Black Rebel Motorcycle Club frontman Robert Levon Been feared the band would split as they struggled to cope with the death of his musician father.

The rocker's dad, former The Call frontman Michael Been, passed away in 2010 after suffering a heart attack backstage at Pukkelpop festival in Belgium, where he had been acting as the band's sound engineer.

The trio regarded Michael as a mentor and Been feared they would be unable to continue working together because of the painful memories.

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "It’s closer to losing a band member or losing a Brian Epstein (The Beatles manager), where we have to carry the weight of that loss, and at the same time carrying all the gifts that are bestowed or things that made us capable of doing it on our own.

"It terrified us that we were robbed of the very thing that we could always call on. I described it once where playing rock and roll was an escape... and it was always like that growing up. And then all of a sudden it switched, and now music is the place where kind of you can’t hide from anything. Everything’s turned around...

"That's why this record took so long (because) no one really wanted to find those words or dig in deep. So we were faking it for a while, not really digging that deep. You have to go back again and dig a bit deeper, and it was excruciating."

The band's currently untitled new album is due for release later this year (13).