It's Kev's turn for a catch-up, and he tells us about his new house, gives an update on the new album and shares his latest pictures from the studio. Please post your comments below - and if you have a question for Paul next time, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Hello Kev, how are you?
I'm very well, thanks. I'm at home. In fact, I'm finishing off moving into it. I moved two weeks ago.
Are you still in London?
No, out of London. It's in Surrey.
Why did you choose there?
Just because it's the hilliest place that's anywhere near London. It's got the Surrey Hills and the North Downs.
And why did you want to leave London?
I'd been there long enough now, I think. I'd been there for about 14 years, which is long enough, particularly for someone who grew up outside London. I was yearning for the greenery once again.
Ah, this is why Kev moved...
Are you liking it so far?
Yeah. We're just getting beyond the point of tripping over boxes all day, which is nice. We're settling in and liking it a lot.
Have you met the neighbours?
On one side, yes. But everyone seems to go to bed at half past eight.
You should go round and say, "Hello, I'm a rock musician!"
That's exactly what I won't be doing! I'm planning to just hide away.
Is moving getting in the way of you making an album?
Not really. I've been going in when there has been stuff happening. It coincided with the others all having other bits and bobs to do, which was good.
How is the album coming on?
Same story as previous catch-ups really - it's coming along...
We need some progress!
Well there is progress, but no dates. Dan seems to be churning out songs fairly quickly now and the quality is consistently high. I think the last two that he's written and we've recorded are two of the ones that we're most excited about. We think one of them could well end up being the lead single for the album. It's definitely coming together. We're just leaving it as long as we can to make sure that the quality is as high as possible. It's gonna be early next year, definitely.
Perhaps they've been in the studio too long...
So, you're getting towards the end.
Yes. It's not something that we can really speed up. It's all dependent on Dan's creativity, which is not something you can force. But we're making definite progress.
How was the Abba tribute gig the other week?
I found it very scary. We've done a few acoustic gigs here and there but that was the first time we'd done a full electric gig since the end of our tour in December. And it was 30,000 people in Hyde Park, plus whatever the radio audience was, with Björn and Benny standing right next to us! I was very conscious of not wanting to cock it up. But it was great. We had the orchestra playing with us, and the house band - most of whom were the guys that toured with Abba and played on all the records. So the guy playing the harmony guitar part on Knowing Me, Knowing You was the guy who played it on the record. That was pretty cool.
Was there a party afterwards?
Yeah. But after-shows are often the worst part of being in a band. By the time you've got yourself and all your friends and family into it, you're so stressed that any fun you might've had is totally counter-balanced by all the stress! But Benny's got a folk band that he plays with and they had an impromptu jam. That was pretty good.
Did you get to meet them?
I didn't speak to Benny, but Björn introduced himself and complimented us on our performance. He was standing right next to me for the soundcheck for Knowing Me, Knowing You but I hadn't actually realised until I turned around and he stuck his hand out and said "Hi". It probably wouldn't have gone so well if I had known he was there!
How was the weather on the day?
It was freezing, actually. The forecast was for lovely weather - and it didn't rain or anything - but it was absolutely freezing.
See previous caption...
Has it whetted your appetite for more shows soon?
Yeah, I suppose it has. It's always good when you do the first tour for a new album - at least it was the two times we've done it! It's fun to throw in some new songs and try things out. I'm looking forward to it.
Are plans in place already?
I think they're probably starting to be made. But it would be a mistake to plan releasing the album around a tour. It has to be a case of finishing the album first and then looking at live dates.
Does it feel like you've been away for a long time?
It does, yeah. I suppose from when we got signed and started promoting the first album right until the end of last year, we didn't really take much of a break. So it does feel like another life in a way. Those memories do seem slightly surreal now.
Do you miss it?
I suppose it's just a very different pace. There is something great about always having something going on and every day you're going to be somewhere different. I do miss that to a degree. But I'm sure as we start doing it again, I'll very much miss just being at home!
Richard. muffin about with his bass (huzzah!)
Are you doing DIY stuff in the new house?
I've done a little bit, but I'm not going to start building walls or anything. Just the odd minor bit.
Are you missing anything about London?
Er, no. I hadn't really realised how quiet it would be here. We're in a town, rather than in the middle of nowhere, but at night it's just completely silent. Where we were living before I think we were on the road that all the police cars used to travel on to get between one dodgy part of London and another. I can't say I miss the sirens.
These pictures are sort of beyond captions, don't you think?
Have you been exploring around your new 'hood?
Yeah, we've been trying to get out and explore, to give us a break from unpacking boxes!
What's the best thing you've discovered?
The beer's quite good! They seem to be very into their ale down here.
Have you found a local?
Well, we've found a great pub that does nice food and another really good bar hidden out of the way. So we're getting to know the place. But I think I'll keep sampling for a while yet before I decide what my regular haunt will be.
The really disturbing part is Kev's smirk...
Right, readers' question. Phil wants to know what you'd like for Christmas.
Will he actually buy me it?
He doesn't make that clear.
Well, if he comes back and says that he is, I'll send him my address. But I'm thinking of asking for a telescope. That's one thing I hadn't even realised that I'd been missing until I got out here and then night comes and suddenly there's all these things in the sky. You don't get that in London.
Jane asks, "Being a guitar hero in a rock band, what do you make of Guitar Hero and Rock Band?"
I haven't played Rock Band. Guitar Hero is fun but it's nothing like playing guitar. It's entertaining, though. Actually, we've got one song which has got a very complicated rhythm part where the guitar and bass play the same thing. Richard put the bass down first and just made it up as he went along. There was no way of remembering it afterwards, because it was totally random. So I had to reform my part by watching the wave form of his go past on the screen and playing my chord every time I saw a bass note coming up. It was exactly the same as Guitar Hero!
Like Guitar Hero, only not
Katie B would like to know what you miss most and least about being on tour?
Most would be playing. A fairly obvious one.
Do you play guitar of an evening in your house?
No, it always gets put to the bottom of the list. I like to, though, more for writing than anything else.
And what do you miss least?
Not sleeping. I struggled horribly on the last tour. I don't understand how anyone sleeps on tourbuses, really. I've been very happy being in my own bed for a while!