THEY say absence makes the heart grow fonder - for Jon McClure it was a time to ponder what switched people onto his band in the first place.
“I can name you several bands who seem to think they’re too good to write them kind of songs any more. They’re too arty or whatever,” he says as Reverend & The Makers release third album @reverend_makers.
“I include myself in that – you start taking yourself too seriously. It all becomes about posturing and your haircut. It isn’t about that, is it? You’ve just got to remember and keep in your mind who it was you were talking to in the first place and why they related to what you were saying.
“Not that you should give them the same thing every time, because this album, sonically, is so different. I don’t think I’m any better than them, I should still write songs that talk to them.”
Certainly album three sits comfortably alongside debut The State Of Things and the moodier French Kiss In The Chaos, but it erupts out of your headphones.
“The way I started the album was super electronic, not even a band but me and a mate on his laptop. The battle really was trying to make it so that it still sounded forward thinking and modern but not like a dance record.
“This album is pure bangers. Even on the first album there were elements of mardy s***, but this one...everybody just buzzes on it.”
Since Jon closed the second Makers chapter the band line-up has altered with former Milburn frontman and long-time associate Joe Carnall among the new faces. Now 30, Jon says he’s still friends with departed Makers rather than becoming Sheffield’s Mark E Smith.
“I made sure I’d got the right sort of people in the band. Me and Joe came through that generation of musicians. I need calm people.
“We’ve had a go at it before when we were young and enthusiastic and did silly things and it’s been great. But you appreciate it now, almost the second time round. We’re all chilled out.”
But very busy. Summer includes opening Red Hot Chili Peppers’ stadium shows this weekend, Matlock’s Y Not Festival on August 4 and Tramlines’ Devonshire Green stage on July 20.
And like several buses coming at once, Jon also has two fan mixtapes prepared, the first featuring collaborations with the likes of Howard Marks, Roots Manuva, Richard Hawley and Carl Barat.
“I didn’t want to do one of those ‘look I’ve got loads of famous people on this album’, but we’re at a stage where we’re making the best music we have. We’d got 50 songs that nobody had heard. As long as we put it out right, I don’t see how we can f*** it up. It’s proper. In some ways it feels like a new band. I forgot, people actually liked my songs. They’re ‘I saw you with a mohawk on Buzzcocks’ or on BBC Question Time, but I’m ‘what about that right good song I wrote last week’.
“We’ll do us talking on the pitch. And when they hear what we’ve been up to they’re gonna go ‘all right then’.”