Sitting over a pint, The Feeling's Ciaran Jeremiah is discussing the art of cool. Not that he and his brother Kevin have much experience. And they're the first to admit it.
"I don't think we ever have been cool, we certainly weren't when we released our first album." says Ciaran. "I was watching this Queen documentary, and they kept saying 'we were never thought of as cool -- we were slagged off by critics', but they did phenomenally well! I'm not trying to say we're in the same league but it gives you confidence."
Kevin chips in: "There's a big side of the music, the kind of peripheral industry, that is all about what's fashionable, it's got nothing to do with music. It's to do with selling magazines. I don't know whether it would be good to be cool. We never have been, and I don't know if we ever will be, but it's not something we think about."
Like them or loathe them, The Feeling are one of those groups that are hard to ignore. However, now on album three, a new Feeling record is not the kind of thing that critics get overly excited about.
Still, their 2006 debut Twelve Stops and Home was a huge success. The guys (who started out as a covers band in the French Alps) were the most played band on UK radio in 2006. Take a glance over their output that year (Fill My Little World, Love It When You Call -- both insanely catchy numbers) and it hardly comes as a surprise.
"It's a weird one." says Ciaran, "Because when we were getting all that radio play in the UK, we were somewhere else in the world, so other than hearing the odd person saying 'you're getting loads of radio play in the UK', we weren't aware of it. It's only afterwards, we were like, 'Oh, Christ! That's pretty incredible'."
"We did really well," says guitarist Kevin. "We were really lucky. But that kind of success now doesn't mean the same as it did 10 years ago. If you had that back then -- that was it. You were a superstar; sorted for life. It doesn't mean that now. You have to keep selling albums. You have to keep being successful. Which, in many respects, is a good thing, because you can't rest on your laurels -- you just have to keep trying to make good music."
Certainly, Together We Were Made carries on the tradition of catchy, feel-good pop tunes, with front man Dan Gillespie Sells delivering one sing-along chorus after the other. It's been three years since their second, number one album, Join With Us, but it's not like they haven't been hard at work since. Some of them had children (bassist Richard Jones is married to Sophie Ellis-Bextor who makes an appearance on the new album), but the writing and recording never stopped.
"If you're not out there then the perception is that you've disappeared," says Kevin. "All we've been doing is making a record. It's just that we've taken our time over it rather than rushed it in order to be right back out there."
Ciaran and Kevin both see the band as a "marriage" of sorts. Most of them played together before The Feeling was formed. But that isn't to say that they've grown sick of each other along the way.
"I think, because we went to school and college together," says Ciaran, "we got p**sed off with each other at that point, as you do when you get into music with someone and when you find out more about them and their little quirks. So, we've already done all of that."
I ask if there was ever a Plan B.
"I was living in a shed in my parents' garden, so staying there , I suppose!" laughs Kevin.
"We've been doing gigs for years -- since our teens," says Ciaran. "We've had the odd job, but none of us had any other career goals. Music is the only thing we've ever done professionally."
"We are a bunch of musicians, a bunch of friends, and we are just c**p at everything else!"
Together We Were Made is out June 17