A BACKLASH was the only certainty for The Horrors after they graced the cover of NME and their singer, the fabulously named Faris ‘Rotter’ Badwan,
was proclaimed rock’s hottest leading man on the same magazine’s annual Cool List - all before they’d even released an album.
And so it was that, in the space of a few short months in 2006, the art school ghouls went from being hailed as the brightest young things on the UK indie scene to being dismissed as ‘cartoon goths’.
Debut album Strange House wasn’t bad, as it goes, but it wasn’t until the release of sophomore effort Primary Colours in 2009 that the doubters changed their tune.
The Mercury Prize panel duly responded with a nomination, putting to bed any suggestion that the London five-piece were a novelty act.
“I guess it’s our own desire to develop as a band which is our motivation,” says Badwan, speaking ahead of the band’s visit to Liquid Room next Wednesday.
“Any sort of recognition for something that you put a lot of yourself into is good. But really, if Primary Colours had been crushed it wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, because I was really happy with it.”
Summer-released third effort Skying is their best yet - but Badwan insists they didn’t feel they were under any pressure to match the success of its predecessor.
“I don’t think a few people gushing over something is going to give you pressure,” he says. “Whether opinions are positive or negative, they’re not really worth taking into account.”
For keyboardist Tom Cowan, The Horrors simply got better with experience.
“All three records we’ve made have been a real snapshot of the point in which they were made,” he says. “That first album was a band that had been together for not even a year.
“We were still beginners at the time; we weren’t accomplished musicians or accomplished songwriters.”
Badwan agrees. “I think if you’ve got two years between records and you’ve been a band together during that time, then you are going to change a lot,” he offers.
“I think we’ve always wanted to develop and I hope we continue to - otherwise there’s no point doing it.”
The Horrors, Liquid Room, Victoria Street, Wednesday, 7pm, £12, 0131-225 2564