Fresh from releasing fourth album Herald Moth, Essex rockers InMe take to the road in its support. They take the stop in Newcastle, and George managed to have a chat with the guys; they talk about the unfortunate reason Newcastle is first on the tour, what they’ve been up to this summer, and, more importantly, discuss the new album. Here’s what they had to say…
George: Can you say your names, and what you do in the band?
Dave McPherson: I’m Dave, I play guitar and vocals.
Simon Taylor: I’m Simon and I drum.
George: Simon, you were involved in a car crash earlier this week, can you tell us what happened?
Simon: Well, it was quite serious, I think, we were driving down the road, and there was a car coming towards us, and without looking, they just turned into a junction we were about to come onto, and cut across our lane, and we went straight into them, didn’t get time to break really, I think they were going about 35, we were going about 15, and they went smack, head on, and then I had some really bad chest pains, which I’ve still got, and, unfortunately, our new guitarist has broken his wrist. But, thankfully, the people in the other car were fine. [laughs]
George: So, you’re going it as a three-piece again for the tour, are you going to relish the challenge?
Dave: Yes, of course, it’s always good to rise up to a challenge, and feel good about yourself for doing it, but on the other hand, we were a three-piece for a good 12-and-a-half years before we became a four-piece, so we can fit back into it, it’s just a shame because Ben does bring another dimension to the band, and obviously there’s parts of the guitar that are his, and things like that. But, you know, you’ve gotta make the best of a bad situation.
Simon: And we didn’t want to let anyone down.
Dave: Yeah, the show must go on, and I think we’re up for it, we just sound checked some songs, that we haven’t played in about 6-months and it’s like riding a bike, it’s still there. There’s a couple of songs we had to take out, because Ben is integral to them.
Simon: There’s a couple of new ones not there today.
Dave: Yeah, a couple of new ones. It’s nice because it shows to Ben, as well as us, that he plays an important role. So, we are InMe, as a three-piece, but I think we’re slightly more now that Ben’s involved, but when it gets down we’ll be giving a shout out to Ben every night.
Simon: Poor bastard.
George: Will the Herald Moth songs still be getting as much of an airing as they would of with Ben?
Simon: We’re gonna have to cut some out.
Dave: We’re doing, I think it’s five, but there’s two songs, we were going to do seven, but there’s two songs we had to take out, and that was The Art Of Moderation and Master Storm, purely because they only work with two guitarists, and the parts are quite hard and they’re suited to Ben. Ben created some of the parts, and it just wouldn’t be right getting someone else involved, and we’d only need them for a few songs, so we just had to change the set, but I think everyone will appreciate that it’s completely out of our hands.
Simon: These things happen, and we’re gonna rock it, anyway.
Dave: We’re gonna rock it out, but there’s just a couple of songs we had to take out, but it doesn’t mean that next tour we aren’t gonna play them.
Simon: But we sorta replaced it with another song…
Dave: We brought back Soldier and Chamber, ’cause we’ve been doing them quite alright as a three-piece, so some people are gonna be disappointed, but some people might like those songs more, so…
Simon: Next tour, though.
Dave: Swings and roundabouts.
George: You mentioned just before, you said “InMe” (pronounced as it’s spelled, ‘inme’), is that definitely the way you pronounce the band’s name, because there seems to be some dispute within people I’ve talked to, that say it’s like “I-N-Me” or “I-N-M-E”?
Dave: It’s just InMe, but it’s like In, Me, one word, no gap, just InMe. That’s what it’s become, fuck knows what it means! [laughs]
Simon: Just the name. [laughs]
Dave: We quite liked the logo, more than the name, originally, I dunno, it’s kind of epic looking, almost. After a while, it’s like bands like Biffy Clyro, what the hell does that mean? But it envelops what the band is about, there’s bands out there with ridiculous names, that, eventually, it just becomes the band.
Simon: The face of the band.
George: Like Dananananaykroyd?
Dave: That’s an extreme! [laughs] That’s a hard one to pronounce.
George: Technically, this is the first night, but are you enjoying being out on the road again?
Dave: It’s great, it’s a lovely feeling when we got on the bus last night, loaded up, that’s the first part of it, getting everything together. First day is a little bit trickier because of a slightly longer sound check, as well with the three-piece thing, making sure the gears in place, getting all the spares.
Simon: There’s stuff that hasn’t been used since the last tour, and the fairies have broken things. [laughs]
Dave: Getting to know all the support bands, if you’ve got new crew, getting to know them, and just warming into it, but it’s exciting, and I think this is a really good show to start off with, I think it was pretty much the first show of the tour last time, and it was awesome.
Simon: That was with Fei Comodo.
