Fresh from storming Give It A Name 2009, hot US band In This Moment are heading to Japan and expect sales of new album The Dream to soar.
With lead singer Maria Brink showing her softer side and melodic twists mixed with the band’s early metalcore there has never been a better time to catch up with one of this year’s buzz bands.
They’ll be back to play Download in the summer but rushonrock put drummer Jeff Fabb and guitar god Blake Bunzell on the spot before they headed out of Britain.
rushonrock: The album’s just come out in the UK but the folks back home have had plenty of time to get used to The Dream. What’s the reaction been?
Jeff Fabb: It’s done well. As far as our first week of sales go it doubled in sales compared to Beautiful Tragedy so that was really good.
Blake Bunzell: Playing live gives us a good idea of how it’s gone down and a lot of the fans are coming to shows and singing all of the words. They’re really latching onto it and it’s really awesome to see just how much people are digging the new material.
rushonrock: You clearly weren’t affected buy the dreaded second album syndrome.
JF: The way we got to record the Dream was really great. The producer we hooked up with – Kevin Chirko – is amazing. He did the last Ozzy record. He worked under Mutt Lange for years and a lot of the recording skills and the things they used to do together he does now. There’s a lot of separation with the drums and things and it was just a really cool process. We got to live in his old house and recorded in his old place. We had our own house to live in and a pool outside…
rushonrock: It sounds like a tough life…
JF: It was nice.
BB: Yeah, our first record we were all in one hotel room in Jersey – which I’m not knocking – and it was all very fast.
JF: We had to get up at the crack of dawn and drive this little car to the studio. This way we’d wake up and just be able to relax on site and head straight into work.
BB: We could have a swim and a glass of wine and get back to work. It was just so flexible. Working with Kevin – he was definitely very easy to do a job with. He knew all of our strengths and he brought out the best in us. It was awesome to have a producer who wanted to experiment with so many different things and push the boundaries. He had so many ideas and was willing to try out anything. He became our friend as much as our producer.
rushonrock: The new record is a far more melodic release. Was this a conscious decision or did time allow you to do more second time around?
JF: It was kinda both. It wasn’t as if we thought we needed to write a certain kind of record or do this or that. It was just what evolved at the time. Towards the end of the Beautiful Tragedy tour cycle we were already playing a lot of the new songs live so we were already experimenting with new ways in which we could do things. Maria is an awesome singer and she can sing as well as scream. We were like hey let’s expand on some of that and utilise her talents.
rushonrock: Maria can certainly sing and a lot of people have been surprised at how she’s taken her career forward on the new record.
JF: I suppose it just happened and then when we brought our ideas to Kecvin he just ran with them and everything evolved to become the finished record that is The Dream.
rushorock: So how did Give It A name fit in with your 2009 touring schedule?
JF: We’ve already been out with Mudvayne and Five Finger Death Punch in the USA and now we’re heading off to Japan.
BB: And then we’re heading back to the UK for Download which will be incredible. We’re doing the Faith No More day which will rock and it’s fair to say we can’t wait.
JF: I’m looking forward to Classic Rock Sunday! I just love all that Leppard, Whitesnake, Journey stuff!
rushonrock: Do you get festivals in the US with such a variety of bands spread over three days?
BB: Not really. There’s a few one-offs but nothing at that level or featuring that calibre of act. Download is very special for In This Moment. It’s a pleasure to go back to playing there and that, to me, is one of those festivals that really gets your juices flowing.
JF: In 2007 Download was a huge experience for us. That was the biggest crowd we’d ever played in front of at that time and it was really, really special.
rushonrock: In the UK it’s viewed as the best rock festival of the summer. How’s it viewed worldwide?
JF: I’d say it’s up there in the top two or three on the planet. Everybody I ever talk to only has good things to say about it and everyone’s always very excited and surprised when we tell them we’re playing there. I can’t wait to watch the other bands. That’s the other thing about these festivals it’s just so cool to see all of those bands. It’s exciting enough to be playing but to have a few beers and watch all those big names – it’s a dream come true. We don’t have anywhere we need to be after our set so we’ll be catching all the action.
rushonrock: So who were your influences as kids?
JF: I grew up with Motley Crue, Leppard, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera – all that stuff. I also listened to some jazz and stuff like that. That’s how it was for me.
BB: I used to listen to whatever my dad was listening to. The Doors, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin – whatever was on in the house. I only just recently got into metal – in the past four or five years – because of the guys in this band. I kinda started getting into it after they recruited me and they started telling me to listen to Maiden or to listen to Whitesnake or Dokken. All these bands I’d never come across suddenly came my way and it was like wow – what have I been missing!
rushonrock: So what are the pros and cons of boasting a beautiful female singer?
JF: I’ll lay down all the positives and Blake can deal with the negatives!
BB: No, I’ll look at the benefits. You can look at the fact that Maria can put In This Moment on many different magazine covers or in many different issues – Playboy being one of them. We have a beautiful frontwoman who can make us more accessible to more people. As a singer she has such a huge range so it means our music can appeal to all sorts of different crowds. She can sing soft melodies and go all the way to screaming.
JF: There are those people still out there who have certain prejudices and preconceptions and it is what it is. We’re just trying to ram it down your throat. Only joking! It’s really surprising in this day and age that there is this kind of prejudice. I never had that view when I was a kid. When Lita Ford released her solo stuff in 80s I was a fan. I was into it. I never looked at it from the point of view that ‘here’s a girl singer, that’s so stupid’. I just liked the music. She was rockin. And she was hot. So that didn’t hurt!
rushonrock: Does it help that the likes of Nightwish and Lacuna Coil are out there, doing well and being accepted for their music rather than as bands with female singers?
JF: Oh yeah. For a generation of fans now women fronting bands is just part of the rock scene. There’s no real cons as far as I’m concerned. We’re just a band and Maria is a girl singer. She rocks. We rock. Or at least I hope we do. That’s pretty much it.
rushonrock: So what does the future hold for ITM?
JF: We’re already talking about ideas for the next record. Blake’s really good at coming up with a lot of cool riffs which we can bounce off. There’s a huge temptation to use Kevin in the production seat again. We love him. He’s the sixth member of the band.