Just over a year ago Alfie hit the headlines as part fo the so-called Nu Acoustic Movement and from then on there's been no looking back. Successfully avoiding any of the trappings of their fellow acoustic troubadours, Lee Gorton and his merry men have their sights firmly on the future. In a confessional frontman Lee explains how Twisted Nerve just isn't big enough for their ambitions, the truth behind though Faye from Steps collaborations and all the latest on the new album.
Q: You're in the studio at the moment for the second album. How's it all going?
A: Were not sitting pretty with that Nu-Acoustic tag that everybody's put on us and I know we do do quiet songs but that's not all were about. Were in a better studio this time round but we don't want it to sound slick at all - i'll promise you it will be as slack as ever!!!
We've always just wanted to make new sounds. We don't want to go repeating ourselves and make the same album over and over again.
Q: Did you ever think you'd be in this position of recording a 2nd album?
A: I'm not sure if this is the second album. I think its the first, so to speak. It the first time we've been put into the studio for any amount of time and been told to come out with an album at the end of it. The other one was only sort of accidentally an album but I think it works. But I'm glad. We've already started thinking about the 3rd and we've got half of that written already.
Q: The whole Twisted Nerve thing. Its a similar situation to Mowax - do you think that sometimes it can be a bit of a chain round your neck?
A: Its all right at first, its very cool and all that. But you've got to stand on your own two feet because we don't want to be associated with that all the time. Its also quite restricting because its a really indie label. The idea of an indie label is you can do whatever you want, but you can't do whatever you want if you haven't got enough money to put gigs on!!!!
We signed in October 1999 and its actually took us until now (nearly two year) to actually get down to recording our first album. Its a little limiting like that, but they can't hold us back forever!!!! Its just about respect really and if you're not getting respect you're not going to be sitting pretty at home are yer.
Q: The Faye from Steps and Alfie meeting earlier in the year. Once and for all would you clear it up for us?
A: We got to the NME Brats Awards bash and all your tables were laid out with names where you were sitting. They reckon it was a coincidence but I rate they thought "Lets get them Northern piss heads and sit them with Steps and see what happens there. It turns out that we got on with her really well. She'd seen are video on MTV and thought it were "really good, but a little bit weird".
Then she was talking about what its like to be in a pop band and she was quite keen to have more artistic input. So we were like "C'mon - do a song with us?". She said "No, I can't. I'd ruin your credibility in one swoop".
Q: And what did the peeps at Twisted Nerve think of all this?
A: You can get down with it all. This Twisted Nerve thing is a bit too cool for its own good sometimes. They all looked down on us when we were knocking about with her and we were like Fuck off, were only having a laugh!!!! I mean I love the whole indie ethic and finding out about bands that way - but if that band off their own backs go beyond that, they have to be able to spread their winds a little bit.
Were never going to change the way we look at music or the way we write. But if more people want to hear you, you have to have the opportunity for that to happen. Twisted Nerve love everything to be a secret and I feel were a little bit above that now.
Q: Finally, any tips for the readers from the Manchester music scene?
A: There's a band called The Beans. And a band called the Skate Pad. Were still waiting for the first Alfie tribute band.
"You Make No Bones (Revisited)" is out now