Ben Spencer has a Chinwag with InMe

To say it’s been a rough ride for Essex (and Brighton) rockers InMe would be a vast understatement.
Having once been hailed as ‘The next big thing’ by the music industry back in 2003, in the years that followed they’ve been screwed over by record labels, had various line-up changes and generally struggled to make ends meet. Most bands would have thrown in the towel by now, so… did these guys?
The answer is a big and definitive No!

Throughout their career the band have progressed from the grunge fuelled angst of their debut album Overgrown Eden (2003) and delved into tech-metal territory, anthemic post-punk choruses, bassy electro beats and lighters-in-the air acoustic balladry.
So the question still remains: Why are a band of this calibre overcast by the masses?
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Their latest offering The Pride; their fifth studio album, with its corrosive blend of stadium Rock floor fillers, infused with some Pink Flloyd progressive sensibilities helped raise £2000 for The Altziemers Society.
Could this be their much needed second comeback album?
We uncover more, by meeting one of the UK’s most underrated and hardworking bands’ that continue to lion-heartedly battle against all the odds.
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So tonight is the final date on the Pride tour…How has the tour been going so far, you guys hyped for tonight?

Dave: Well this is the last day so it’s a big event!
Every night has been an event though; some gigs have been more memorable than others in different ways.
We have really bonded with the bands Mojo Fury and Lost Alone and the crew have been working their asses off. London shows are always a manic day, they always are. You have friends and family bugging you asking ‘What time’s the gig starting etc?’ but we’re going to make it a celebration so we’re really up for it!

Gazz: It’s always a sad one, the last show when you come to the end of a 7 week tour with a bunch of guys.

Dave: (busts into lyrics of their 2005 hit single 7 Weeks;) Seven weeks go by, it’s so hard to say Goodbye! (laughs).

Gazz: It’s great we sold like 700 tickets and it’s really nice for us to see that happen. It’s an obvious bench mark being able to fill out the O2 academy so were really happy about that.
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‘The Pride’ entered the charts upon release, how did it feel having your music back in the public eye?

Gazz: (with a cheeky grin) Well I bought all the copies, so that’s why! (both laugh).

Dave: It feels like people are really fighting for us and we really work hard at this and it’s nice that people believe in us. Our fans have always been there but we’re bringing in new people, which is great.
I feel that when we first came out with Overgrown Eden (debut album 2003) I personally, at this age, wouldn’t be into what we were putting out back then, but now we’re really proud of what we’ve put out now…I would listen to it myself. I really think we’ve got a lot to say as a band and we should be a relevant band.
We work really hard at music, we live for music and I think we’ve got a sound that no one else has got. So it’s really nice that other people are catching onto that through word of mouth to be honest.
I mean we do a lot of press but we’re not anything major anymore so yeah this does feel good.

‘The Pride’ itself had quite a different sound from the techy and heavy sound of ‘Herald Moth’, was there ever any concerns that maybe taking a different direction with this album may not be so well received by your fans? Or were you fully confident in the route you were taking?

Gazz: Yeah we knew that some fans wanted a ‘Herald Moth Part II’ and especially where we done our two heaviest/most technical tracks on our best of album ‘Phoenix’ such as ‘Saccharine Arcadia’, but we write music for ourselves and you can’t please everyone.
While there are those that want us to go heavier, we’re happier that we are lighter, and do what we honestly feel we should be doing, and what we feel we have done is take all the best parts of the band, and all the best parts of all our albums and put them into one.

Dave: What people need to understand is that we got all that out of our systems and we are true to ourselves and I think people should want that in musicians, we shouldn’t just be making music for other people because we would get lost and if you’re true to yourself, at least you know you’ve been honest.
Also I think this album is the best overall album we’ve done and it still has its heavier elements but it’s more mature than what we’ve done before.
There is much more melody on this album and it’s in abundance on this time round.

Gazz: And it’s not like three chord Punk Rock melody. It is musician’s melody that isn’t the most obvious chart friendly stuff but musically it’s complicated stuff.
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On the subject of the album, you guys are recording an acoustic version of ‘The Pride’ for your recent pledgers; is that coming out after the tour?

Dave: Yeah we were going to do it in a studio but we keep getting more tours, so we’re going to figure out a way to do it in our tour van that we are going to be travelling across Europe in.
I am excited to see how we’re going to produce it!

Gazz: It might achieve a really good sound! I am going to bring my external sound card so we can plug everything into the computers and get a really cool rusty vibe to it.

Is there any particular song you’re looking forward to stripping down to an acoustic rendition of?

Gazz: I think ‘Legacy’ would be quite an interesting one to do. It’s going to be challenging because we use a lot of weird tunings on ‘The Pride’, involving strings being tuned up which you can’t really do acoustically.

