The Horrors once had a girl dressed as a cat sitting in a crate on their rider.

The British rockers love to get a ''surprise'' in their dressing room at every show they play, but they were more shocked than usual at one gig when they went backstage to find a box with someone inside, so much so they didn't want to open it.

Frontman Faris Badwan said: ''We always ask for a surprise, and we've had some great ones - we had a girl dressed as a cat in a crate once.

''They left a crate in the dressing room.

''We realised there was someone in the crate, so we just left it shut and didn't open it for the whole time, and she was forced to just sit there for about an hour and a half.''

The 'Machine' hitmakers are trying out several different genres on their latest album, from 80s pop to trance, and keyboardist and synthesiser player Tom Cowan is pleased the group are being original.

He said: ''It's natural, if you do see yourself as an artist, to progress and not play it safe. Bowie pre-empted the modern condition of not being able to stay in one place for very long, and I get frustrated with bands who stay still.''

Speaking on a live chat on the NME Facebook page, Faris added: ''It is a risk. But life isn't much fun without risk. It's the antithesis of being creative if you know what you're going to be doing every time.''