It's 36 degrees and the overhead sun beats down unimpeded on the patio of an Indian restaurant where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club drummer Nick Jago and I have just indulged in a sweat-inducing melange of piquant nosh. I can barely breath, let alone speak when Jago, decked out in black cords, black T-shirt, black leather jacket and equally jet-black hair serenely asks "Is this alright for the interview?"
There are any number of egregious puns that could accompany this scene, such as BRMC being anomalous outsiders or hot commodities, but puns generally suck, and BRMC doesn't. Confirmation of this comes in the form of Take Them On, On Your Own, the band's new full-length, on which they jettison the brooding drone of their eponymous debut in favour of a bit more pace, fuzz and testicles. It's a concept that Jago says fellow bikers Robert Turner and Peter Hayes were quite keen on.
"Some songs sound a bit more in-your-face than on the first one, a bit more three-dimensional. We all really like the way we sound live and we wanted to translate that into our songs."
That means songs that have a slightly more political bent than the Jesus jeering on BRMC. In fact, early, albeit apocryphal rumours indicate that "Generation" and (kill the) "U.S. Government" are recalcitrant knocks against the Bush administration. Could this be, Nick?
"U.S. Government' was one of our earliest songs and I guess we just remixed it for this album. We just put it on because we think it's a good song."
So you're not rebels? Or are you? Why am I only getting a few words out of you per answer? Are you being "difficult"? Nick?
"Sometimes we can be a little bit difficult, more out of trying to find the right things to say than trying to be difficult on purpose. It's really simple: we're a band who play music, play live shows and that's it."