The Coral
UK Festivals
June - August 2008
Questionnaire & Photography: Steve Bateman

In the lead up to The Coral's Summer Festival appearances, where the band will be playing a series of acoustic sets, Nick dived headfirst into a R*E*P*E*A*T e-mail Q&A which was completed and sent back to us in record time - just 1 day!

Famed for their '60s psychedelic rock 'n' roll, experimentation and quirkiness, the Wirral wonders have recently gone through a line-up change - with the departure of lead guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones officially announced this past January. But being friends with a "brotherly unity" since their school days, this wasn't enough to shake the group, as the remaining members, James Skelly (guitar / vocals), Ian Skelly (drums), Nick Power (organ), Lee Southall (rhythm guitar) and Paul Duffy (bass) are confidently carrying on as a 5-piece.

For fans, this will come as great news, as the band's last album Roots & Echoes pointed towards a more mature, soulful + classic songwriting future, and it goes without saying, that any group with such an interesting melting pot of ideas and creative / talented individuals, should always take their music as far as it can possibly go. Which in their heart of hearts, is exactly what continues to bind The Coral together.

So, Liverpool can rest assured that 'The Mersey Beat' will remain alive and kicking for some time yet…

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

1. How has 2008 been for you so far, and can you unveil any of your plans for the rest of the year - from solo projects to new songs, to the direction of your next album… anything at all?
"It's been good… So far we've been recording new material for a new album."

2. When The Coral first began, did you all have a common goal, and what was it that you took from the artists / bands that you most admired?
"We were desperate to get into a studio and record. We mostly took inspiration from Aswad."

3. Of all the records you own, which have you played the most?
"Catch A Fire - Bob Marley."

4. Has the evolution of your sound been something that you always knew would happen, or has this been more of a natural progression?

"TNP - Total Natural Progression."

5. How has Bill's departure affected the way you write music / work on ideas together?

"It's just one less Christmas Card."

6. The Coral have always been very song-based and I know there are lots of songwriters that you all admire - but if you had to award one artist or band with an Ivor Novello, who would it be?

"The Beta Band."

7. As a band, have you ever heard a song and thought, "We could've written that… they got there just before us?"

"Who Loves The Sun - The Velvet Underground."

8. Is there anybody that you would love to have a jam with?
"Michael Keaton circa Multiplicity."

9. The producer Greg Haver recently said, "Musicians and music lovers have regained control, because people go out and will find music rather than being told by a label, 'This is what you've got to listen to and like.' Purer records are being made - the material is closer to the artists' vision and better music is being made, because there are less layers of interference within The Music Industry chain." Would you agree with this?

"Yeah, but you also get the lazy fuckers with a ten grand computer who unleash their shit Drum & Bass / Funk Fusion Music on the public, so it's a double-edge sword really."

10. Is it correct that you've never been fans of how The Music Industry has operated?


11. At what point in your career, did you stop and think to yourself, "We're starting to become a success"?
"Still waiting."

12. Has the band surpassed your expectations / what have been some of your personal highlights over the years?
"Touring with Oasis, playing on Anfield and having a Number One Album."

13. A couple of years ago, Radio 1's Zane Lowe ran a massive album give-away competition, whereby listeners had to donate one of their most cherished LPs (thus automatically entering themselves into the contest), with one person eventually winning everything! But, which record would you have contributed?
"Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets."

14. And if you were in a head-to-head DJ face-off contest, what would be your killer track to ensure that you came out on top?

"The Yardbirds - Happenings Ten Years Time Ago."

15. The Coral have made some of my most favourite promo videos - but to date, which one has been the most fun to make?
"Secret Kiss - I got to see John as an evil tranny."

16. With so many new bands constantly springing up, do you think it would be a good thing if there were more mainstream music TV shows dedicated to promoting young talent?
"Yes, there should be a live show that isn't censored."

17. What are the best and worst things about being on the road together?
"Best - you get to see your mates everyday. Worst - you get to see your mates everyday."

18. When you do have some free time to yourself, how do you like to spend it?

"Tantric masturbation with The Police on in the background at a low volume."

19. In order to warm-up an audience before a group takes to the stage, what songs should the ultimate pre-gig Mixtape have on it?
"Mother Sky by Can, In The Past by We The People, Draft Morning by The Byrds etc. etc."

20. What would be your dream gig, if you could choose 1 headline band and 2 support acts?

"Can, Cash, Sinatra."

21. Of all your recorded output to date, are there any major changes that you would now make - musically or lyrically?


22. Will there ever be a Coral b-sides / rarities album?
"Hopefully, yes."

23. What's the biggest lesson that your career has taught you?

"Never insult a muscley tranny."

24. If you had to place 5 Coral songs in a time-capsule for future generations to hear, what would they be?
Don't Think You're The First
She Sings The Mourning
Shadows Fall
She's Got A Reason

25. Lastly, chips or cream buns?

A very special thanks to Nick, to The Coral's Tour Manager John, to Holly @ SJM and to Rosey, for all of their time and help.

"And when it's done and all this is gone
Just find a feeling pass it on"

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?
KJG: We don't know yet. We're playing a lot of new material tonight so yn a bit of a negative