I would say with a great degree of confidence that one in a thousand readers of Live 4 Guitar will remember Inme, perhaps even less; so let’s start with a little history lesson for you.
The year is 2002, and Kerrang! Tv and the rock channels of the day (MTV2 anyone?) are flooded with a very strange blend of rock and metal – on one hand you had great metal, including Killswitch Engage’s “My Last Serenade”, getting regular play, then that middle of the road grunge band Puddle of Mudd are doing well with “Blurry” and of course Tenacious D are setting trends with “Tribute”.... enter Inme, the trio of Essex lads who are still in their teens and the monumental single “Underdose”. It certainly made an impression on the youth of the day.
A couple more singles followed (Firefly and Crushed Like Fruit) before the release of the band’s debut “Overgrown Eden” in early 2003, the album was a runaway success and hit #15 on the UK album chart and #1 on the rock charts. The band had done it and guitarist and singer Dave Mcpherson was hailed as a guitar hero for the new generation.
The band were on the way to the top, but the follow up took a long time to reach us, and although almost two and a half years seems like nothing when waiting for your favourite bands next album – when you’re 14 it seems like a lifetime. Though 2005’s "White Butterfly" was extremely well received (containing the popular single “Faster The Chase”) for some reason the band just didn’t receive the label support they needed and things all went pear shaped. The fanbase stayed loyal and two more albums followed (2007’s “Daydream Annonymous” and 2009’s “Herald Moth”) a steady stream of sold out shows followed the band, including filling their tent at this year’s Sonisphere and 4 packed shows at the London Relentless Garage where they played a full album each week and the best of collection “Pheonix”.
I recently caught up with the band at their sell out show at the Wimbledon Watershed to talk about their 5th album “The Pride”, plans for world domination and how you can help them do it.
Good evening lads, it’s great to have you here at Live4Guitar!
Lets start by talking about tonight and your year – Dave, you’ve been incredibly busy with your new solo album (The Hardship Diaries) this year and your pledge campaign, so this is the only chance the fans have had so see Inme this year right?
(Dave) Well we did one show in January up in Wakefield, but yeah, this is the only southern date.
Your video for “Summer: She Puts Me In A Good Mood” was a great example of what your solo album contains, I also know you just shot a video for “Love Rats” can you tell us about that?
(Dave) Yeah we just shot that last week, it’s usually a 2 week turnaround before we see the first edit. The guys were really great - Michael Berwick and his crew, he'd storyboarded it perfectly and he shot a great video. We might just be working with him again!
(Gazz) I almost quit the band yesterday because Dave didn’t tell me they had models and smooching in it, and he didn’t ask me!
Did you want to get involved then Gazz?
(Greg) Gazz is the band's slut
(Dave) He could have been the main role!
I think it would be great to talk about your pledge campaign – it was a really exciting time for the fans (I pledged) and it gave you the chance to get really personal with the fans, plus you gave us a ton of things along the journey, from pictures, to tracks and exclusive videos.
(Dave) Yeah, I think I gave away almost 100 songs to my pledgers during the campaign and there’s still a whole new album going to pledgers too - I'm just mixing the album now, getting rid of some clicks etc.
(Gazz) It’s really good it really captures Dave live very well, much better than the stuff you see on Youtube.
(Dave) I was worried about it, but I listened to it again yesterday and was like "aww this is alright!"
It never ceases to amaze me how loyal your fans are, your campaign on pledge music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/) went to almost 450% of your goal right? And I hear that Inme will be launching a pledge campaign in November?
(Dave) Yes, it will be late November and it will run for 3 months, there will be lots of incentives and reasons to get involved.
(Dave) We’re all placing bets on what we think we're going to raise, we're quite confident because we've got a shit hot list of incentives and a great fan base.
(Gazz) *laughing* yeah, hopefully I’ll be up a pound!
So let’s talk about the plan. You were very open about what was happening with the money for your solo pledge, whats the plan with Inme?
(Dave) Well obviously we want to recoup the cost of recording the album, *laughing* and hopefully we might even get paid!
(Greg) I think the more money we make the more singles we will make
(Dave) Yeah, it will fund the overall campaign for the album, it’s nice because we can be completely in control of our own marketing
I remember you filming the Overgrown Eden show at the Garage last year, is the DVD far away?
(Dave) Well we had some problems with that, but we’ve now bought the rights to it from Sony and it will be making an appearance on the pledge list. It was all edited and mixed by Mike Curtis who’s producing the new album it sounds great.
(Gazz) Yeah, it’s definitely the best Inme live recording yet.
I’m interested to hear how the shows went down at the end of last year, as a band you’ve now played every song from every album live, were there any songs that went down better than you thought that might be making it onto you current setlist?
(Greg) Her Mask P.A. was really popular
(Dave) and Raindrops on stones
(Greg) Yeah they went down really well, they were the two we didn’t really care about, but now we really like them and they’re back in the set for sure.
(Dave) It'll be tough because we have 5 albums now and we'll want to play about 5 new songs so we'll have to choose really carefully. We'll have to make it a long set!
Are there plans to do any more album shows? I know they went down really well with some people going to all four.
(Gazz) It’s tough, we want to be moving forward and not live off the old material.
(Greg) We'll see where we are in April and see what we want to do next.
So I’ve already heard you soundcheck some new material that you’ll be playing tonight – will there be an opportunity for fans to hear the new material before the tour next year?
