THE Horrors might be best known as Gothic masters of psychedelia – but frontman Faris Badwan reckons that having fun has stopped them breaking up.

The group’s recently released fifth album V is a storming collection of songs, however the band might have called it a day if the group hadn’t started to enjoy themselves again.

“If we hadn’t felt like this record was fun then we would probably have split up,” says the singer, who brings his band to the QMU next week.

“We needed to make a record where we felt we could be creative. We’ve always been into experimenting musically but the number one thing that has always appealed to us is strong melodies. If you can fit your experiments into the confines of a pop song then that’s more challenging than just experimenting, and we were able to have a lot of fun while making it.”

It has been 10 years since the Horrors first emerged, dismissed by many as a novelty act. They all had stage names, dressed in Hallowe’en style clothes, covered obscure garage rock records and had gigs where they chucked black paint around, including over audiences.

It would have been a brave pundit to predict that the Southend group would still be going strong a decade later, hailed as critical darlings after they shifted gears on second album Primary Colours and brought in elements of Krautrock and psychedelia to their unpredictable sound.

V has seen a change to things, though. This time they worked with producer Paul Epworth, who has previously teamed up with the likes of Adele and U2, and Faris believes an extra voice in the studio really helped the quintet.

“Paul was very conscious of knowing when to step forward and when to step back,” says Faris.

“At the same time he never tried to shape where the record was going and his approach was more to encourage the directions that we were finding ourselves. Recently people have got to know Paul’s stuff through the pop stuff he’s been doing, but he’s a really experimental guy.”

The band themselves were willing to experiment too. It’s a world away from the noise of their debut, but they decided to try and write acoustically this time, for example.

“It sounds stupid but we had never tried writing on acoustic guitars before, which is this tried and tested method of writing songs,” admits Faris.

“Surprise surprise, the classic method actually worked. That was the biggest difference from past records, that we would try new methods in writing, and we wrote about 50 songs. They weren’t complete songs, but they were all strong ideas that we could develop.”

That includes the superb closing track to the album, Something To Remember Me By. Over six minutes long and a dreamy but powerful danceable trip, it’s a tune the band nearly forgot about.

“It was really late, literally the last gasp,” recalls Faris.

“We thought the record needed another strong track. We were looking through the early demos and pulled it out to work on again.

“If we hadn’t had that conversation we’d have a totally different record. That’s one of the fun things about being in a band – there are so many sliding doors moments that you have, and you can never really tell what path things will take.”

The band’s own path will bring them to Glasgow next week. Their days of lobbing paint are over, but they can usually get up to something…

“Glasgow is somewhere we’ve always had good crowds,” says the frontman.

“It’s a place I like to just walk around and explore. I remember one of the first times there I met a group of kids who were waiting outside the venue. We ended up going off and buying some fireworks and setting them off somewhere…”

Faris himself has a reputation for being a difficult interviewee, but he’s on upbeat and cheerful form here. That doesn’t mean the band’s live shows will be any less intense, though.

“I just need things to be genuine for songs to work,” he explains.

“Sometimes you have songs that can remind you of a moment in time that was heavy, and when you’re singing the song live you are really in it, and in that world that the song brings up. So playing the song live can be emotionally draining, because you are putting everything into it night after night.”

The Horrors, QMU, Thursday October 19, £17.50, 7pm