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Snow Patrol interview: 'We had to be drunk to go on stage and could have easily given up'

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They’re one of the world’s biggest bands – but Snow Patrol have insisted their success only came because they were so awful for so long.

Drummer Jonny Quinn – who is now mentoring new bands for Guinness’ replacement for Arthurs Day – knows it could have been so easy to give up in the early days.

Back then, the Northern Irishman could only watch on as lead singer Gary Lightbody got steaming drunk before each gig before eventually – after years of trying – getting it right.

“I remember the beginning, the first seven years were really, really tough. I think we just made so many mistakes,” he told Goss.ie.

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“We made mistakes that you wouldn’t have even heard of. We were just all over the shop and terrible live.

“Gary used to get really, really nervous and get really, really drunk before he would play. So it was just all nerves.

“And he thought that made him better, but slowly learned that didn’t help. And now he doesn’t drink at all.

“It was just finding our feet as a band. Songs were too long, and we needed to edit them, and be more self-critical. We learned the hard way.”

But now Jonny – who says they didn’t give up because “there were no other options” – is looking forward to them finally releasing their new album next year.

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They are planning recording sessions later this year in LA, with the record likely to “be a lot more edgy”.

“We’re writing some great songs at the moment. Next year we’ll have an album out – 2015. So we’ll be in the studio between now and March, 2015, and we’ll have an album out then,” he said.

“It will probably be in Los Angeles, because we did the last record there. We just rented a house and brought a studio into it.

“And the sunshine was kind of nice in the wintertime. So Gary and Johnny has spent a lot of time out there – and it seems like that’s where we’ll be .”

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And to get in the mood, Jonny revealed that Gary has been living life – apart from a small gig writing for Johnny McDaid’s fiancee Courteney Cox.

“Gary has been writing for soundtracks – including Courteney’s movie Before I Go. He’s just been living life,” he added.

“He wants to have some life experience because writing about touring and being on the road isn’t the best record, really. I think he needed to do that.”

> Snow Patrol want to write a track about Courteney Cox