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I started playing them and we layered drum over drum over drum. By the end of it, my hands had totally swollen up." Cameo roles were later played by Michael Stipe (Gary: "He was very supportive when I had writer’s block and gave me the confidence that everything that I had already was worth pursuing further."), Queens Of The Stone Age's Troy Van Leeuwen (Nathan: "We recorded the track Called Out In The Dark with him in LA"), and the LA Inner City Mass Gospel Choir (Gary: "It brought a real soul to songs like I’ll Never Let Go").

Lissie was also invited to contribute vocals to four tracks, including The Garden Rules.

By anyone’s standards, it's been a pretty good century so far.

Given its iconic status, The Joshua Tree National Park in south-eastern California seemed as good a place as any to start work on their sixth studio album.

Home is the overall theme." Beyond Gary's lyric writing and pop hooks, the band have flexed their creative muscle as a whole.

I always see people walking off the dance floor when they play our records, we're not that kind of band.

Backing vocals were drawn from the LA Inner City Mass Gospel Choir in Compton, south central LA. M.'s Michael Stipe, US singer Lissie and Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist, Troy Van Leeuwen all popped by to lend a guitar part here, a lyric idea there.

Later, tracks were mixed at the studio owned by longterm collaborator, Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee - a hacienda tucked away in Topanga Canyon, the one time hippy commune and former home to Neil Young and Woody Guthrie. Meanwhile, Snow Patrol's new adventures seeped into every note on 'Fallen Empires'.

Bolting distorted, electro guitar riffs, club-friendly drums and anthemic choruses to Gary Lightbody's heart-bruised lyricism, this is an album that takes its cues from LCD Soundsystem's The Sound Of Silver, U2's Achtung Baby and The Suburbs, Arcade Fire's aforementioned album.

Despite the experimentation, Fallen Empires still retains the essence of Snow Patrol’s appeal.

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