On the eve of the release of their second album, Guillemots tell Andy Welch why the band is more democratic now.
With a name as outlandish as his, Guillemots' frontman Fyfe Antony Dangerfield Hutchins was always likely to be famous.
The fact he's blessed with perfect pitch and an amazing knack of writing delicious pop songs also helped stack the cards in his favour.
Sitting on a beanbag in the middle of the band's East London studio, a converted synagogue, and wrapped in a huge coat and scarf, Birmingham-born Dangerfield most certainly doesn't look like your archetypal rock star.
"It's so cold in here," he dithers, breath visible. "I'd put the heaters on but they make far too much noise and dust."
It is cold, actually, freezing. But without these less-than-favourable temperatures, forthcoming album Red, released today, may have sounded very different.
Guillemots' first album, Through The Windowpane, is a beautifully arranged collection, full of string and brass sections and delicate melodies - not to mention a couple of glorious pop songs in the shape of Made Up Love Song #43 and Trains To Brazil.
The lush debut perfectly reflected the lavish surroundings in which it was recorded - Air studios in North London, which was founded by The Beatles' producer Sir George Martin.
Red, too, is the product of where it was conceived. To record it, the four-piece turned their backs on the comforts offered by luxury studios such as Air and took a long-term lease on their own studio in a gritty East London district.
"I think having our own place is what we've all always wanted," says Canadian double bass player Aristizabal Hawkes. "The studio's like a home really. We don't have to tidy it up and we can come over in the middle of the night if we want, there are no time restraints like that."
As a result of the new surroundings, Red is much more sparse and industrial-sounding than its predecessor. Distorted, aggressive basslines occupy many of the album's 11 songs, while death is a constant theme running through many of the tracks.
"Yes, a lot of it's about death," nods Brazilian guitarist MC Lord Magrao, "But not in a negative way. I don't think dying is the end of anything anyway."
It's then pointed out the most prominent theme on the album is the sky - nearly all of the 11 songs mention the heavens in some way. None of the band have noticed this, and the realisation comes as a bit of a shock.
"That's a good point," says Fyfe, visibly thinking through the lyrics of the new album to check. "It's not intentional. I did have this thing a few months ago where I thought we should call the album Towers, which is a terrible name. I thought the songs were either about looking up, or falling down."
Musically, Red takes influence from a range of different types of world music ("World music - I hate that phrase!" says Fyfe.)
Red's opening track, Kriss Kross, begins with an Arabic-style melody, courtesy of Arista, who's also a classically trained pianist.
"We were playing the beat one day, and she just walked in and improvised it," explains Fyfe. "It carries on like that for a while, then it turns into this Abba-esque pop song half way through. We just thought it'd be interesting for it to turn on its head for the chorus."
Each of the songs that follows is radically different from the explosive opener. Big Dog could be Rihanna's next single, while Falling Out Of Reach is a heartfelt ballad that could have appeared on Guillemots' debut.
Get Over It is a mass of synthesizers and scuzzy basslines, while the likes of Standing On The Last Star and Clarion will be more familiar to Guillemots fans of old.
"We often get asked why all our songs sound so different from one another. We don't really know though," says Fyfe. "Take an album like Revolver by The Beatles. It has Tomorrow Never Knows, Here There And Everywhere and Got To Get You Into My Life on it, which are all massively different songs.
"It's 40 years old, and it's weird how things have moved on. People used to want variety, but now music fans are almost suspicious if you make an album where every song is different," he continues.
"Isn't it boring where every song on an album sounds the same? It works for some records, where there's a mood across the whole thing, but I think as people we've just got short attention spans, so it's exciting to have an album like this."
The change of sound is also due to changes within the band. While the line-up is exactly the same as always, all four members of the band helped write Red, whereas Through The Windowpane was written almost exclusively by Fyfe before he even formed the band - he merely recruited the personnel to help bring the album he had in his head to life.
Now, each of the band members' eclectic tastes can be heard. Drummer Greig Stewart is a huge fan of African music and his influence can be heard clearly on every song, while MC Magrao, who hails from Sao Paulo, explains how his guitar sounds are heavily inspired by the sound of the city in which he grew up.
"I want to create sounds like a motorway because I was born near one," he says. "I'm not directly influenced by samba music, as you might expect, but I'm Brazilian and I have my country in my blood."
Arista, meanwhile, confesses she loves R'n'B and hip hop, and the jazz music her dad played when she was a youngster has also seeped into her playing style.
"I've lived in the UK since I was 10, but I go back to Canada a lot, and my mum lives in LA, so I go there to see her. I guess that's where my hip hop fascination comes from."
Current single Get Over It is currently getting airplay on the nation's stations. Radio play is something of a sore point for the band, however, after their most commercial-sounding, and arguably best, song Trains To Brazil, failed to set the airwaves alight. The band then made a rare concession and rerecorded their last single Annie Let's Not Wait in the hope of getting more exposure.
"We didn't do it under duress or anything, but we regret doing that now. It worked, though, because that song's the most-played thing we've ever had, but we all felt really blank about it because it was nowhere near as good a song as Trains To Brazil," says Fyfe.
"Part of me wants to scream out 'we're POP!' and have No 1 singles while the other part of me wants to be really obscure and only release limited edition vinyl.
"Ultimately, we want to be hugely successful, be poppy and have people love us, but only because our songs are so good."