You've named your new album Make Another World. What’s that referring to?
"It's kind of ambiguous - it's one of those things you can read a lot into. It's not necessarily a really political statement or anything like that. It's about city life. It's about how people can live in the same city all together but make their own world around them. In that way, it refers to the anonymity of city life. This record very much deals with that idea of experiencing and living in a city."
The single 'No Emotion' has a real disco feel to it. Where did that come from?
"It does. It's something we were quite keen to do. We've written a lot of catchy rock songs over the years and we realised we'd never really written one we could imagine being played in a disco. I think we were just quite keen to write a dancefloor song. Most of the lyrics are poking fun at that. I think that's something (our frontman) Roddy likes to do: we'll write an anthem and he'll write anthemic lyrics to go along with it. It's sort of poking fun at the fact there isn't much emotion in disco dancing, even though it's basically what the song's for. This time round we didn't over-think things. We just wanted to make quite a lean, honest record, and at the time we were thinking, 'Let's write a song to dance to', so we did."
So, who’s the best dancer in the band?
"Probably me, to be fair. I'm not blowing my own trumpet but it's probably true!"
Are you looking forward to going on tour again in March?.
"I am, actually. We're going to Japan next week for the first time in nine years, so that'll be fun. Then there's a British tour, and hopefully we're going to do a bunch of dates on our own in continental Europe for the first time in 12 years. It's exciting, you know, because we haven't toured for a long time.
You’ve recently been filmed for a Channel 4 documentary. Did you find it difficult having a camera following you around all the time?
"Yeah, I didn't actually know that was going to happen. We were doing a video and he was filming us while we were rehearsing for a press kit thing. It worked out so well. The guy filming us was a friend of ours, Blair. He made the 'No Emotion' video for us. We were rehearsing and he was walking around with a camera and it was just fun. We did a small interview for him. It wasn't too bad - it wasn't like we were followed around for days on end!"
Which bands do you rate at the moment?
"To be honest, I listen to more old music now than I do new music. Being in a band is like an education. You're surrounded by people who are into music that you haven't found out about, that you missed out on, like classic novels. You end up delving into that far more, finding out where the music you grew up with came from, finding out the roots of the indie rock that you were into when you were a teenager. I'm listening to lots of folk music, things like Neil Young, Dylan, Little Feet, stuff like that. I find myself doing that much more than listening to the next new thing."
How do you thing the music industry has changed in recent years?
"All this technology has made it easier for a new band to get heard, but it's made it so easy that there are too many new bands. It's kind of difficult to find the good one in the middle! I just don't have the patience for that any more, so I tend to listen to older music. The whole sort of fast food nature of music in Britain doesn't interest me. I tend to listen to Radio 2, if I listen to the radio at all...There are some good new bands that I do like - Wilco, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Devendra Banhart. There are cool bands like that that play their own field, so to speak. They've been going for a while and have a history about them - they're bands that we feel something in common with."
What do you think of the internet's effect on the music industry?
"I have a MySpace page - we all have to, don't we? But as much as I use the internet every day and would probably freak out if I didn't have it any more, I hate it. I hate it, I really do. I hate its grasp over me and its grasp over music. I think it has so many negative connotations for culture. I think it's the death of patience. People don't have to wait for anything, so they don't appreciate things as much. I really do feel like an old man saying that, but it's true."
Do you think the internet has had a negative effect on music?
"Yes, because there's no excitement. Before you'd wait to go and buy a record and then listen to it five or six times. (Now) people download it illegally or legally, listen to it, buy the next one, listen to it and then just forget about it. People don't really appreciate things any more."
Everyone in Idlewild has lovely thick hair. Do you like Britney’s shaved head?
"Each to their own. I have no idea why she did it, but it doesn't seem like such a sensational thing to me. Lots of people do it. No one went so mad when Sinead O'Connor did it, did they? I just think if she wants to shave her head and she shaved it, good for her."
Thanks for chatting, Roddy!