Melbourne)
Tue 28 Aug - The Gov (Adelaide)
Wed 29 Aug - Capitol (Perth)