Spotilight: The Coral
These days, you'd figure mentioning Texas to an Englishman would be an open invitation to discuss foreign policy and George W. Bush.
"Texas? The only thing I can picture is Stone Cold Steve Austin sitting on his porch with a big rifle," says Coral bassist Paul Duffy.
By their own admission, these Liverpudlians' world-view is drawn less from newspapers than Hemingway novels, dwarf porn, Easy Rider, and yes, the WWF. With the members' median age hovering around 19, the group's self-titled debut is a psychedelic ride through sea shanties and power-pop chock-full of everything from the Beatles and Beefheart to the Zombies and Zappa. Across the pond, this approach has yielded reams of four-star notices and at least some concern that American audiences might not be ready for such catholic tastes.
"It's probably more curse than blessing," says Duffy. "But it's kind of the little thing we have going, isn't it? It's just that we like so many different types of music. It's not like we're thieves. It's just inspiration and influence talking. We'll hear something and say, 'I'd love to write a song like that.' And we do."
Although they recently completed recording what Duffy described as an acoustic-oriented follow-up, their debut has been in American record stores just over a week. That's hardly long enough to gauge any kind of reaction, but Duffy says folks at home are paying too much attention to the band NME has dubbed "The Best New Band in the Country."
"The fact of the matter is we're all still living at home with our parents," points out Duffy. "We're not coming here in position to save the world. We'll probably never save the world.
"That's the thing about musicians like Bono -- they go past the music to where they're saviors. I don't like that kind of ego. With us it's, 'This is our music. Like it or don't.' We'll just wait and see."