If there's such a thing as doing it "the right way" in the modern music industry then the LaFontaines are surely it.

Their genre-melding style - some amalgamation of punk, pop and hip-hop delivered in broad Lanarkshire tones - and riotous live shows have earned them a devoted following, despite never having had any kind of major label push.

Third album Junior cracked the top 40 but almost proved to be their epitaph - when the pandemic shut down the world the future of The LaFontaines looked bleak, and frontman Kerr Okan admits he was ready to pack it all in.

It wasn't until Jamie Keenan, drummer, fellow vocalist, and reliable comic foil, sent him the title track of forthcoming album Business As Usual that the spark was reignited and it's been described as the song that saved the band.

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Frontman Okan says: "The band (which also includes guitarist Darren McCaughey) was flying before Covid.

"We’d just had our first top 40 album, we were just back from touring India and Asia, we had European shows lined up and our biggest shows in the UK after that.

“It was all laid out in front of us, at that point we’d been at it 12 years and it had been slowly building and it just felt like this was our time and it was about to take off, we’d had some radio play, the Spotify numbers were good, we had a good label behind us – everything was in place.

“Then the world stopped like it did for everybody.

“I had just moved to London and any possible way I had of making a living just disappeared.

“At that point I totally fell out of love with music, I was 100% done. I’d put all my eggs in this basket and I just couldn’t see how there was any way out.

“Obviously things started to get back on their feet again, but I still felt a pretty heavy resentment toward it - then I got married and had a kid so life changed really quickly as well.

“To even think about coming back again, starting the whole process but being older with more responsibilities and priorities shifting… it was just something I wasn't really into.

“It was only through loyalty to the boys, because we’ve been through everything since Day Dot, that I even went back into the studio.

“It was only when Jamie sent ‘Business As Usual’ that is sparked something, like ‘f*** there’s that feeling again’."

Keenan quips: "I knew that one was good but I’d sent maybe 10 before it so they must have been absolute pish!

“I was very pleased I’d finally written something people thought was alright!”

The group's forthcoming album bears the same title as the single and is a record of which they're immensely proud - not that they particularly enjoy digging into the specifics.

Okan says, haltingly: "As a lyricist, it’s my most… I f*****g hate all this but it’s my Most Personal Work™.

“It’s the most personal album I’ve written. If you’d said to me even five years ago I’d have cringed at the thought of having a song about your son. That would give me the boak, man."

Keenan jumps in: "It’d have been weird if you’d written a song about your son when you didn’t have a son, to be fair."

The frontman laughs: "That would have been weird, that’s true.

“But it kind of re-wires you and gives a reflective view, just things which were very personal that were happening to me at that time.

“Also things like moving to London and missing Glasgow so much: missing my pals, missing the boys, just missing the patter which is something they just don’t have down here.

The Herald: The LaFontainesThe LaFontaines (Image: Euan Robertson)

“Glasgow was always the place I couldn’t wait to leave. I’ll speak for all of us: our favourite thing was touring, just f*****g off for a bit and playing in different countries.

“It’s the best thing in the world but there was always the sense that you were coming home – so you want to leave but never really leave.

“So when I moved there’s a pining for it that comes. I think it’s a really complete body of work and a really mature record from guys who are in their mid-30s now.”

Deadpan as ever, his bandmate says: "I’ve been desperate to leave Wishaw for years but unfortunately I’m still here…

“Most of the lyrics I’ve written are about wanting to leave but when I hear Kerr writing about it clearly this is the place to be.”

The LaFontaines, their sound so hard to pin down, have never been a 'buzz' band or one with a huge music industry push.

Instead they've grown their reputation through word of mouth, playing support slots and headline shows across the country and building a loyal audience.

Okan says: "The only reason we’re still kicking a baw is because we've grown so organically as a band, the only reason we have any fans is playing live.

"It’s a really old-fashioned model, we are not a viral band, we’re not big on the internet. But because of that when everything stopped we didn’t just lose them, they kind of grew with us."

Keenan agrees: "Off the top of my head there are two reasons why we’re still together: the first, crucially, is that we all still like each other. When you’re touring for five or six weeks at a time it would be awkward as f*** if you didn’t like each other.

“The second is that we’ve never made enough money to fall out over it! So we’ll keep going until that point. That’s the end goal, to make enough money to go, ‘f*** you!’.”

Or perhaps, as is alleged of the Rolling Stones, become so lucrative that they keep going in spite of hating each other?

Okan laughs: "I can’t wait to do an interview with you, and you need to speak to Jamie separately because I can’t even look at his f*****g face."

The Herald: Kerr Okan and Jamie Keenan of The LaFontaines with Scotland goalkeeper David MarshallKerr Okan and Jamie Keenan of The LaFontaines with Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall

The last LaFontaines album, 2019's Junior brought them their first top 40 hit, as well as their biggest headline show to date at Glasgow's 02 Academy.

Has that created a sense of expectation around follow-up Business As Usual?

Okan says: "It would be great to have a higher chart position than the last one – a top 10 would be f*****g cool.

"I really hope it is that, and I don’t want to pooh-pooh that in any way but… that’s over in a week. You release it, you get your wee chart position, and that’s it.

“What I would really love would be the same sort of thing we have with our older songs, where we go and play them years later and people f*****g know the tunes.

“It's weird, but always nice, when someone says, ‘I played this song at my wedding’, ‘this song got me through a tough time’, ‘I’ve got a tattoo of the lyrics’.

“So, man, if we can release this album and some tunes benefit somebody, I’m cool with that. I’m cool with just putting a good body of work out and standing behind it, something I can play for someone and if they don’t like it then it doesn’t matter to me because I believe in it.”

Once again Keenan demurs: "I’m hoping it’ll be like Dark Side of the Moon and it’s in the charts for about 43 years.”

The new album will be released on June 14, and will be promoted with some in-store performances at record stores across Scotland, as well as a family-friendly show at the Inflata Nation soft play in Glasgow - "I'll patch the swearing for an hour", promises Okan.

That will, of course, be followed by a proper headline tour, which the Herald understands we can't talk too much about at this stage...

The frontman says: "We’ll get shot for this... but there will be a date at the Barras. I feel like if we're coming back, we have to play the best f*****g venue in the UK.

“We did the 02 in the last run which was cool, and I think the consensus so far is that’s the best we’ve ever done – Motherwell Civic Centre was cool too – but this album is just built for the Barras.

“The Barras is the best f*****g venue you will find, and us coming back… we’re ready for the Barras. I cannot wait.”

Business as Usual will be released on June 14. The LaFontaines will play HMV Glasgow June 15, Church, Dundee (June 16),  Tunnels, Aberdeen (June 17) Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh (June 18) and Banquet Records (June 19) as well as Inflata Nation (June 9).

They will perform at Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom on September 13.