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Mansell is free of Take That shadow...

Singer Clint Mansell feared his music career was over when his record company dropped him two years ago.

Now the frontman of Pop Will Eat Itself is convinced it was the best thing that could have happened to the band.

"When RCA kicked us out it was very unsettling." Clint says.

"At the time it seemed like a step back but it has turned out to be a big leap forward."

Unlike most bands which split after losing a record deal, Pop Will Eat Itself clinched a new deal with independent label Infectious Records.

They also proved they are still popular by scoring a No 11 hit with their new album, Dos Dedos Mis Amigos, (Two Fingers My Friends - interpreted as a message to their old record company).

 "It's much better being on a smaller label as they are more interested in being creative than shifting units," says Mansell. The album marked a new direction for the band as they tackled subjects ranging from the Royal family in Familus Horribilus to anti-fascism in Ich bin ein Auslander.

 Being with a small label also meant Mansell, 27, no longer had to compete with teen sensations Take That who signed with RCA.

 "RCA didn't seem to care about us," says Clint. "We released a single the same weeks as Take That released It Only Takes a Minute."

 "Everyone was excited when they went in at No. 16 but no one could give a damn when we entered the charts No. 17."