The hiatus since Blonde Redhead's last musical output in 2010 was not an unusual one but when their new album, Barragán, came out earlier this month we realised how much we'd actually missed them.

To steer their creativity on the 10-track set, the New-Yorkers teamed up with producer and sound-engineer, Drew Brown, whose previous credits notably include work with Beck and Radiohead. The result is a far more experimental sound than on Penny Sparkle (the band's triumphant previous record) and a record which, overall, may take a little more time to get into but most certainly rewards further listens with potential Blonde Redhead classics.

The 405 spoke to guitarist and vocalist Kazu Makino to find out more about how Barragán came to be.

How soon after the Penny Sparkle album/tour era finished did the three of you start coming up with ideas for Barragán?

I think we must have toured with Penny Sparkle for a year and half and then started writing again. We worked on Barragán for about 2 years.

Do you remember which song started the project?

I believe 'No More Honey' was the first song we wrote.

Coming first, does 'No More Honey', for you, provide a sonic or thematic link between Penny Sparkle and Barragán?

Not so much a link but more of a revolt... you need something else and that is the natural reaction, I suppose, after touring with an album for a long time.

The record was finished with the band being in-between deals after your contractual commitment to 4AD had ended. Did you feel that making an album without contractual pressures allowed you more creative freedom?

We've been there before. Misery Is a Butterfly was under the same scenario. I actually never gave a thought to your theory before but maybe you have a good point!

So how did the deal with Kobalt come about?

Kobalt is also a publishing company and we had our first deal with them. We used that to make the record. Also, they were the only ones who were willing to sign us without listening to the album. Their deal exceeded all the others. They very much have a new way of thinking and we respect that.

What were the main considerations for you as a band when looking for a new home after 4AD?

We didn't have much fantasy about any labels. 4AD was an emotional period for us because the people who'd signed us were very special and we became good friends. And, of course, they had a high standard and allowed me to make beautiful things for the music.

Is there an overarching theme to the songs on Barragán?

I think that is something that the listeners can determine for themselves. I am too close to it. I know it covers quite a wide spectrum of music.

The overall feel of the arrangements and production on Barragán (when compared with Penny Sparkle and even 23), is much more sparse and moody. Was this part of the instructions you gave to Drew Brown at the outset or did it arise organically as the work on the album progressed?

I'd say it was more like the instruction that Drew gave to us! But we knew that about him so we dove into it willingly.

How do you usually decide whether, on a particular track, it'll be you or Amedeo who'd contribute the main vocal?

Normally whoever comes up with the melody sings it.

Well, one of The 405's favourite tracks is 'Dripping', so presumably Amedeo came up with that one...

Yes, that is all Amedeo! I'm afraid I had nothing to do with it. And it is a great track.

What can you tell us about the artwork for the record and the inspiration behind it?

I've been collecting images of hands for a while. And my dear friend, Andrew Roth, showed me the work of Claude Cahun. I fell in love with that image. Around the same time, I was spending lovely times with Serge Becker, who owns Maison O, and the place had a great aesthetic. All that came together in one package. It is important that you surround yourself with people that inspire you. Then creating things becomes almost a formality.

How did you come to choose 'The One I Love' as the first single?

If one song sums up the sound of this album, this one might be the most significant.

You started touring the record back in July. Has it been easy to reinterpret older material in light of the band's current sound?

This is a challenge - to make them coexist in the same hour! We have been stripping down the old material too, which is good.

Which of the new songs was easiest to translate onto the live setting when performing the record on stage?

None of them are too hard, as there is so much space to breathe. But learning to play and sing 'well' is another matter. Also in live settings you want to make it a little more 'in your face'. So we work on that.

Finally, will there be a further worldwide tour next year?

I think so. The length of our tours are reflected by how much people like the record, so we shall see...

Barragán is out now on Kobalt. For details on Blonde Redhead's forthcoming tour dates, head here/.