Richard Hawley always thought he'd be ''on the fringes of everything''.

The guitarist and singer had unexpected success last year with his seventh album, 'Standing at the Sky's Edge' - which was nominated for the Mercury Prize - and is shocked that he has gained so many fans and achieved such mainstream success.

He told website DrownedinSound.com: ''I always thought I'd be on the fringes of everything and to actually get amongst it and mix it up a bit that was kind of interesting. It was a little terrorist skirmish. I don't think it would be something long-term, the next record could be 100 in the charts, that kind of thing doesn't really matter to me long-term.

''The acid test for that was playing it live and seeing people's reactions that were so positive. I've done things this year that I never thought it was possible for me to do, that I'd never expected to in my wildest dreams: that I'd headline [London venue] Brixton Academy and sell the f****r out.''

Richard - who started his career in Britpop band Longpigs - also said the album includes a lot of soul searching and was heavily influenced by the loss of his friend, guitarist Tim McCall and the passing of his father.

He added: ''Loosing people, it forced me to think about where, why, how and all that.

''Loosing Tim McCall was one of the biggest blows to me that I've ever suffered. Losing my Dad was one thing, y'know, he was a certain age and he had chosen a certain path in his life that was wild. He was a wild motherf****r! You take that into consideration. Loosing Tim at 37 and knowing that you're never going to see them again and 'where do we all go?' All those things definitely prompted me to think about where we all go, which I guess was reflected in the record.''