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Portishead Writing New LP!
The Quietus , February 27th, 2014 09:24

Adrian Utley says that work has begun on Bristol group's follow-up to Third

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During a Quietus Q&A this afternoon at the By:Larm Festival in Oslo Norway, Portishead's Adrian Utley revealed that the group have begun writing their fourth album. When asked whether people make a bit of a big deal about the time it takes for Portishead to record new albums, Utley said that it was largely because all three members are constantly busy on other projects. "We're clearing our schedules so we can get on with it, otherwise it will be another ten years," he said.

This clearing of schedules isn't just a practical enabler of new Portishead material either. Utley says his recent interest in deeper explorations of the workings and capabilities of modular synth systems, along with an interest in modern composition (heard to marvellous effect in his interpretation of Terry Riley's In C) will now find its way into Portishead's writing sessions.

Utley said he spoke to Geoff Barrow last week about their plans for the album, adding "we were both really enthusiastic, and enthusiasm counts for a lot in Portishead world." He also says that Portishead's planned 2014 tour dates will have an impact on the shape of the new album.

Interestingly, Portishead are currently out of contract with any record label, something that Utley sees as a strength. He says the band feel very fortunate to have been able to build their career before music sales started to slide, as that has given all the members time to pursue their various side projects. As he, Barrow and Beth Gibbons all have their own studios, there's less financial pressure in the recording stage, and he says that the likely scenario will be Portishead licensing the completed record.

Speaking about Portishead's refusal to compromise, as heard on militant last LP Third, Utley said they never make decisions based on commercial imperatives - when they went to play on Jools Holland, Portishead insisted they wouldn't play any of their quieter numbers. And lo! We enjoyed 'Machine Gun' (see above),

Speaking about the history of Portishead, Utley said that prime moments were having Chuck D MC with the group, live on stage, and the first Glastonbury experience, when "we knew the fields of people around the tent we were playing were full of people".

Adrian Utley plays with Get The Blessing at the Jazz Café in London next week.

Ed Mulholland
Feb 27, 2014 8:48pm

Love them and loved "Third". Can't wait to hear what they will do next.

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