Chemical Brothers Get Busy

After V2002, duo is ready to tackle next studio album

After wrapping up their world tour with a stop at the V2002 festival in Chelmsford, England, Britain's Chemical Brothers are wasting no time getting back to the studio to begin work on the follow up to 2002's Come With Us. "We don't muck about," one half of the outfit, Ed Simons, said. "Our studio is in Elephant and Castle in South London and we reconvene Monday to start again. I've got a month before I get married, and I'm gonna spend that month thinking about how we're going to move forward musically."

The Chems, however, are not feeling much pressure to follow up the acclaimed Come With Us. "We don't see any reason why every time you go into the studio and start writing music you can't go and make the best music we've ever made," Simons says. "We don't feel limited at all. We feel we can do it all again and make it something great."

Although the group has worked with a string of well-known artists in the past, including members of Oasis, New Order and the Verve, they are considering using unknown vocalists for the new project. "I think it'd be great to find someone -- to get someone strange out of Rough Trade Records and pursue it from there rather than work with these big iconic [figures]," says Simons. "I loved working with Richard Ashcroft, Noel Gallagher and Bernard Sumner, but it'd just be cool to do someone people have never heard of."

While the duo has put remix offers on hold, they are considering two job opportunities in a production capacity, one with Blur, the other with Jeff Beck. "They want us to listen to some music they're making with the possibility of producing or co-producing with them," Simons said of Blur. Beck is also seeking Simons and his partner Tom Rowlands' help on material for his follow-up to last year's You Had It Coming. Beck has also invited the Chemical Brothers to appear among the special guests at his three-night stand at London's Royal Festival Hall, September 12-14. The concerts will spotlight the guitarist's thirty-five-year career, from the Yarbirds to the present.