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“It’s definitely changed things. Serge made us be tight again. He has a catalogue to learn, so we’ve all had to go back and revisit and address things that we haven’t done for years.
“I’ll be honest and admit that over the years on the road and in the studio I’d deliberately do stuff that would p**s Stefan [Carpenter, guitarist] off. He wants everything to be exactly like the record and my background means that I want the live thing to allow songs to change and develop.
“Over the years it means that maybe things get too loose - Serge coming in has seen us get rid of that, play tighter and better than we have done for years. He fits like a glove.
“I’m more relaxed as a person now than I have ever been, and actually more confident with Serge on stage. Chi is a great player, but it’s just a different situation. I have more eye-contact with Serge when we’re playing gigs, whereas I’d been playing with Chi so long that he’d be at the front of the stage, which is cool, but there’s a togetherness in the rhythm section that’s new.
“I always played off Stefan. Now I play off Serge more - we hang together more on stage. Honestly, I have never been happier in a live situation.”