The Vaccines were "lost" after the departure of Pete Robertson.
The 'Post Break-Up Sex' himakers admitted they felt they had "lost control" around the time the drummer left the group after he was left exhausted by touring in support of their 2015 LP 'English Graffiti', and they were struggling to figure out where they wanted their next album to go.
Guitarist Freddie Cowan said: "At that stage, we had a lot f personal maintenance to take care of."
Singer Justin Young added: "Pete leaving was testament to how tense it got. We'd lost control, where it feels like someone else's hands are on the wheel.
"We don't know what record we wanted to make next, or what band we wanted to be. We were lost."
The duo, along with bassist Arni Arnason, began working on new material in Autumn 2016 but were still struggling to put together something they liked.
Eventually, Justin received a call from Ross Orton - who produced Arctic Monkeys' 'AM' - and they credit his straight-talking with helping them get back on track and find a focus again.
The singer told Q magazine: "He just bitched about our demos for an hour.
"He goes, 'I'm confused, because I really thought you had a curled upper lip and there was a bit of bite to what you guys did.' "
Freddie added: "He's very real. We had everyone saying, 'Yeah, it's great' and what we needed was, 'Yes, but there's a lot of work to be done guys.'
"At one point, he said, 'Have you actually got a drummer?' Sometimes, you don't recognise these things. We were asleep, drifting."
The group then recruited new drummer Yoann Intonti and keyboardist Tim Lanham, and will release new album 'Combat Sports' next month.