U.K. rock act Supergrass will begin work on its fifth studio album next month at a studio it is building in northern France.

U.K. rock act Supergrass will begin work on its fifth studio album next month at a studio it is building in northern France. "We've already found a well outside one of the barns, so we'll make that into an echo chamber," bassist Mick Quinn tells Billboard.com. "I like the idea of making your own sounds and not sounding like you've come out of any particular studio. You're treading virgin territory."

The group got a jump on the writing process by penning the new songs "Bullet" and "Kiss of Life" for the recent retrospective "Supergrass Is 10." Quinn reveals, "We wrote about another 20 songs, but they're completely unfinished. I know there's four really strong songs that are big contenders. There's one that's like a cross between Frank Zappa and something very heavy, like Hawkwind. It will probably end up sounding really dainty when we get it onto the record, but who knows."

The impetus to create its own studio was borne out of attempts to capture the "real rawness" Supergrass enjoys in pre-production. "We want to take the studio to our practice room and try to catch it that way," Quinn says. "It's kind of an experiment. If it goes well, we're in trouble [laughs]. But it's worth taking a risk."

If all goes to plan, the new record should be out by next summer. "Our management is itching for us to have it by the new year, but we'll see how it goes," Quinn says. "I am fully prepared to fight tooth and nail until we've got an album we're happy with. Whether that takes a year, six months or three months, I'd rather fight it out and make sure we've got something we really like."

As previously reported, Supergrass kicks off a brief North American tour Tuesday (Sept. 28) in Philadelphia. The set list has been modified to reflect the content on the retrospective, with a few new twists. "We aren't just churning out how it is on the record," Quinn says. "We've put an acoustic slot in the middle of the set, which is really interesting. We're doing [the breakthrough 1994 single] 'Caught by the Fuzz' on acoustic, which sounds quite strange, but actually stands up really well as an acoustic song. It's like looking back with 10 years wisdom behind you."

Beyond "Bullet" and "Kiss of Life," Quinn says other new tunes aren't quite ready for live airings. "The rest is in such a raw state," he offers. "I don't even know if we've sorted out the vocal melodies. Right now, they're pretty instrumental. They're far too loose to unleash on the public."

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