Wirral musician and former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones tells Jade Wright why he’s happy to go it alone
WHEN Bill Ryder-Jones left The Coral he offered a clue as to what he’d do next. His arrangements on their fifth studio album Roots & Echoes hinted at a spectacular compositional talent.
Last year the Wirral musician explored this side of his creative talent in full with the orchestral album If – a grand “imaginary soundtrack” to Italo Calvino’s post modernist novel If On A Winters Night A Traveller.
Now he has completed his new album – A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart – which marries his masterful capacities as arranger and composer with his first firm steps as a singer-songwriter.
It was recorded in his old bedroom in the upstairs of his mum’s house.
“I sat down at home and started to write a song in the manner of Euros Childs and it just seemed to feel right,” he says of Hanging Song, the record’s elegiac opener that began life as a playful homage to long-standing inspiration Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
Next came the title track.
“I wrote those two songs and everything sort of started to come,” says Bill. “I knew that I wanted the record to be really personal – to be humble and honest. The bedroom feel of those first two recordings were perfect for that, brittle and simple sounding, and once they were in place I decided not to stray too far from those ideas.”
Two friends from Wirral group By The Sea made up the backing band for the recordings, which were then produced and mixed together with James Ford.
“The album is just a collection of things that have happened in my life. It's mainly about childhood I guess,” says Bill. “The title refers to a feeling a sadness that everyone knows. It's nothing too profound, it just seemed to sum up the feeling of the record.”
The Coral attracted feverish attention from fans, critics and fellow musicians alike (Noel Gallagher regularly saluted Bill as one of his favourite guitarists and Graham Coxon is considered both friend and collaborator).