U.K. rock act Snow Patrol will be on the road until just before Christmas in support of its breakthrough Polydor/Interscope album, "Final Straw." Afterward, frontman Gary Lightbody tells Billboard.com
U.K. rock act Snow Patrol will be on the road until just before Christmas in support of its breakthrough Polydor/Interscope album, "Final Straw." Afterward, frontman Gary Lightbody tells Billboard.com the group will devote next spring to work on its next project, which he hopes to release by fall 2005. "We have maybe 10 new songs," he says. "But we don't start an album without 40, so we're not anywhere near that yet."
Lightbody is envious of bands that find time to write new material while touring. "I can't do it," he admits. "I got wind that Franz Ferdinand has basically finished their new album and I was kind of green with envy, I have to say. If there's a U.K. band that had toured [the United States] more than us lately, it's Franz Ferdinand. Whenever we do get the odd few days off in Glasgow or Belfast, we try to do a wee bit of writing. But after you've done your washing and paid your bills, you really just want to sit in front of the TV!"
Snow Patrol is in the midst of its third North American swing behind "Final Straw," which recently peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 115,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the U.K., the set has been certified double platinum for shipments in excess of 600,000 units.
"Most British bands approach touring here with the wrong attitude," Lightbody observes. "Coldplay toured and toured and toured. U2 basically came and lived here and worked so hard that it really paid off. That model is really the only model you can work from. If you're prepared to come and put in the time, people respect that. You can make fans for life here. People only really get to appreciate a band when they can see them face to face."
At present, Snow Patrol's first two albums are only available in North America as imports, but Lightbody is hopeful they will be reissued in the near future. "I'd love those albums to be available, because it would mean we could play more of those songs live," he says. "Anytime we do play our two or three back catalog songs, everyone sort of has a question mark above their head. We don't want to test people and play too many songs they don't know."
With Snow Patrol's immediate future already locked down, Lightbody says it likely won't be until 2006 before he can convene collaborators for the third release from his Reindeer Section project. The last edition, 2002's "Son of Evil Reindeer," featured contributions from members of Idlewild, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap and Belle & Sebastian.
"We will definitely make another Reindeer Section album -- I can say that completely hand to God," he insists. "I've spoken to nearly everybody that was involved in the last one, and they're all really keen to do another one. I've also had inquiries from some rather big, interesting names, so it could be a stellar cast. It was the last time out, but it may be even more so this time."