No wonder Black Rebel Motorcycle Club drummer Leah Shapiro is glad to have a new album on the way.

The American rockers stickswoman had to undergo brain surgery back in 2014, to treat chiari malformations.

Her condition meant that she was suffering dizziness, vertigo and numbness in her hands, and could have ended her career.

“Being in a situation where the outcome of your life is completely in somebody else’s hands is really frightening,” recalls the drummer, who joined BRMC back in 2008.

“You need to learn to let go of control, or else it will be even more of a nightmare. It had crossed my mind that something could go wrong and maybe I wouldn’t be able to drum anymore, or go on tour if I got severe chronic pain, so the appreciation for doing this (music) has definitely changed since the surgery.”

The surgery drew Leah and the band’s fans closer, though, after a crowd funding campaign was launched to help pay some of her medical bills.

“It was started by Ian Ottaway, who does a lot of online stuff for us,” she says.

“He was the one who set me up with a Crowdfunder. I’d never have done it myself, because why would anyone care about my issues? It was very humbling that he did that, and that people actually cared.”

It was a long road back for Leah, who’ll be at the Barrowland this Thursday as BRMC test out material from their upcoming eighth album, Wrong Creatures. The rehab process was a long one, and it was a huge relief for Leah when she was able to start drumming again.

“For a month after surgery I was literally just laid out on a couch, feeling miserable and watching one horrible romcom after another because I wanted to make time pass but didn’t want to use my brain,” she says.

“Then I started the physical therapy three times a week and saw my osteopath once a week, and that lasted six months, until we went back on tour in July 2015. It was a big relief. That tour was a little bit quick after the surgery but mentally it was something I really needed as I was getting burnt out and missing sessions and not doing the exercises.

“I was sick of hanging out with doctors, so doing that tour put some life back into me. There was this relief that I could do it again.”

After that tour the group slowly started working on new material and playing shows, as Leah returned to full fitness. Now they have announced their return with the raw rock n’ roll of recent single Little Thing Gone Wild. Wrong Creatures will follow in January, as the leather clad trio once again showcase their moody, atmospheric rock.

Yet Leah reckons the new track isn’t totally representative of the upcoming album.

“It’s more of an outlier,” she says.

“Perhaps the rest of the record, though not all of it, is a bit darker. In comparison to some of our other records, with instrumentation, it’s not quite as a full on. It’s more of a puzzle with what’s going on, there’s more finesse there.”

The drummer points to the influence of producer Nick Launay, who has previously worked with the likes of Nick Cave and Arcade Fire, as being a key influence on getting the group going in the right direction.

“It was very important to have fresh ears come in, and be a voice of sanity,” explains Leah.

“Nick told us that we didn’t have to keep working in circles and re-arranging everything, because we were really good where we were.

“He pushed us to do things that we weren’t necessarily comfortable doing, and in the same way we probably pushed him outside his comfort zone.”

The band will unveil some of the new songs at the Barrowland, a regular haunt of the group’s over the years.

“It’s always such a fun place to play,” says Leah.

“I think it was Rob who took a beer straight to the face while he was singing there once, and I still remember seeing the pint glass going through the air like it was in slow motion. I’m always hidden at the back so I’m out the way of that – if anyone manages to hit me with a pint I guess you win something…”

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Barrowland, Thursday, sold out, 7pm