Arriving back just in time to fill the summer festivals with their brand of melodic pop and with more variety you could shake a stick at, The Coral squeezed in a chat with Room Thirteen. After shaking off the mud from T in The Park, rhythm guitarist Lee Southall told us about the bands time off, the plans for the future and just who are a boss bunch of lads.

R13: You played the rather traumatic Friday night set at T in the Park, how was it for the band?
LS: Really good and we really enjoyed it. Its probably the best festival of them all.

R13: Were you affected by the traffic delays or the weather much?
LS: Not really, the last time we played there it was roasting but it seems that every festival we play these days we bring the rain!
R13:So you bring your own part of Liverpool to the rest of the country?
LS: Yeah, that's it man, every show so far,we've had rain and that's not right.

R13: How do you feel about the wave of Liverpool bands that have came through since your breakthrough?
LS:Its good, we came out with the Zutons and The Bandits and then after that there were loads of bands and a lot were really good.
R13: Has this created more venues in the city and more of a vibe for bands to develop?
LS:Nah, when we first came out there was sort of a scene but its all dies down now and theres only a few bands left. There are new bands coming through but theres not many venues. They shut down one of the best ones recently and they are building a stadium down by the waterfront but its mainly just the Universities for bands to play in.

R13: Do you feel as though the new record is the opportunity to make the band relevant again?
LS:In a way, we had a couple of years out and of course, Bill dropped out for a spell and then came back so its like a new start and out attitude is a lot better this time around. We're ready to do it and its our best album to do it on, its got really good songs.

R13: You've had four top 5 albums, do you feel under any pressure to continue this run with the new record?
LS: Not really, we just do what we do. We've always been writing songs and we've got a barrel of songs there, its just a matter of getting in and recording them.

R13: What are your hopes for the new album?
LS:I just want people to hear it and for them to see how excellent an album it is and how we've came along in the past few years. I want people to hear our music and to hear it like I hear music. When I hear like an Everly Brothers album, you know, it gets you going.

R13: How does the band go about writing songs?
LS: Most of the times James will write the song and he'll come in with his acoustic and play it to us in the practise room and we'll start playing around with it. Sometimes we'll go with a keyboard riff or even if we've heard something we really like on a record, we just steal it and make it into our own.

R13: During your lay-off was there any suggestion that the band would not continue?
LS:No, when Bill went off we thought we can either break up or we can work harder at it and we went back to basics and did some living and we kept making music when he was away. There was a time when we didn't know what would happen but we stuck it through and came out the other side, all the better for it.

R13: You're supporting the Arctic Monkeys at their big Summer shows given that you were the last bright young breakthrough before the Monkeys, how do you feel about their rise to fame?
LS: They've shot right to the top haven't they? Theyre a great band and a boss bunch of lads and they have their heads screwed on. They're talented and theyre doing well, we're made up to be doing gigs with them and play to loads of people.

R13: Do you feel as though you could give them any advice about being in the business from such a young age?
LS: Haha, no, they wont be taking any advice from us! Fucking hell, you know what, if they ask us questions we'll talk to them but nah...(Lee dissolves into a fit of laughter) I wouldn't take advice from us, so no one else should.

R13: Are you looking forward to these shows and V festival?
LS: Yeah, we're on tour with the Arctics now, we're in Germany at the moment and we're going to America with them and I think we'll be in Japan as well, so its really hectic at the moment. And the more festivals the better really.

R13: Are there any plans to tour the UK fully before the year is ended?
LS: Yeah yeah, a big tour is planned when we come back from Europe, doing shows all over England and Scotland and get back out there, theres a few boss crowds about that we want to see again.

R13: How do you feel looking back on your early years it seemed as though you never stopped touring do you think you did too much too early?
LS:Maybe, in a way, because when we first came out we were only 16 and we were touring all the time through 17 and 18 and it was hard. I reckon the two years we've had off now have helped us fully recharge and we should be back on form.

R13: And finally, what do you think, or hope, the future holds for The Coral?
LS:Once the albums finished, we'll just make another one and keep making music. We'd like to get into soundtracks and different things as well, just keep making boss music. Cheers mate, tara!

As interviews go, that was a really upbeat one and whilst the last few years may have had some tough moments for The Coral, its really pleasing to hear that the band consider themselves to be back on track. They've already got a bag full of hits but who is to bet against the band adding to their collection this year?