If you’re after an album to transport you far, far away whilst in the comfort of your very own bedroom then look no further than the melodic and swelling symphonies of Bill Ryder-Jones and his new album, A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart. Ryder-Jones started his career as the guitarist for the much loved The Coral but soon enough found himslef yearning to do something completely different. From one of indie’s favourite bands to creating a complete concept album. Ryder-Jones went from Mercury Prize nominee to composer as he took novelist Italo Calvino’s landmark work If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller and turned it into a series of original songs. After being lauded by the likes of Alex Turner and Graham Coxon all the while writing for an orchestra, we knew there would be no stopping Ryder-Jones in his next project.
This time around it isn’t a book that has inspired his work but his own life. Holing up in his bedroom in his parents house with his guitar, Ryder-Jones’ let the music flow. “I knew that I wanted the record to be really personal – to be humble and honest,” said Ryder-Jones, “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.” So, when you’re after a quiet night in and fancy an album that’s worth a serious listen with a big heart this is it. We caught up with Ryder-Jones before the launch of his April 8th album and a long list of tour dates ahead.
What was the inspiration behind A Bad Wind Blows?
Well, it’s mainly based on my childhood, I guess. Things that have happened in my life, that kind of thing. Nothing too out of the ordinary.
What artist would you most love to collaborate with?
There’s so many. Euros Childs would be top of the list, Warren Ellis too. Steve Mason would be cool. Someone like Grimes too, I think collaborations should be different from what you would do on your own, so someone who was in another world musically to me would be most enjoyable I think.
How did the process of creating this album differ from If?
Well there were differences and similarities. Both records come from the heart and had both probably been brewing in the subconscious for a few years. Practically though it was much more intense, writing the big scores and making all the individual parts work was trying. Having to understand and come to terms with counterpoint and making sure nothing got lost was tricky. Both records were an experiment though. It was me saying “I’m just going to write for an orchestra and see what happens!” and this album was more “I’m going to write about myself”. I was putting myself in a difficult writing situations each time so a lot of the same problems would pop up.
What’s been the best gig you’ve ever played?
I don’t really remember that many individual gigs. One that comes to mind was the first Coral tour before the first album came out. We toured under the name ‘Urban Parisians’ which was from a bootleg Verve gig. I think it was in Leeds. There was maybe 30 people watching when we started but by the end of the first song, it was rammed.
What have you been listening to recently?
Recently I’ve been re-discovered hip hop so lots of Wu-tang clan, Ghostface Killah, Ice Cube as well as my usuals: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Syd Barret and lots of Smog.
What current artists most excite you?
By the sea are the most exciting band out there at the minute for me but I’m most looking forward to albums by Grimes and Lykke li.
What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
It would be hard to say really, I’ve been rehearsing for some gigs and Anthony and Owen has been one I’ve really enjoyed playing.
Watch the first music video from Ryder-Jones’ album below, He Took You in His Arms which is out April 8th. Or catch him live in March 21st – Liverpool, Camp & Furnace, May 8th – London, The Lexington, Aug 16th to 18th – Beacons Festival and Sept 13th – 15th Festival Number 6.