Dave: And my vocal register will bring the tone down a lot, as melodic screaming just doesn’t sound right with acoustic guitars, so it’s going to be softer and nicer. If fans want to listen to something a bit mellower they’ve got that option when listening to ‘The Pride’!

Your songs have always delivered powerful narratives within your music ‘Master Storm’, ‘Toast to Broken Glass’. I was wondering if whether or not you have ever thought of releasing a full blown concept album, with each song telling a chapter of whole story?

Dave: (slowly smiles)….next album!
We’ve discussed it and I can’t really say too much about it but it’s going to have three themes running through it; all about perspectives of birth, life and death. That’s all I can say about it at the moment!

Gazz: That’s actually the most that’s been said about it!

Dave: I started working on it before we even finished ‘The Pride’! I’m always thinking ahead and I didn’t want to just do another album, I wanted to do something special that means a lot to us and that we can be proud of. So that’s what’s next on the horizon; it’s going to take a lot of work but it’s going to be big!

On your ‘Caught White Butterfly’ DVD, your old bassist Joe mentioned that you had once you tried jamming with a second guitarist but it didn’t feel right at the time. I was wondering at which point did it become clear to you guys to get a second guitarist on board, and how did Gazz join the band?

Dave: Well Ben (guitarist for Herald Moth 2009) is a great guy and a great talent but the dynamic wasn’t there and ever since the album ‘White Butterfly’ we’ve been writing extra guitar parts over riffs, so that extra guitarist was needed. We were going to remain a three piece after that but me and Gazz started hanging out more and I said to the other members ‘Guys this could work out actually!’, we then set up an audition and that was it. It’s about whether it works and it’s really tricky thing, a really scary thing.
If Greg or Simon left the band I’d be terrified of trying to find someone to replace them, as there’s just so many boxes you have to tick and everything needs to work.

Gazz: I mean we’ve all got our faults and annoyances and stuff, but once you know what they’re like, they don’t really annoy you. I think bringing new people in is very tricky, in my old band I think we had like 14 different members over the years and it never felt like really stable.

Dave: Simon and I have been in this band since we were sixteen-years-old, Greg is my brother so obviously I know him and Gazz just fitted in perfectly!

Gazz: With ‘Herald Moth’, Dave could play the songs as a three piece, but in songs like ‘Belief Revival’ where one of the main hooks is the high lead, I mean Dave could play that with nothing but the bass guitar in the back ground,or vice-versa you’ve got this chucky guitar and people imagine the melody, it’s not quite the same.
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Also, I heard he performed the vocals on a live version of ‘White Butterfly’, are there any plans for him to perform more vocals on future albums?

Gazz: It was the album launch gig in Brighton, we kind of ran out of time to organise the acoustic set and Dave said I can’t remember the lyrics to ‘White Butterfly’. At the time and I was like ‘I know them’ which apparently I don’t so I googled them!

Dave: He knows the Google version! (laughs).

Gazz: But whenever, I’m out in Brighton and I love performing whenever I’m bored so I go out and do open-mic stuff. I do sometimes sing InMe songs that are within my vocal capability, so I sung ‘White Butterfly’ and made it up…it was fun! But I don’t really plan to do more vocals in the future albums, I mean I like doing that for my own solo album.

Dave: (interrupts): I wouldn’t rule it out!

Gazz: (laughs)
I mean on this album Dave does all the backing vocals as well, but live I’ve started doing vocals on this tour like for songs such as ‘Faster The Chase’ and the shout vocals on ‘Saccharine Arcadia’. One thing that often precludes me from quite a lot of vocals live is often when I’m doing things like this (does some air guitar shredding) like really fast stuff but where its kind of stable easy-ish rhythm or lead guitar I can sing over, but some of the stuff Dave has made me play I wouldn’t be able to sing over.

Dave: (gives an evil smile and winks) But I could though!

Gazz: Well you do have ten years experience over me at doing this professionally! I always have to point this out to him!! (Both members laugh).
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You guys were picked up very quickly by the music industry in your early days but then, through no fault of your own, you were discarded.
Do you feel that if your early success would have carried on throughout these following years that you would be a different band from what you are today?

Dave: I still wouldn’t be in a band with Joe. I love the guy to bits, but line-up wise things had to change.
I mean the whole industry had a meltdown; we weren’t the only ones to suffer, although I think I would of probably have done the same albums that followed, although maybe we would have spent more on the production.
The guys who have recorded our albums have been brilliant although sometimes things are quite stressful with schedules and what not, and I don’t think you should ever rush art really; although having said that sometimes that pressure does help art, but I think we would have still produced the same albums. I mean my music is based on my influences and what I’ve been inspired by and the same is true for the rest of the boys, I don’t think we would consciously put something out to maintain that level of status, I think that is something that if you get that far organically you should continue being yourself.

It was on that note I rushed back upstairs with Dave and Gazz to catch the remaining minutes of opening band ‘Mojo Fury’ for tonight’s gig!

Photos by Charlie Maddox