Beak> Facebook | Getty Portishead's Geoff Barrow recently slammed the late…
- Posted on Aug 25th 2011 2:30PM by Joshua Ostroff
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Though Portishead have no new album to promote on this jaunt -- instead playing faves from 'Third' as well as their early classics, 1994's 'Dummy' and 1997's 'Portishead' -- the Bristol-born band have no intention of being a nostalgia act. In fact, Portishead's producer/instrumentalist Geoff Barrow revealed the group, which also includes singer Beth Gibbons and guitarist Adrian Utley, will start writing songs again in January after the tour wraps.
"Hopefully, it will go okay and we can release another record," Barrow tells Spinner. "It's never easy to write music for us, it's incredibly difficult. I find it a lot easier to write for other things. But there is this pressure with Portishead and it's really not about our success -- it's just what Portishead means, I suppose."
It's a conundrum that has perplexed everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Pixies -- and while the former have released a number of lesser albums that pale next to their peak era output, the latter have yet to record more than a single song in the decade since they reunited. The concern, of course, is the risk of diluting a legacy -- though the payback can be the cementing of a legend.
Portishead, however, already faced down that challenge with 'Third,' pulling off a critically and commercially successful comeback that saw the UK trio land their very first U.S. Top 10 album. But does that make crafting a fourth album any easier?
"It's not, because we used a lot of ideas on 'Third,' and that took a long time to create. It's actually really difficult because I've got a short amount of time now to find these spaces and these kinds of calculations, basically, to make things interesting. There were an awful a lot of influences before 'Third' happened. Two years before that I was inundated with brilliant music and really switched on -- and not so much now. So I've got to get into it again somehow."
One would think that getting back on the road and performing together on a nightly basis would help grease the songwriting gears, but Barrows says touring actually has the opposite effect.
"It's a very structured kind of recreation and to create the atmosphere that we originally had on that record, to make that sound, takes a lot of energy. We just can't play it like a normal rock song. It's not a free environment to experiment and to write," he says.
On the other hand, it does have the benefit of getting them all in that unique Portishead headspace before they hunker down in the new year to recapture that old dark magic for a fourth time.