Dave: It made us very hungry for it, and we just went for it, went out there and gave it our best, and we intend to do that about 17-times.
George: Why have you picked Symphony Cult to come along with you?
Dave: Well, obviously, there’s politics involved, we don’t choose the support bands personally. I’ve heard they’re lovely people, which is a bonus, but our management choose a band that is willing to offer something that can help us, and we can offer them something in return, and it’s political, we have to help our budget at the end of the day, because if we didn’t sell enough t-shirts and stuff, we’d make a loss, so it’s about getting people who are willing to make a risk in front of themselves, but we’ve met them all, they’re lovely, so it’s always a bonus.
Simon: And I’ve been told they’re all really good at their instruments, and the drummer is the son from the drummer of AC/DC, it’s the drummers son.
Dave: And the drum tech, is the drummer from Phony, who we used to tour with, so that was a coincidence.
George: Symphony Cult’s drummer isn’t on this, is he? I heard he got an injury.
George: Yeah, I’m sure he’s out for the whole tour.
Simon: I was told that the drummer was the AC/DC son drummer.
Dave: Well I have just spoken to someone up there who I believe is the drummer, it’s hard to put names to faces, but he was saying he was suffering a collapsed lung, so could be.
Simon: So both drummers on this tour are fucked then.
Dave: Yeah. [laughs] Fucked on tour.
George: So, you’ve just released Herald Moth, how have people reacted to it so far?
Simon: Definitely, better than expected, yeah.
Dave: Better than the last album. Kerrang! and Rocksound are the magazines we most aspire to be welcomed to ’cause I think the people that buy those magazines will appreciate the music as well, and they’re obviously quite big magazines, but all the online webzines, there’s been some really nice reviews, there’s been some dark ones.
Simon: Basically, there’s been some really good ones, and some really bad ones, which is sort of what you want, because you don’t want the sort of mediocre, pass you by, love it or hate it, that’s what you want.
Dave: Yeah, and friends and family like it, it’s a different sound for us, it’s a bit proggy, a bit metal in places, so it’s nice, the mid-weeks, yesterday we were like #39, and to get a style of music like ours into the UK charts is quite refreshing. We reached #20 in the UK iTunes charts, too.
Simon: I didn’t know that. [laughs]
Dave: You’re out of the loop mate, you’ve gotta get your head into it. [laughs] But, yeah, it’s been positive, and the management and the record label really helped with it.
George: What does Herald Moth mean?
Dave: A number of things. Me and Greg (McPherson, bass/vocals) were in a death metal side-project, and that was called Herald Moth, and we thought because we were going that way, a bit more discordant, a bit more progressive, that it suited. Also, we had the White Butterfly album, and that was like our more lighter, more polished album, whereas, we think this is a gritty, spikier, dirtier album, and the moth is considered the ugly brother of the butterfly. So, this is us going a bit darker, and meaner, also it’s the moth, it’s the UK, British moth that survives the longest throughout the year, and the conceptual theme throughout the album is surviving, and getting through adversity and challenge, and feeling strong. The idea of the album is to feel stronger, for me lyrically, anyway, so that moth, the survival moth, which is very common in the UK, disguises itself as dead leaves. But yeah, there’s lots of reasons why it’s called Herald Moth, and it sounds kinda cool.
George: Why have you chosen Single Of The Weak as the first single?
Dave: Well that was a risk…
Simon: It was the irony of it.
Dave: Originally, we were gonna go for Belief Revival, but it’s just like, our fanbase is our fanbase, they stick with us, they’re really, really, really loyal, and they know the MySpace, they know kinda what the album’s gonna be like, they know it’s a bit different, a bit more techy, bit more metal, whatever, a bit more experimental than before. So, they know that, so Single Of The Weak, it’s got the hook, it’s kinda got an ironic thing, we’re also digging at ourselves with it, some of the lyrics are just taking the piss out of ourselves, like we used to be a bit “Hello, we’re pretty boys”.
Dave: So, it was kinda taking a dig at ourselves, in a tongue-in-cheek way, some people take it quite seriously, they think we’re trying to make a stand, for British music but we don’t take ourselves that seriously.
Simon: It’s a bit of a laugh.
Dave: It’s a different song on the album that I think from what we’d heard, from all friends and family and everything, they go, “Oh, that’s commercial, I could hear that on the radio” so we’re like well, at the end of the day, we are a business, and if you’re gonna release a single, release a single that’s gonna bring new people in, so that’s why we did it.
George: Is it the record you’re most proud of to date?
Simon: Oh, easily.
Dave: Yes, definitely, without a doubt.
Simon: I know a lot of bands say that about their new album, but it really is a different kettle of fish with this album, we all learned how to play our instruments better on this album.
