June 06, 2005


The Coral maintains its prolific pace

The Coral.jpg

Sometimes it's hard to get every member of a band on the same page, especially when the lineup is younger and larger than the average rock outfit.

Bill Ryder-Jones recalls going through such growing pains with his band, The Coral, when it came to song arrangements.

"In the early days, we might have had a bit of difficulty with making space for everything," says the British guitarist/trumpeter, who at 22 is within two years of the oldest member in his band, now a seven-piece. "Everyone was so eager to play. There was a lot of naivete on our first record, with so much going on. I think over the years, we've all just found space for ourselves. Each member is sort of aware of where the line is.

"The only rule [we have] is 'don't ruin the song,' " he adds. "The songs that we come up with are good when someone's just playing acoustic guitar and singing over them, and basically all we want to do is not get in the way of that and maybe add something to it."

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The Invisible Invasion (Deltasonic/Columbia), issued last month in the United Kingdom, will be released Aug. 30 in the United States. Starting with the 2001 EP Shadows Fall, The Coral has put out a song collection per year.

While that was the norm for a majority of rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s, it's the exception rather than the rule these days. Nevertheless, Ryder-Jones doesn't put much stock in the thought that The Coral's prolific nature could work against the group.

"I think there's a danger that people can get tired of you, but it's going to happen more so if you're playing the same songs around the world for a few years," he says. "We're giving people new stuff every year. As a fan of music and of bands myself, a lot of the time I wished that bands had moved on and got their act together and made more records. We're just doing it the way we think it should be done.

"Ideally, if we had toured our first album for two years, it could have sold three million records, if we really hammered it like bands do. But we’re not about that. We move on a lot. We have seven members, and we're extremely focused. There are so many sides to our band -- we don't have one sound that we want to do."

The Invisible Invasion, which features touches of 1960s rock amidst its melodic hooks and choruses, was produced by Portishead's Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley.

"The idea, really, was Portishead records sound really good, and we want to sound really good," Ryder-Jones says with a laugh. "On paper, when you write it down, it makes sense. I think sonically we're more like Portishead than any other band. Portishead has this sort of film score sound to them that we're really interested in. Someone said it to us, that we'd be good with Portishead, and we got in touch with them and it just worked."

Ryder-Jones says the band hit it off right away with Barrow and Utley.

"Geoff and Adrian came to our rehearsal room in Liverpool one day and sat through our set; we played them all our songs that were going to be on the album," explains Ryder-Jones. "And one thing Geoff said was, 'You lads sound good in a room. There's nothing that needs to be done right now to make you sound better, so when we get into the studio, all we've got to do is make sure we can get this on tape and maybe add a little more,' and basically that's all they did."

On June 7 in Toronto, The Coral will begin a brief North American tour that also will make stops in New York (June 9), Chicago (June 11) and other major U.S. cities. The band is expected to begin a large-scale U.S. tour following the American release of The Invisible Invasion.

"We’re going to try and push it in America more than we've ever done," Ryder-Jones says. "We think we're a good band, you know, and our music's a little different and not everyone takes to it. But I feel like we owe it to ourselves to actually have a go.”

-- By Chris M. Junior

Posted by medleyville at June 6, 2005 06:03 PM