I never thought of a vaudevillian future. I thought we'd stay in our bedrooms and make one record, maybe two. So this is all a constant surprise.

Some of the conversations in the book go on for days. Whereas I like the idea of using repetition. I've always wanted to do The Castle, but I started breaking it down and removing the language and everything changed completely. The heart of The Castle is there, but there's nothing explicit in it that's left.

Nothing in Belle and Sebastian has been calculated, down to what we're having for lunch. It was only a few years in that we became comfortable-enough players to be able to talk about it.

I wanted to make a record where the songs could stand up to the records we loved on the dance floor while keeping the strong and punchy melodies.

I understand what he meant. But if he [Murdoch] hadn't given me that opportunity I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now.