The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

Posted by in February's Magazine

Bill Ryder-Jones is an English musician and film score composer (he also rode shotgun alongside Alex Turner on the marvellous Submarine soundtrack) from West Kirby, Merseyside. He was lead guitarist with international chart-busters The Coral from 1996 until 2008 before leaving the band to pursue a solo career. Ryder-Jones’s debut album If  – released in 2011 through Domino Records’ imprint Double Six – was something of a departure. A series of ten chamber music pieces, fleshed out on some tracks by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, it is a thrillingly realised (imaginary) companion piece to Italo Calvino’s great metafictional novel If on a winter’s night a traveller.

There are few comparably brave and fruitful diversions in rock music – John Cale’s Academy in Peril would be a useful counterpoint – and he was rewarded with much critical praise. Ryder-Jones releases his latest solo offering A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart, which promises to see him take his first firm steps as a singer songwriter, in early April. The album was recorded in his childhood bedroom at his mother’s house in Liverpool with two friends from local band By The Sea.



Your inaugural solo album ‘If’ has been a roaring success. Anything you’d have done differently?
I’m not sure about a roaring success but it’s definitely been better received than I’d expected. Yeah there’s things I’d change but I think that’ll always be the case. In particular there’s a guitar solo and some arrangements that I’d rework.

(Note to reader: I for one was vexed to not see such a unique and accomplished orchestration nominated amongst the Mercury Prize gang).


There have been murmurings about the new album, it’ll be more lyrical, yet not an acoustic or vocal album per se… Tell us things you’ve never told anyone.
Ha! I love how you pretend people are talking about it, you and I know full well that you’ve heard the album and know it is more lyrical. It’s a very personal record, mostly about my childhood. All the songs bar one are real life events so it wasn’t the most comfortable year, also I had to sing, which I hate… It’s called A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart and should be out around Easter. It just features me along with Liam and Andy from the band By The Sea, my friend Laura plays a bit of violin on one track too. My favourite song is probably Hanging Song. Tell you something I’ve never told anyone? I tell everyone everything ad nauseum, it’s a problem.


This album’s out on Domino Records rather than the Domino Double Six imprint what does that mean?
Well Double Six is for their more left field releases whereas Domino felt this album was more of a Domino album. It’s all the same people at the label working on it anyway.


Domino Records for life? And who are some of your favourite co-hosts to have shared the Domino banner?
I’m there for as long as they’ll have me, I can’t really put into words just how much I owe them, they really came in and sorted me out by both helping me grow as a writer and giving me the support in my private life. Laurence Bell (the label’s head honcho) is someone I’m very deeply fond of and very proud to call a friend. Favourite Dominos… probably Smog/Bill Callahan, viciously underrated.


You’re working with a band called By the Sea at the moment, how did you come across them and what does ‘working with’ really mean, eh? Producing? Spiritual guidance?
Ha! Certainly no spiritual guidance here, we’re very good friends. Liam and Andy in particular are two of my best mates. Liam kind of crow barred his way into my life when I left The Coral, I’ve no idea why but I was really glad at the time and I’m so happy that he did. I just started to help them out because they wanted me to, that was a few years ago now and I think Liam still sees me as this musical wizard but in reality they don’t need me at all anymore. They’ve turned into an absolutely amazing band, the best band out now without a doubt and I’m so excited for them. The new stuff is amazing, like really, really amazing. I think they’re going to be a hugely important band.


You’ve done a potpourri of film score work now (both shorts and features)…
Well, that’s all there is to say. Done a feature film called Piggy and lots of shorts.


I’d heard you lately collaborated with old brothers-in arms The Coral?
No that’s not true, they released an old tune from when I was still with the band so they credited me on it. I have been doing some writing with Nick (The Coral’s keyboard player) recently though, that’s been fun, I don’t think there will ever be any great Coral reunion. I’m pretty sure everyone’s happy with the extent that we’re in each other’s lives at the moment, I certainly am.


With that in mind and your work with By the Sea – are the notions of band life starting to pull you in again?
I dunno really, I have great friends y’know, I’m much closer to my friends now than when I was in the band, so that comradery is in my life. I like being with people but I do find it quite tiring to be honest. I certainly couldn’t do the band thing again; I like to be on my own too much.


Any new projects on the horizon?
I’ve got some ideas but I just want to make another record with By The Sea.


(At this point I sent some rapid-fire questions his way…)

Scotland or Wales? Fuck…Scotland just

Can or Neu!? Can

Huxley or Orwell? Orwell…sorry

Bob Dylan or Neil Young?


Drugs or Hugs? Hugs

The Godfather or Goodfellas? Pah! The Godfather in a New York minute

Teenage Fanclub or Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci? You don’t need to ask that, Gorkys of course.


Info: A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart is released by Domino Records on 8th April

2 responses to “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind”

  1. Jessie says:

    I can't really put into words just how much excited it is. They really sorted you by both helping grow as a writer and giving the support in my private life.

  2. Ambrose says:

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