21 August 2008

Verve to continue on after 'Forth' and Richard Ashcroft to record at least one more solo record

The Verve considers its forthcoming album "Forth," the reunited British group's first new set in 11 years, to be the beginning of its new era -- and the continuation of a career that's been interrupted by two previous break-ups.

"This definitely is an ongoing concern; it's not something that we're all just gonna chuck away again," bassist Simon Jones tells Billboard.com. "Looking back I don't think we had to be so blunt and, 'Alright, we're splitting up!' really. We should've just chilled out for a bit and taken some time out, to be honest.

"But obviously we all had a deep yearning inside to get back to do this or it wouldn't have happened. I just hope we don't split up again, now ... 'cause it becomes a bit silly, doesn't it?' "

Since reuniting in 2007, the Verve has played dates in Great Britain, Europe and the U.S., and Jones says the quartet is chomping at the bit to get back to North America once "Forth" comes out on Tuesday.

"It's gonna be towards the end of this year or the beginning of the new one," he notes. "We've got such a good fan base over there. We did so much touring early on and did Lollapalooza (in 1994). We did six dates earlier this year, and it wasn't enough. I want to visit all those places we've been where we know we've got fans and breathe life into these new songs from ('Forth'). That's definitely on our list of things to do."

Jones confirms that Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft is contractually obligated to record another solo album, but says it will not interfere with whatever is next for the band.

"I don't think us being back together means we have to do a record every year," Jones says. "We'll do it on our own terms and at our own pace. But, definitely, all of us want to pursue this. It's something that means a lot to all of us. It's a bit of a shock to be doing it again, but a very nice shock, really."

Source: Billboard, Gary Graff, Detroit