Luke Pritchard speaks of the band's spectacular return and reinvention
michael baggs
13:31 20th June 2014

The Kooks frontman Luke Pritchard has revealed how the band never wanted to be an indie band and how their new album is such a progression, they could have renamed themselves.

The band, who rose to fame in the mid-00s with guitar anthems such as 'Naive' and 'She Moves In Her Own Way', return with new album Listen, on 1 September 2014, and have won over critics with their reinvigorated sound and ballsy lead singles, 'Down' and 'Around Town'. Depite many seeing this as an evolution or rebirth of the band, Pritchard claims neither he, nor his bandmates, ever wanted to be an indie band.

"I think of this album as a debut album. We could have renamed the band, it felt that different," Pritchard told Gigwise. "The first three albums were chapter one, this album is the first of chapter two.

"You know what? We don't to be an indie band, we never wanted to be an indie band. We want to reach a broader spectrum musically. For us, it was a journey to become more creative, better musicians.

"It's quite funny that we did it all [the new album] for our own purposes, we weren't at all thinking that anyone wasn't going to be particularly into it. We didn't think it was going to be that kind of album. Then I played a few songs to the label, and they were like 'fuck wow'. I thought it would be the opposite. I thought it was more avant garde - and that's where I wanted to go."

Watch 'Around Town' by The Kooks below

The band's new, urban-influenced sound has won over many critics, and earned the band praise from fans and music press alike, but Pritchard admits he is shocked that listeners have been surprised by their evolution.

"It's early days, but I am sure that people have been pleasantly surprised," he continuted. "With all bands, you get used to bands not moving on like they did in the 60s and 70s. It's actually quite a normal process, as musicians when they start out at 17/18. If you listen to Rolling Stones, The Beatles or The Clash when they were young you can hear it.

"People like Damon Albarn, who have smashed the idea of what people think of them. It's just natural, what you're meant to do. And there's not enough of that. What I am saying, is that I thought people would expect that."

Below: Kooks and more band press shots with a dog in them, for no apparent reason