IT TOOK the past of Turin Brakes to help them focus on the future.

For years the duo have shied away from the acoustic-heavy sound that fuelled their debut album The Optimist, preferring to keep trying new styles.

However, when it came time to work on their new album We Were Here the twosome - Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian - decided it was time to be inspired by older influences.

"We did a tour in 2010 to celebrate 10 years since The Optimist came out, and that had an impact on the new one because it made us stop for a second," says Olly, ahead of a gig at Oran Mor, in Glasgow's West End, on Monday.

"We looked backward, and we had never done that before. We thought, 'What would happen if we took the sensibilities of the first record, and made it now, what would it be like?'

"The band was always about progression first, history second, for good or bad.

"Sometimes it's great, but you can miss something by wanting to progress for progress' sake. Looking back can be really helpful, as long as it does not become all you do."

The resulting album shows the band's gifted songwriting ability and way with melodies, while bringing a fuller band sound to the record as well.

That was a deliberate decision by Olly and Gale because they wanted to involve touring musicians Rob Allum and Eddy Myer in the record right from the start.

"I suppose we have always been protective of us being a duo, not a band, and that is important to Turin Brakes," says Olly.

"But we have also been going for 14 years, and been playing as a band for years and years.

"That side of the band got so strong it seemed churlish not to let it into the creative side as well."

The band's longevity has led to some highs and lows.

They have enjoyed big hits, such as Painkiller and Underdog (Save Me) and established a loyal fanbase, but have also been dropped by their record label, EMI, and seen their popularity decrease from its peak around 2002 and 2003.

Given that they have been going for nearly 15 years, calling an album We Were Here caused some of their fans to fear the worst.

"The title worried a few people, but we were not talking about the end of the band," says Olly.

"There has always been an element to humanity where you want to write your name on a wall, to leave a legacy. That was more what the title was about than us saying we are packing up and disappearing.

"Although nobody knows anything about the future, I am not planning it for today, that's for sure."

However, that does not mean the topic has not crossed the duo's minds.

"We have discussed breaking up lots of times, it is always an open discussion," says Olly.

"We have no solid plans for the band, it is not like we sit thinking, 'By album 10, we'll be here'.

"We take it one record at a time, but we share the same values and still feel music is one of the most important things in our life, and as long as we still feel that we will keep going."

Their current jaunt will bring them to Oran Mor on Monday night. Over the years Olly and Gale have made many visits to Glasgow, and the city is one they are hugely fond of.

"Scotland, and especially Glasgow, is traditionally where we have our best shows," says Olly.

"It is one of those places where the fans are not afraid to let you know they are pleased to see you. That's what bands like, it makes us play better and get more up for it.

"We always look forward to the shows because they boost the energy. You might be feeling a bit knackered, but when you get to Scotland that always gives you a boost."

While the new album and tour is at the top of the Turin Brakes agenda, they also have got other plans on the go.

As well as writing for other acts, they have also been working on an eyebrow-raising collaboration.

"We did a track with Flux Pavilion, who's dubstep," says Olly. "We wrote a track with him for his new EP and the results are pretty stunning.

"It is always really good doing that because we find the most interesting collaborations are with people who make the opposite sort of music to what we do. But underneath that, you are just finding nice chords and words, whether the music is dubstep, folk, rock, whatever.

"The most interesting things are when you start on opposite sides and work together towards the middle."

l Turin Brakes, Oran Mor, Monday, £20, 7pm