Richard Ashcroft's new band didn't know he is a hugely successful musician with a long career in British rock until an hour before he met them.
Richard Ashcroft's new band didn't know who we was until an hour before he met them.
The former Verve frontman is launching a new hip-hop influenced project, United Nations Of Sound, and admits the musicians he recruited in New York for the band had little idea who he was - aside from his former band's biggest hit - before he recruited them.
Richard said: "The only time I permeated their cultural mindset was with the song 'Bittersweet Symphony' - I have to accept that. They were Googling me an hour before I arrived."
The group includes Paul 'DW' Wright on bass, who was offered a place in the band after he agreed to give a lift home from the studio they were working in one night; guitarist Steve Wyreman who usually plays with Mary J Blige and drummer Derrick Wright, who has previously played with R 'n' B singer Toni Braxton.
Richard added that despite the change in direction, his initial spell in the studio with hip-hop producer No ID proved very fruitful.
He said: "When I turned up at the studios in New York I had seven to twenty days with No ID. It was tough going for the first couple of days, but we ended up doing twenty songs in a week. It flowed. We tapped into something neither of us expected."