Nail Tolliday and Simon Mills, aka Bent have had to do some growing up recently. It's all thanks to the life-altering experiences that Nail endured over the last year. Not only was he really ill, forcing him not to set foot in a studio for three months, his daughter was born and to cap it all he got married. Well they do say things come in three's.
"It definitely had some kind of effect," a now thankfully recovered Nail admits. "I think it's affected the music on an emotional level and it's made me grow up: I've stopped arseing about. Most importantly my illness and everything else that was happening around me restored my faith in people. In the past we had taken certain things for granted, but you can only take two things for granted in this life: death and taxes. It gave us a drive we probably didn't have."
Changes have been evident in their music too, most obviously in their approach to recording and performing. Their latest album, "Ariels" was recorded in the sleepy environs of Lincolnshire ("It's as flat as a fucking pancake," reveals Nail helpfully) and the refuge of a recording studio in an old chapel. It was there that Nail and Simon began their distinctly fresh approach.
Recording with a band has had obvious benefits for live performance. In the past playing live was something of a necessity rather than a stated aim. A rapturous reception at this year's Big Chill event in Prague confirmed that the new direction works; it should also do wonders for their recognition - despite being the soundtrack for numerous adverts (Carlsberg, Vodaphone, Nissan, Inland Revenue, Absolut Vodka and Volkswagen Beetle) and TV shows (as disparate as 'Six Feet Under' and BBC gardening programmes) this hasn't translated into the success they so obviously deserve. Strapping on the six-string and indulging those cock rocker fantasies should soon remedy that.
And yet talking of fantasies made flesh, their music has reached corners of the globe most could only dream about: when your music touches the glamour-sodden Hollywood A-list cognoscenti you know you're doing something right.
"Yeah," laughs Nail incredulously, "apparently Nicole Kidman is a big fan. Last year she was going to make an album and the word was that she wanted us to produce it. Unfortunately with her commitments it hasn't happened yet, but I don't think either of us would say no to being stuck in a room with her for two months."
It's reassuring to know then, that as much as Bent's world is changing all around them, they'll always remain a little, you know, bent.