Dave: Yeah, just everything about it, there’s a lot of layers to it, I think, like for me, I listen to it still, whereas I usually stop listening to my music pretty quickly, I usually get pissed off with it and bored, but I still listen to Herald Moth, I’m still very happy with it a lot. We just all put a lot of effort into it.
Simon: The whole production side of it as well, because we put more into that on this album ourselves. There’s parts that after a while, you get pissed off at production wise, or you can’t hear certain bits, or it doesn’t sound right, because we all had our open curtain to the whole album. Everything’s how we wanted it all.
Dave: There’s no compromise either, some people will say “Bloody hell, you done like a two-minute guitar solo there, why would you do that?” and we’re like, ’cause we want to do it. Music lovers will appreciate it, musicians will appreciate it, I hope, that we’re trying to do kinda, some classical influences in there as well, and people will be like “Well, you’re just playing music for yourselves” and I think, on the one side, people say “Well, there’s nothing worse than hearing a musician enjoy what they’re listening to” then on the other side, it’s more pure, it’s real, hopefully, that shines through. If you don’t believe in the music, then you’re lying, you’re lying to interviews and everything saying “Yeah, this is the best thing we’ve ever created” but we honestly believe that, and hopefully people will see that in the music.
George: Well, it’s pretty different to the other records, what’s influenced the making of it?
Dave: Tough couple of years…
Simon: A load of shit. [laughs]
Dave: Hard times, it’s hard, we’ve all got shitty jobs, and we’re all in debt, and struggling, but we do this because we love it, and we’ve lost a couple of people close, got a bit weak, personally, and that’s why I wrote the lyrics because it helped to get rid of some demons and become a stronger person, become more positive, and it did, it helped, and that’s maybe why it’s a bit more of an ugly album. Also, it’s about pushing through problems, and everybody’s got problems, it’s about handling them, because every problem’s got a solution, essentially. And it’s about getting on with your life, and making the most of it, because it’s short and you’ve gotta make the most of it.
George: You haven’t really played any festivals this summer, how come?
Dave: Well, the album, the single wasn’t out ’til late August, and we haven’t really had much to promote, to get back on the map, to build a campaign, and the idea’s to get back on it next year, and we didn’t really get invited to many, and we didn’t wanna overplay, as well, we overplayed last year, and the year before, we just kept playing and playing and playing, and people go “Oh, yeah, but InMe are always around.” So, it’s good to play a tour and then disappear for a few months, and when you come back, you get more of a buzz because it’s like “Oh, alright”.
Simon: We do the festivals as the be all, end all of this album’s campaign.
Dave: It would of been nice to do some appearances, but next year, once we’ve got the ball rolling on this album, and then what we’re going to do next, which is come in 2010, we’ll probably do a ‘Best Of’ but not a best of, because we’re still a young band, but like an introduction to InMe. Get that out there, then we’ve got something. At the end of the day, you need something to promote, in order for the record company and the management to go, “Well, we want to invest our money”, there’s no point in investing money in a band that’s not got anything to promote, because you’re not doing it for any reason.
Simon: At the same time, life gets in the way, sometimes you’ve got to go out and get some money yourself.
Dave: Yeah, sometimes you’ve gotta go out and do some work for a couple of months. [laughs]
George: How have you spent the summer inbetween the preparation for Herald Moth?
Dave: He’s been touring, he’s the drum tech for Ladyhawke.
Simon: And Level 42.
Dave: I just do pub gigs, solo gigs, I’m a gardener, and Greg works at a snooker club, Ben works for me on the road, and he’s got a job doing graphic design or something. So, just keeping busy like that.
Simon: Do what you can, really.
Dave: I’m still sticking to music, I mean I run an event every Sunday, and that brings in my rent money…
Simon: Plug… Plug!
Dave: Plug plug plug!
Dave: But I decided in 2006, that I started getting a bit too big for my boots, and I thought, “I’m just gonna play anywhere” so I’ve done everything, I’ve played the worst pubs you’ve ever seen, and you learn from those experiences, I even did a gig in a school… Well, not a gig, but just taught some kids how to do things with music, and it’s quite rewarding, then you get back on the InMe gigs and it’s like “Woah, this is cool”. There’s many different avenues to go through music, and it’s nice, it was refreshing, too.
Simon: We’re thinking about doing a bit of teaching as well, maybe.
Dave: Yeah, it’s figuring out ways to make a bit of extra cash.
Simon: Give something back to the people who spent years learning our instruments, to the level that we have learned them at, and I think we can get away with teaching some acoustic stuff.
Dave: If they ask about the theory, we’re gonna be fucked. [laughs]
George: So, you’ve added Ben to the band, how did that come about?
