James Dean Bradfield claims his decision to turn his back on The Manic Street Preachers will help make them a better band.
The singer has received critical acclaim for debut solo album The Great Western.
And tonight, he'll shoot to No. 6 in the chart with That's No Way To Tell A Lie, the first single taken from it.
But the Welsh rocker has vowed his solo success doesn't mean he's killing off the Manics.
He told me: "It was never my ambition to make a solo record. I always liked being in a band. I'm very happy being in the Manics because we all grew up with each other. But last summer we took the decision to have a two-year break.
"We want the next Manics record to be a great album. To achieve that we needed to give ourselves - and our audience - a little bit of a rest."
James revealed fellow Manic Nicky Wire has been busy writing songs while Sean Moore has been studying martial art Kendo.
He said: "A few weeks ago I caught up with Nicky and Sean to see where we were in terms of demos for the next album. It felt brilliant. The next Manics album is going to be real rock 'n' roll, in your face."
James says his decision to go it alone was accidental.
He said: "I sat around for the first month and became a dysfunctional idiot. I realised without playing music I was a really angry person.
"In the Manics, the lyrics were always written by Nicky or our former singer Richey Edwards and I did the music.
"When it came to making a solo album I realised I'd have to do both. That scared me."
Five years ago, James wrote his first-ever lyric on Ocean Spray - the Manics hit inspired by the death of his mother. He admitted: "The words of that song were an emotional reflex so it didn't give me much help on this solo record.
"The Great Western lyrics came from a different place.
"But it was a great feeling seeing, 'Words and music by James Dean Bradfield' printed on the new record. I felt very happy and lost a bit of my insecurity."
James unveiled the album with a sell-out gig at King Tut's in Glasgow on May 23 and he plans more Scottish dates later this year.
He said: "To be on stage without Nicky and Sean was strange. Playing with another group was probably the most emotional part for me."