A lot has happened to Texas in the eight years since they released 2005’s Red Book. From relationship breakdowns to brain aneurisms it’s not been the easiest of times for the Glasgow rock outfit, but they’re back on top with new album The Conversation, as frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri was only too happy to tell us.
Texas are back with a new single after an eight-year hiatus. Why did the band go away for so long?
There wasn’t really a plan to go away for such a long time; we decided to take a bit of time out because we felt that after we’d made Red Book the public were a bit blasé about it, it was almost as if… they weren’t fed up with us, but it just didn’t really register with them, so we really thought that the public needed a break.
We went away and certain things happen in life; Ally our guitar player had a brain aneurism so that was a reason to take a lot of time off, that was three years ago, and life just sort of took over. Things happen that are out of your control and before you know it years have passed.
How difficult was it to adapt to life as a solo artist?
I didn’t really adapt to life as a solo artist because I’ve never seen myself as a solo artist. I did a solo record and that was something I needed to get off my chest; I’d split up from my long-term partner, Melody was originally a record that John and I sat down to write as a Texas record, and then obviously I just had feelings and emotions in me that had to come out. It was a moment where I was not the best person to be sitting in a studio with a band, being around them, I didn’t want to sit and argue over a guitar riff or where a drum roll should go, I just wanted to be on my own to clear out my system and then get on with making the next Texas record.
Then the opportunity came along to work with Phil Remone and Al Schmidt when I done the film record, which was very much me having a hall pass to do something I’d never do in Texas, but then Ally had the aneurism and here we are back with Texas. So I’ve never thought of myself as a solo artist.
You spend a lot of time in Paris now; what is it you like about the city?
That’s weird that you say I spend a lot of time in Paris now because to me now I don’t. I lived in Paris between 1996 and 1997, in fact probably from about halfway through 1995. I do still go to Paris a lot though, because Texas are massively successful in France, so I’m normally there doing promo or TV, and that’s the reason why I’m there a lot. London is my home though and this is where I am.
Rumour has it you were going to be a judge on the French version of The Voice, but now you’re not. What happened there?
Basically I was asked to be a judge on The Voice, I started studying French, and then we were kind of doing run throughs and I wasn’t willing to compromise myself and my judging of the people we had. The TV show wanted to make a TV show so we came to the agreement that it wasn’t working for either party and I moved on. I was flattered to be asked, but it just didn’t work.
The band’s new album The Conversation was released on May 20th. What should we expect from the tracks on there?
It’s very much a Texas record and the reason I can say that is because that’s what everyone else is saying! It’s really hard for me to tell what a Texas record is, but they all go, “Ooh yeah, it’s a Texas record”, so I think that’s good! It’s kind of gone full circle to our roots and back to the rawness of what we had, but it’s definitely modern and contemporary at the same time.
We heard you took a tumble during the filming of the new video – what happened and are you okay?!
That’s an understatement! I fell flat on my face and had a bit of a senior moment when I slipped. I had to run when we were making the video and not like casually jogging; I was hitting it hell for leather and then I was coming round the corner when my foot slipped from underneath me and I landed flat on my face. My face hit the corner of the kerb, so I smashed the front of my cheekbone down to my lip, but luckily enough I didn’t do any serious damage. I thought I’d smashed all my teeth at first, because my mouth was full of blood, but I was fine. I did have a headache for about a week though.
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Texas are one of the most successful bands to ever come out of Scotland; what do you think is the secret to your longevity?
Yeah we’re one of the most successful bands to ever come out of Scotland, but we’re also one of the most successful bands to ever come out of the UK. The fact that we all know our places in the band and we don’t fuck about with that means that we know what we do well and we stick to it. That’s probably why there are no mental ego moments with us. We’ve got very nice lives because of Texas and we’re happy with that. When you start in a band it’s the thing that you dream of doing for the rest of your life, so you protect the thing that gives you that, being able to do it all day every day.
What do you think of the Scottish music scene now, compared with the eighties when Texas formed?
I think that Scotland’s always put out some really good musicians and really good bands, but I’ve never been obsessed with just viewing Scottish anything. I come from Scotland, I love Scotland, I live in London and I don’t think on that scale, I think on a worldwide scale of what’s out there. That’s what I think everyone’s on.
Will we be seeing Texas in any festival fields this summer?
I can’t tell you that yet, but some things may be announced!