Louder Than War Interview: Alt rock band InMe
I first became a fan of InMe when they released the single Underdose. There was something beautifully raw about the entire sound of that track. It was tough and gritty musically but still maintained enough melody to make it radio friendly and wasn’t too huge a step for my young and really only pop-punk invaded ears. I bought the album Overgrown Eden from HMV that weekend and spent the entire day clutching the record and thinking “his album is going to change my life and, though at that age I’d said the same thing about piss poor pop punk records aplenty, in many ways it did, opening my ears to a whole new gene pool of music. InMe, over the years since that record, have stepped slightly out of the limelight but one thing hasn’t changed. Their ability to write great music is as powerful as ever, I was lucky enough to chat with singer Dave McPherson via email about their upcoming EP and UK tour.
Louder Than War: Hi there! How are you doing today?
Dave McPherson: I’m fine thank you. Stuck indoors though waiting for a courier & the sun is shining & I want out!
It’s been two years since you’re fifth studio album, The Pride. You seem to work on an album every two years mentality. Is this intentional, or just how long it seems to take?
It’s not intentional & the plan after this EP is to release our triple album in 2015. Unfortunately reality kinda gets in the way a bit these days. Some of the band have full time jobs so it can be tricky to work around that. The plus side is when InMe needs to take a break I get to dip my toes into my solo work or more recently, Centiment.
You have a new EP, The Destinations, coming out this May. Why is this release only an EP and not a full length?
Well I guess 2015’s Trilogy (triple album) will be quite a lot to chew on so it made sense to do an interim release that was much shorter. We’ve never released an EP before & we miss the road plus I’ve got 4 songs written that I love.
Could you tell us a little about the EP? How it varies to previous InMe releases and your inspirations throughout the whole writing process?
It’s just a natural progression really. I demo from home & then we rehearse as a band to flesh things out organically. Sonically the only spec was to make these songs as melodic & anthemic as possible! Lyrically & structurally it feels like our strongest work to me. There is a track I’ve written called Beached Whales & it’s possibly my favourite InMe song of all time.
You’re working on a triple album for release next year. Is that as straight forward as it sounds, three albums in one? What was the decision behind this?
It’s not straightforward at all but it’s a very fun puzzle to tackle! There is an album based on birth & childhood that’s essentially a rock album, then an atmospheric quieter album that’s based on life & lastly a metal album based on death. I just wanted to try something we haven’t done before & the idea came to me & the lads were up for it! It’s a lengthy process though, every song has to be perfect to me.
You seem to find the whole songwriting thing quite easy. Not only is there a consistent amount of InMe material and you also had the whole 365 pledge with your solo material. Can you talk us through your songwriting process a little? Are there situations where you sit down and slowly piece together a song structure, or is it a wholly spontaneous method?
A bit of both really. Some songs are laboured over, especially InMe’s music whereas with my solo work, sometimes a song just pops out. It usually starts with me having a guitar in my hand & then I go on a little journey with ideas. It’s a lot easier these days as I’m constantly songwriting really, whenever an idea or melody comes to me it gets put into my phone so that when I sit down to demo I’m already armed with loads of stuff I already like.
Does the band take precedence over the solo work in terms of the time you give, or do you find it easy to keep an equal balance?
I find it easy to find balance between all three acts.
You’re touring around the UK throughout May with support from Xtra Miles Oxygen Thief. How did this decision come about, are you fans of his work?
Yes. I first played with Barry (Oxygen Thief) in 2011 in Bristol & I was really impressed with him onstage, it’s very original stuff. Then offstage he’s just an absolute sweetheart. A very likeable friendly chap. The Red Paintings are joining us too & they’re very interesting. Human canvases being painted onstage to the music is a pretty cool thing.
In terms of chart success, Overgrown Eden was your biggest release. Do you envisage a resurgence of mainstream popularity in the near future? Does the success, and feedback from fans and journalists, affect how you approach your next release?
The music industry is a tough place especially if you’re not a new buzz band so no, I don’t think we’ll ever reach that early popularity level again, but you never know. What I do know is that we still love this & even if our audience is smaller, their support is bigger than ever. I don’t think anyone other than my own thoughts affects whatever I’m working on. I write music that I want to hear, not someone else.
Finally, to end on an awful cliché, do you see yourself playing music for a living your entire life? Are your wheels firmly glued to the track of rock?
There is nothing else I ever want to do! I’m way too far past the point of no return! Music will always be my first love & keeps my days interesting.
Thank you very much. I’ll see you in Manchester!
See you there!
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.