James Skelly & The Intenders are preparing for the release of their beaming, soul/blues-influenced first album Love Undercover on 3rd June, with a UK tour kicking off just three days later (dates/tickets here), so Rocksucker fired James over some questions to find out a little more about it/them.
Name look familiar? Well, that’ll be because he’s the front man of national treasures The Coral, whose drummer (and James’s brother) Ian recently released a sparkling LP of ornate, psychedelic pop entitled Cut From a Star. Talented bunch, those Skellys…
How much of the album’s instrumentation did you handle yourself? Who else appears on it?
I played guitar and vocals, Paul Duffy – guitar, organ and vocals, Alfie Skelly – guitar, Nick Power – piano, Ian Skelly – drums, James Redmond -bass.
To what degree would you say the lyrics are personal, or based on personal experience?
All of them.
It feels as if the psychedelia of Ian’s album and classic songwriting of yours are the two halves that make up The Coral. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but would you say your respective albums are representative of your respective tastes, or just the moods you happen to each be in at the moment?
A bit of both, I wrote with Ian on his album and he wrote on mine. I sing the Coral songs, so I had to do something different or it would sound too similar to The Coral, and it was a good chance to do something more direct.
Can you see yourself doing more solo stuff? Do you tend to stockpile songs you’ve written?
I’ll see how this goes first. I’ve got loads of songs, so it’s great to have different outlets for the different styles of songs.
Will James Skelly & The Intenders be playing at any festivals this summer?
Yes, T in The Park, V Festival, Latitude. Not sure what else has been confirmed.
Have you discussed the next Coral album at all yet? If so, what can you tell us about it at this stage? Are there any other projects on the horizon?
Not yet. It needs to feel right. It felt like we were being taken for granted. I thought Butterfly House was a classic, we put everything into it.
What other new music have you been enjoying and/or looking forward to in 2013?
Blues and soul stuff mostly. There’s a band I’ve produced with Ian called The Sundowners, they’re great.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the entire works of just five different artists, musical or otherwise, whose would you choose?
Too hard, I’ll just say five things I’ve been listening too lately: The Red Devils – King King, Muddy Waters – After The Rain, Stevie Ray Vaughan – Live at Montreux 1982, Freddie King – Ultimate Collection, The Beatles – Abbey Road.
James Skelly, thank you.
Love Undercover will be released on 3rd June by Cooking Vinyl.
For more information, please visit the official James Skelly & The Intenders website.