In eight tumultuous years between 1997 and 2005, the Stereophonics released five studio albums, scored twenty Top 20 hits, racked up multi-million sales, and toured relentlessly on an exhausting schedule. Something had to give. "I took time out in 2006 to deal with an illness in the family," says singer Kelly Jones. "I was at the point in my life where I needed to break the cycle of album-tour-album-tour, ´cause it wasn´t creative, it wasn´t refreshing, it wasn´t anything.
After the enforced hiatus, the reunion of the Welsh three piece was an explosive affair. "I´d been twiddling my thumbs, and just picking up my guitar with my mates, it felt like going back to the beginning," according to bassist Richard Jones (no relation, although a lifelong friend of Kelly´s). Jamming sessions in London led to such a torrent of material they immediately booked time in a studio in Ireland, ostensibly to record demos. They returned with the guts of an album.
"We did ten songs in ten days," explains Kelly. "In the past I´d be trying so hard to make something right, hone in on every detail, but this time I didn´t feel precious, didn´t force anything, it just came out naturally." The songs were pouring out of Jones, so much so that he simultaneously knocked out his first solo album, the stripped back Only The Names Have Been Changed.
Meanwhile, Pull The Pin was shaping up dramatically. Musically, it brings together the rockiest and most melodic aspects of Stereophonics in a collection of songs that comes out fighting on all fronts. "In these times, when you can download a track before it´s even released, if one song´s weaker than the other then it´s fucking done, you have to kind of make ´em all stand their own ground," enthuses Kelly. "I think we´ve achieved the best parts of the band over the last ten years on one record. The energy captured reminds me of when we started. It is the sound of a band happy to be back together."