Hurts say choosing to write their second album in Manchester was like an act of ''self punishment''.

The pop duo - singer Theo Hutchcraft and keyboard player Adam Anderson - went back to a ''really horrible room'' in Adam's home city in North West England, where they wrote debut album 'Happiness', to pen tracks for 'Exile' because they wanted to go back to a ''primitive and disciplined lifestyle'' after being on tour for so long.

Adam said: ''We didn't even speak about it, we just ended up there. Subliminally we think of Manchester as the place we write tunes. We had two bedrooms, a kitchen, worked all day every day in a really horrible room.

''After going all round the world, that idea of self-punishment was appealing. There's something pure about going back to that really primitive and disciplined lifestyle.''

Theo admits the duo have become ''more mental'' since recording their debut album because they have grown in confidence since it was released in 2010.

He added to NME magazine: ''We're much less controlled now. Our mindset has changed. On the first album we had no confidence. People thought we did, but it was a trick.

''Now we've become a little bit more ... mental. There were moments while making this that were the darkest moments we've had. Weeks on end would go by, and we'd be like, 'Waarrggh!' ''