Emo kids turmed melodic metal contenders INME are set to reclaim rock’s high ground next month with the release of the mightily impressive Herald Moth – the perfect follow-up to the enlightening Daydream Anonymous.
We caught up with frontman Dave McPherson ahead of the new album’s unveiling and a full UK tour stopping off on Tyneside en route. For his views on the music industry, his personal meltdown and why he feels INME deserve more read on.
rushonrock: After the critical acclaim of Daydream Anonymous did it feel like the pressure was on for Herald Moth?
Dave McPherson: I didn’t feel like the pressure was off but with Daydream Anonymous I felt like we got the best feedback for a record which we could possibly have achieved. In a way that record gave us more confidence when it came to recording Herald Moth. We experimented a bit more and ended up creating exactly what we wanted to achieve with a new INME record. Daydream Anonymous was the first album where I was the sole writer but we were all on the same page and it was a transitional record for the band. With Herald Moth we were able to take the more technical elements and go a bit more crazy. We also made the decision to celebrate the melodic hook.
rushonrock: This time you have Ben (lead guitar) in the band and how much difference does a second guitarist make to the whole INME dynamic?
DM: We both have our own strengths as guitarists which gives the band more options. There’s some stuff that I might have trouble doing and it means we can add extra notes into certain songs. Also, Ben’s pretty crazy with his riffs and he’s a very technical player. He’s someone we’ve been looking for for some time and we’re pretty glad we found him.
rushonrock: How did you find him?
DM: I run an acoustic night on a Sunday in Brentwood in Essex. He did this weird thing where he turned the guitar on its back and it went down a storm. We started to feature him more as a special guest and the pair of us started getting on really well. In the end I talked about the possibility of him joining the band and I took him out on tour. He sat down and learned the whole of the last album with me and when we took him on tour he had a blast. He was hooked by the whole band thing and that’s when he finally agreed to come on board.
rushonrock: You’ve described the recording of Herald Moth as therapeutic. Can you expand on that?
DM: I’ve had a tough couple of years and some bad things happened within my family. As a result I became quite weak and lazy. I wasn’t getting out there doing what I do best and just wasn’t trying hard enough to make things happen. All in all I was being a miserable git and I wanted to use Herald Moth as a tool to help me face adversity. When I sing those songs I really mean it – I want to be strong and confront things and the record offered me quite a cathartic release. It’s a good record because I need a bit of venom in my life to be able to perform at my peak. And life isn’t all rainbows.
rushonrock: Without Herald Moth might INME have been no more then? How miserable did you get?
DM: It was getting hard to do INME. I can’t deny that. I was having to do five different jobs just to keep the band afloat and those jobs come and go when you’re in a band. People don’t take kindly to you buggering off for three weeks at a time to tour. But even at my lowest ebb I knew that it’s priceless to tour with a band and to have people come out and support the music you’re making.
rushonrock: Lead single Single Of The Weak is a real clash of styles including a guitar solo straight out of the 80s. Can we expect more of the same across the whole of Herald Moth?
DM: There’s all sorts of different moods and dynamics on the new album. It took two years to perfect Single Of The Weak – we worked very hard to develop that song and get it just right. We wanted to do the whole pop dance beat thing and give it that glossy 80s production feel. But I suppose there are a few more darker moments on Herald Moth and a few conceptual songs which might be heavy going on a first listen. But as long as there’s enough music on there to keep people interested we’ll have done our job. It’s quite an ambitious album for us but it’s an album full of the music we love. There’s a bit of traditional heavy metal on there and yet there’s still some melodic stuff. It’s a good rock record.
rushonrock: Single Of The Weak takes a few pot shots at the music industry’s tastemakers and their audiences. Do you feel strongly about the state of music in this country?
DM: Everything’s been dumbed down and it’s all to do with money. There are a lot of record companies and management out there with the sole intention of making money. The music is almost secondary. Targeting the masses rather than identifying new audiences is what it’s all about these days. There’s a lot of people who aren’t really into music and they just swallow what is fed to them believing it’s the next big thing. They don’t understand the fulfilment you get from really getting into a band and their music – they like whatever’s on the radio and that allows big businesses to make a lot of money. But if you take the time to strike out on your own then there’s so much good new music out there and with the likes of MySpace it’s actually easier to find than ever. We’re definitely in a different age as far as the music business is concerned and nobody really knows what might happen.
rushonrock: With four albums under your belt do you feel as if INME are finally established as a mainstay on the UK rock scene?
DM: I actually get frustrated because I really think we deserve more. We put everything we have into this band and perhaps we made a few wrong decisions early on. We came out early on as pretty boys at the forefront of the emo scene and it was too early to make that kind of statement about our musical style. Our music wasn’t ready for that time. We’re a completely different band now. We were boys back then- now we’re in our late 20s and that’s when men find themselves. You discover how you’re going to live your life and that new found maturity is reflected in the music you write. This version of INME is still very much in its infancy – as a group of musicians working together we’re still very young. But we’ve all had time to learn from mistakes made in the past and we’re in a strong position to make music and progress.