(Dave) The way to hear stuff real soon is to pledge - when you do, you're getting involved and are showing that we’re in this together, if you don’t pledge you'll have to wait for the release.
(Gazz) Pledgers will get tracks, demos and clippits (though none of us quite knows what a clippit is this seems like the perfect time for everyone to make fun of another perfect “Gazz’ism”) I mean a snippit! These guys are always taking the shit out of me...no, wait
(Dave) so yeah, we’ll basically be feeding the pledgers stuff throughout the campaign
So let’s talk about you Gazz – This will be your first full album outing with the band since Ben’s departure after Herald Moth, how did you find your way into the band?
(Gazz) I stalked the band! haha I made friends with the band years ago when my old band, Dry Rise, were supporting Inme. I got to know Dave quite well, and we were hanging about a lot so Dave knew what I could do outside of the band. So when they decided they wanted another guitarist I had a little audition and that was it!
Herald Moth was the first album to feature a second guitarist, have you played an active part in writing guitar parts on this record? Is it as two guitar driven as the last outing?
(Gazz) It's definitely more two guitar driven yeah, because Dave wrote the majority of Herald Moth and then started doing stuff with Ben on it later. I've probably added more into the pot than normal though Dave still writes the songs, there are some songs like Pantheon that were very collaborative.
(Greg) There’s definitely been a lot more collaboration on this album than any I've been involved with
(Gazz) We've been bringing ideas in and then working on them and saying "I don’t like that" or "lets extend that". There are some solos on it and some clever bits for guitar fans.
(Dave) With Herald Moth, we wanted to do it, but sometimes I feel there were too many solos, and bit too much tech. I mean we really wanted to do that at the time, but we wanted to new album to be just songs and have that be the main thing. Of course, we deviated from the plan a little bit - there's some pretty heavy shit on there!
That’s a nice thing to talk about I guess, Herald Moth was pretty heavy then for Pheonix you recorded “Saccharine Arcadia” which is definitely your heaviest moment. Is that a sign of things to come?
(Gazz) I think Saccharine was really us drawing a line under that heavy sound - there are some heavy guitars on the new album but no all out screaming, there's melodic pitched screaming, but it’s not an angry record.
(Dave) Yeah, it’s an uplifting album.
So let’s talk about gear, what’s going on there then?
(Dave) I'm still using Gibson SGs and I'm now working with Lag - you can see their acoustic in The video to Summer. I'm using the boss GT-3 as I can’t get the same effect that I used on Her Mask PA on anything else! I have 3 at home - and if they die I'll hit up eBay. Amp wise I'm using Mesa Dual Rectifiers and the occasional Peavy. Peavy has been great to us and gave us a lot of gear, so the least we can do is use it!
(Gazz) Yeah, I really like it
(Dave) It’s nice because we're using two different rigs that complement each other really well.
What about you Gazz?
(Gazz) My main axe now is the Ibanez FR2620 and my backup is an Ibanez Roadster II, my first guitar! I've always played Ibanez.
I noticed you’re using the Diago Tourman as your board – that’s a huge board, they couldn’t even find somewhere to put it after soundcheck!
(Gazz) *laughs* yeah, I wanted the Diago Tourman for ages - I looked around and a shop said they could get me one in for a special price if I gave them a couple of shout outs, unfortunately that fell through as they couldn’t get one outside of America. I really needed something for Sonisphere, so I phoned up my mate Graham who owns Badlands Guitars (http://www.facebook.com/Badlandsguitars) and he said he might have something. He showed me all these Warwick ones, and a few others, but I didnt really like them, then he said "I've got one other one - but it’s a bit stupid" and he pulled out the Diago Tourman! Jokes aside though, I need a big one as I’m using the GT-8 with a few other boss pedals (noise suppressor, line selector, reverb etc) and with the power supplies etc if I have anything smaller it would be outside of the case anyway.
It’s tough to talk gear at the moment without mentioning the Axe FX
(Gazz) The what? *laughing*
(Dave) If it aint broke don’t fix it.
(Gazz) I guess there will always be that debate - can you replicate a valve breaking up with digital technology? I'd certainly try one out if they wanted to give me one though.
(Greg) I'm sure one day it will be prefect.
Let’s talk basses then Greg
(Greg) Only Warwick basses, then whatever makes me loud without changing my sound I actually go for the DI sound - my Peavy is really just a large monitor for me *laughing* I just love the tone of my Warwick when it’s not plugged it - it just loud - I love it!
It's great to see you slapping and tapping - while you were sounchecking someone came up to me and said "that bass drum doesn't quite sound right!" and of course it was you slapping!
(Greg) *laughing* yeah, there's certainly more than one way to play a bass.
It’s getting close to showtime – so anything you want to leave the readers with?
(Dave) Please pledge! Inme need to get back where we deserve to be, and we can do that together. Just take a look at the pledge list and we're sure there will be something for everyone, plus the new album pisses over everything we've done before.
(Gazz) With pledge, we're in control of our budget - we'll control our marketing then we can spend the money on videos and bringing the band to new listeners, the pledging will mean that you will be directly helping with this – it’s in the fans hands now!
Thanks so much for your time guys!
Check Inme out at www.Inmeofficial.co.uk and keep your eyes open on Live4Guitar where we'll keep you posted on that pledge.