Belfast Telegraph

Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody talks 'terrifying' writer's block ahead of new album

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has told how the writer's block he experienced while working on the band's new album was "terrifying".

Ahead of the release of their seventh studio album in May this year, the Bangor musician spoke to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme about the changing music industry, and why it has taken so long for their new record to be released.

"I had four years of writer's block on this one," Lightbody explained. "It was only six months on (2011 album) Fallen Empires, so it seems to be getting worse.

"It's terrifying, you feel like you are useless, so there's a lot of depression that is attached to it as well, because the thing that you love and maybe the only gift that I have has deserted me.

"And you're kind of inconsolable really."

The singer said he was given a lot of advise from fellow musicians and friends on how to overcome the writer's block, with the the main point being to "keep writing - even if it's jibberish".

"I don't want anyone to ever see the piles of notepads in my house that I had to write through to get to the good stuff," he joked.

"But I'm more certain than I've ever been in my life that this record is an incredible one and I would never say that before, I wouldn't have the confidence to."

In the past, Snow Patrol's music has been heavily influenced by Northern Ireland and Lightbody says this record will be no different.

"Home was always kind of on my mind, because I think the longer you spend away from home, the more it impacts on your thoughts.

"Being away does increase your longing for it."

And despite huge success in their previous endeavours, the band show no signs of slowing down with Lightbody hinting at big plans for the future.

Gary Lightbody and Nathan Connolly (R) of Snow Patrol. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

He said: "As a kid, all the dreams that I had have been realised, so you kind of have to make new dreams for yourself as you go along.

"It's not that I'm not satisfied, I am extraordinarily happy with how everything has gone and I'm very grateful, but I am ambitious.

"I think that's a side of myself I hadn't quite allowed to be out there. As a Northern Irish person we're not that good at selling ourselves, but I'm trying to be more confident about what I want."

The singer also told the BBC that a Belfast tour date would be among the first orders of business once their new album is released - but what else is on the horizon?

"I would love Snow Patrol to headline stadiums," Lightbody said. "But we've been away a long time so we would need two or three big records in a row, but who's to say what happens.

"I can be as confident as I want but it's really up to people to dig it and buy it. It's been seven years since we released a record and everything has changed - the way people take music in, the way people listen to music, the way people view music, it has all changed.

"So we have to find out where we fit in that new place in music. I'm up for the challenge I think it will be fun."

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