Elbow Aims For 2010 Album Return
After three well-received records, the Manchester, England-based band made a critical and commercial breakthrough with "The Seldom Seen Kid," released in March 2008 in the U.K.
The set has reached double-platinum status in the U.K. (600,000 shipments) and secured Elbow the Mercury Prize for British/Irish album of the year last September, while the band also won the BRIT for best British group in February this year and picked up two Ivor Novello Awards last month.
However, the band is in no rush to issue its next record. "It's tempting to try and capitalize on this one's success but I think it's more important that we make sure it's a good record," singer Guy Garvey tells Billboard.com, suggesting that the release will be "about 18 months from now."
"We've got a bunch of stuff that we've been writing on tour, that we're very slowly knocking into shape," adds Garvey. "We're trying to do just five or six days of writing every few weeks, and then we're going to collate it, and do the same thing again for a year and half. So it's well on its way."
The "Kid" campaign looks set to conclude with a homecoming show at Manchester MEN Arena on September 17. Before that, there are stadium support slots with U2 in the U.K. at Wembley Stadium (Aug. 14) and Sheffield Don Valley Stadium (Aug. 20). And Elbow will support Coldplay on North American dates in July and August and play a few headline shows alongside appearances at All Points West Festival in Jersey City (Aug. 2) and Montreal's Osheaga Festival (Aug. 1).
"The Seldom Seen Kid" was Elbow's first album with Geffen in the U.S. - previous albums were via V2 - and it peaked at No. 109 on the Billboard 200 in May 2008.
Garvey says the American market is increasingly important, without being the primary focus for the act.
"We're definitely interested, we're going to go and have a look in America," he says. "We've been out there for every album and we do okay in the major cities.
"Conquering the world is a game of the young man, really. I think we'll go where people want us. If something happens in the States, we love being over there so it would be a great excuse to see the States for a while, but equally it's going really well in mainland Europe, so we'll go wherever we're wanted really."
The band has recently signed a licensing deal with the Hours label in France, which has picked up "The Seldom Seen Kid" and will release future albums.
"We've always done really well in Belgium and we've just got a new label in France, which we're dead chuffed about," confirms Garvey. "We played their [the Hours'] festival and it's brilliant, they're top people."
The label featured the band as headline act for its inaugural festival in April, at the 1,500-capacity Bataclan venue in Paris. The Hours, founded in January 2008, is controlled by French marketing conglomerate Euro RSCG/Havas, which owns 51%. The label is distributed worldwide by Universal.
Despite its breakthrough success last year, Elbow actually formed in 1990 - although it did not release an album until 2001 - when the band members were teenagers, so Garvey insists they will not get distracted by success.
"We make enough money to live really comfortably and we're just going to concentrate on making the best music we can and having fun doing it," says Garvey. "We had a rule from day one that if it stops being fun we'd go and get another job."