Morning Runner have been described as an edgier Coldplay and are set to be one of the biggest bands of 2006. But if there's one thing guaranteed to get lead singer Matt Greener on edge, it's being compared to Chris Martin's all-conquering kings of melodic rock, who they supported on a nationwide tour last year.
The band head to North Wales as part of their own headline tour to promote their debut album Wilderness Is Paradise Now, out on March 6 and expected to be one of the best records of the year. Matt, who also plays guitar, is adamant he wants to leave the Coldplay comparisons behind.
And if anyone was thinking of likening them to another piano-tastic pop-rock act, let's get one thing straight: Morning Runner are nothing like Keane. "I don't think we sound at all like Keane," says the 23--year-old.
"I don't understand that, apart from the fact we've got a piano. We sound as much like AC/DC as we do Keane. That's the same with Coldplay, they've got melody and piano but apart from that we don't sound anything like them."When people ask us about the Coldplay tour, that was a great tour to go on and we're very grateful for it, but I don't see the relevance of it anymore to our album.
"We're a band that's never been influenced so much by albums as by individual songs, " he adds,, listing some of the album tracks. "Have A Good Time sounds like Ed Harcourt, Gone Up In Flames sounds like early Supergrass, whereas another song might sound like The Strokes - but I don't think we have one song that sounds anything like Keane."
Morning Runner hastily formed in Reading in 2003 when Matt bluffed about having a band in order to get a gig.
The next seven days saw bassist Tom Derrett, now 26, keyboard player Chris Wheatcroft, or Fields, 23, and drummer Ali Clewer, 21, join with Matt. Just two years later they were supporting the biggest band in Britain.
But with their forthcoming single Burning Benches getting national radio airplay, they now want to carve out their own place in history.
Their own travels see them playing a gig venue that is fast growing in importance and attracting bigger and better bands - Wrexham's Central Station. On a tour schedule that includes London, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle and Nottingham - why choose Wrexham??
"We wanted to do a lot of places on the tour where we've never been before. We've never played in Wrexham but there's people who buy your CDs there too. It's always nice to play for a fresh audience and win people over.
"The more places we play the more people hear of us, and I'm sure people in Wrexham will appreciate us playing there."
The name Morning Runner, Matt says, is a metaphor for a constant desire for self-improvement - something he says is part of the band's ethic.
"It's about people's pursuit to better themselves. I've never wanted to get stuck in a rut and just be good at something. I want our band to get better and better. I want us to make the best album we can, I want our band to be respected and our name to be established and able to stand on its own - so in a few years people will be describing other bands as the new Morning Runner instead of us as the new Coldplay."
So, does that mean he hopes that one day other budding rockers will be equally annoyed by constant comparisons to Morning Runner, then?
"Yes," Matt replies,, tongue-in-cheek. "Exactly."
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