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THE car park of Toys R Us at Westbrook may not immediately spring to mind as the best venue to interview a member of one of Britain’s most popular bands.
But with their first album for four years released on Monday, James ‘Stel’ Stelfox spoke to the Warrington Guardian about life as a member of Starsailor.
The band hit the heights in 2001 when Love is Here, their debut album, reached number two in the charts.
Now with the same producer Steve Osborne on board for All the Plans, Stel says fans can expect a return to the success of their first release.
But back to Toys R Us. Since their last album three of the four band members have had children while the other is married and Stel was shopping for toys.
Now after the break for families, Stel says they are itching to get back out on the road, performing the new material.
“We will be doing the festivals this summer,” he said.
“It’ll be like having a stag do to look forward to every weekend so we can then do the family stuff during the week.”
The former Padgate High School pupil (drummer Ben Byrne also went to the school) still lives in Warrington and says fans can expect their best work to date.
“It is kind of a return. There is a bit of country in there.
“We started working on the record and sent some of the tracks out and Steve heard it and said ‘I have to produce this album’.
“So we worked in a studio in Henley-on-Thames for a year. It was like having a headmaster with us but it has worked.”
Since taking time out, the band have still been touring, supporting the Rolling Stones, U2 and The Killers in South America.
Ronnie Wood played on some tracks on the album while Brandon Flowers has lent his voice to a version of the single Tell Me It’s Not Over, which is already out.
The band are now heading out on tour and Stel promises something special.
“There is more pressure when you are performing your own shows but it is going to be the best we have ever played live,” he said.