28/09/2012 16:09 BST

Razorlight's Johnny Borrell On The Band's Fourth Album, A Secret Project And Ten Years As A Frontman (INTERVIEW)

"When I think of Razorlight I think of us on stage," says frontman Johnny Borrell.

Ahead of the band's first London gig in "quite some time", Borrell is reflecting on 10 years of Razorlight and what's changed in the industry.

"I don't think you have time to be totally unknown anymore and I think it's very important to feel like you're screaming into that void...

"It's about unplugging and being a group of people with your own rules, in your own way."


Razorlight on stage at the London Arthur's Day gig

Borrell hadn't noticed the anniversary until another journalist mentioned it to him before we met: "Apparently we started Razorlight in 2002 and I believe that because we signed in 2003," he considers.

It's no wonder Borrell hasn't been looking at calendar dates. He's been busy writing what will hopefully be a hit fourth Razorlight album and another separate record.

"I've been away this summer making another album, which is a different thing. That will come out, and Razorlight will also bring another album out. I just got back to London and we've just got to work out what comes out when," says the curly-haired indie star - who has in the past been labelled 'arrogant' and 'bombastic' and even a 'villain' by NME.

He's resisting giving away any details about this 'other album' and will only say: "We'll see. I've got two albums recorded. It's been pretty busy this year musically."

johnny borrell

Johnny Borrell on stage at the London Arthur's Day gig

Drummer David 'Skully' Sullivan Kaplan, who along with Razorlight members bass player Freddie Stitz and lead guitarist Gus Robertson, join us backstage at the gig in aid of Guiness Arthur's Day, notes: "The main focus was to get the album finished which we've done now. Off we go, next year we'll be out there doing plenty."

Is another tour on the cards?

"If it goes well we'll be on the road for two years, if it's an utter flop we'll be on the road for 9 months, so either way you end up touring," says Borrell.

The fourth Razorlight album - a follow-up to Slipway Fires, which was notably less-successful than the first two - is as yet unnamed: "I'm going in to see the record company Monday next week and we'll start working out what's going on.

"We hardly even know our record company - we don't have anyone there that we know or anything like that - so we go off and do the music and we come back and say 'Hello, we want to do something now'."

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Johnny Borrell performs at the XFM Winter Wonderland, in 2009

The America singer, who has in the past been accused of displaying an arrogant attitude towards the press and is famous for his apparent proclamations of his own abilities such as "I'm a genius".

But none of this attitude is apparent in our interview. The man who once reportedly said: "I'm the best songwriter of my generation. I've got more songs and spirit than anyone else" seems entirely likeable.

There are no delusions of grandeur on show - in fact, we could quite happily go on discussing the music industry pleasantly if it wasn't for the fact the band were due on stage to perform a half an hour set of their greatest hits, including Golden Touch, In The Morning, Somewhere Else and Before I Fall To Pieces.

But before he leaves, Borrell hints that the new record will be a return to what he thinks Razorlight is.

"I always write very personally. I'm always talking to somebody, that's what I write songs about, that's what I always have done...

"When I think of Razorlight, I think of us on stage and I think of a real high-adrenaline, high-octane show - and that's why I started Razorlight. So I kind of wanted to capture that on a record this time."

See pictures of their performance plus the other stars on stage at Guinness Arthur's Day London, such as Sir Tom Jones, in the slideshow below...

Arthur's Day London Gig