With The Coral returning after a little break with new album Distance Inbetween next month (4 March) we speak to the band about overcoming their trials and tribulations in our new issue, available now in print and on digital. Plus frontman James Skelly has compiled us an exclusive playlist of tracks the Wirral group listened to whilst recording the new record, which he talks us through – and you can listen to – below.
Hawkwind – Spiral Galaxy 28948 "They're one of my favourite bands and a big influence on Distance Inbetween. This is off their album Warrior on the Edge of Time, it's an instrumental and I call it ‘Punk’ Floyd music."
Public Enemy – Welcome To The Terrordome "For me, Public Enemy are in the top ten bands of all time, with Kraftwerk and The Beatles. This has to be one of the greatest deliveries of a first line ever. It's the sound of resistance."
Portishead – Silence "Geoff Barrow played us some tracks from Third when we were mixing Roots And Echoes [the Coral album he co-produced] and I remember thinking 'I like it, but what is it?' I couldn't hear a song in there, but I kept coming back to it, it just got under my skin. Now I think it’s Portishead’s masterpiece, they're one of the great British bands for me and I hope they do another album."
Robert Johnson – Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped The Devil) "No one will ever have a better myth in music than Robert Johnson. The thing is, his music is even better than his myth. This is my favourite vocal of his, it sounds like a man on the edge."
Dr Octagon – Blue Flowers My mate got me into Kool Keith when we toured America. This is my favourite track of his, the strings are haunting and Kool Keith is always a genius that goes without saying. For me, he's like the Captain Beefheart of Hip-Hop.
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Testify "Stevie Ray is a force of nature, I love his guitar playing, it's like he's playing barbed wire. This tune is just raw nervous energy. I must have watched his Montreux ‘82 gig so many times I can't remember. It's great to relate to bands and musicians, but sometimes you just want to be blown away by something no one else can do."
Joy Division – Heart And Soul "This is my favourite Joy Division tune. The music is like a punk version of Kraftwerk and the lyrics are so deep they cut you to the bone. The way they are apocalyptic, but also domestic, ancient, but sci-fi. Lyrically this is a big influence on me."
Muddy Waters – Ramblin’ Mind (After the Rain album) "After The Rain and Electric Mud are massive albums for us. The concept shouldn't work, but it does brilliantly. I've become obsessed with the drum and guitar sounds on this."
Frank Sinatra – Angel Eyes "The Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely album is pure art music to me. This track is like Film Noir and Frank is the main character when he sings. 'Excuse me while I disappear' is my favourite last line ever."
The 13th Floor Elevators – Slip Inside This House "What a voice Roky Erickson's got. Combine that with great lyrics, an amazing band, a jug, and loads of drugs and you get this psych masterpiece."
For more head to Thecoral.co.uk.