Dave: Just naturally, really. He blew everyone away, and he turned up doing all this tapping stuff, and he started improvising over my solo stuff, at first we were like “Yeah, but we’re a three-piece” but naturally, we just grew to like him, and then it came about really, what about him? Then we just started teaching him some of the new stuff, and he came up with some things, and we were like “Alright, we’ll throw that into the song, cause that’s awesome” and he gradually became part of it, and he’s a different personality to the band as well, which is refreshing, sadly not on this tour, but refreshing on the six dates we did in April, to see someone experiencing touring for the first time at a sold out show.
Simon: It’s like his first show, his first tour.
Dave: It’s a sold out show, all these people screaming in front of him, and he gets to play to them, they’re all like, really receptive, it’s nice. We’re a bit more jaded, we’re like a machine, we’ve done it, we know what we’re doing, we know what mistakes not to do, but Ben’s like, seeing things with his own eyes for the first time.
George: Pretty much every song off the old albums, the first and second albums, used to get in the charts, and you used to play larger venues like London Astoria for the DVD, but now it seems a lot more intimate, and DIY, etc…
Simon: It’s a harder industry these days, innit?
George: Are you happier as a band these days?
Dave: We’re the happiest we’ve ever been, but, I mean, we still aspire to be bigger and to get to do what they want for a living, as opposed to what we do, which is a struggle but we wouldn’t do anything else. There’s bands that do it with even more of a struggle than us, so we’re very happy as a band, but we do aspire to be more, we’ve just signed a European contract, so we’d love to break across and tour Europe, we’ve still got a Japanese contract, trying to get back on the map a bit on the UK front, there’s a fanbase there that hasn’t gone away, but why not make it bigger! [laughs] But also, to stay true to ourselves, I think, not to disrespect Joe, but I wasn’t happy with working with him creatively, all the way through White Butterfly, as well. The boys are happy for me to write the stuff, whereas, it didn’t work at all before. I think I believe in it now, and it’s better that way, because once you’ve got the C-card, you’re just a happier band overall, and we’ll keep making music that hopefully puts us up there, and people know that we’re continually trying to make ourselves better, and hopefully just to tour the world and experience life, the way that not many people get to.
[Greg opens the dressing room door, and sits next to Dave.]
George: Dave, you’re still doing your solo shows, will they still be seeing more outings, even with Herald Moth being released?
Dave: Yes. Well, I’m working on my solo album, I’m gonna get my head down this tour, and I know there’s a couple of months at the end of the year that we could put it out, it’s a self-release, and I’ll do some more shows. Yeah, I mean tonight, we’ve got all seven EPs on the merch desk…
Greg: No we haven’t.
Dave: How many have we got?
Greg: We’ve got three of them.
Dave: …We’ve got some EPs on the desk, but yeah, when I’m not working with InMe, I’m doing this, anything for music, it’s all fun.
George: Does anyone else in the band have any side projects?
Greg: Me and Dave do a progressive metal side project in the studio.
Simon: Yes, the dubstep metal.
Dave: Yeah, it’s gonna be weird, it’s gonna be brutal death metal, mixed with dubstep, which I suppose like Enter Shikari, they mix their trance and their happy hardcore with kinda, hardcore metal, whatever you call it. So it’s an extreme, it may be too far, it’s very ill-advised, but why not? [laughs]
Greg: We’ve done about a third of the album, two thirds to go.
Dave: I’m on vocals as well, so maybe anyone that’s into the InMe stuff will appreciate it, because it’s still kinda got a similar voice to InMe, then I do Primordial Soup, and my solo stuff is primarily what I do, outside of InMe, and I’ve been working on the fifth InMe album as well, well, I am working on the fifth InMe album.
George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Greg: Born Of Osiris.
Dave: Born Of Osiris, I’m currently loving the new Imogen Heap album, I like that new Saosin album, it’s catchy, it’s really growing on me…
Greg: Fei Comodo.
Dave: Fei Comodo, our boys in Fei Comodo. Who else?
Simon: That X Factor winner.
Dave: For me, I’ll always say Frank Turner, I just love the guy’s attitude, I love his DIY ethic, he kinda really inspired me to push my solo stuff. That’s enough artists, I think, Louden Wainwright III, folk artist from the US, awesome list.
George: Do any of you have anything to add?
Greg: I wish Ben was here.
Dave: We wish Ben was here, it’s a shame, but yeah, InMe’s back, and be nice to your mother, and don’t smoke crack!
Simon: And wash behind your ears.
Dave: Yeah [laughs] and always get humus on your rider!
– George Cannings.
Many thanks to InMe, who are currently on tour now in support of their fourth album Herald Moth out now, for tour dates and more information, visit: www.myspace.com/inmeofficial