Interview: INHEAVEN @ Deaf Institute
Just recently, London four-piece INHEAVEN blessed us with one heck of a gig at one of Manchester’s most renowned venues, The Deaf Institute. Ahead of the show, as Thyla kept the crowd dancing, we managed to hop backstage and throw a few questions at Chloe, James, Jake and Joe.
So you’re all from London, how did INHEAVEN meet?
Me (James) and Chloe met at a place called The Lexington, a venue in London, and we just got chatting afterwards and realised we both like the same music and all that. Jake lived in Brockley nearby and Joe we met through Circa Waves.
So you’ve just dropped your latest single ‘Sweet Dreams Baby’, what’s it all about?
James: I guess it’s kind of inspired by some Motown records I grew up listening to – it’s a song about daydreaming really.
When you write songs, how does the writing process come about? How do you all make them and what’s your favourite track?
James: I generally write them on the guitar really. It nearly always starts on the guitar and then things come in and surround it. I like Velvet [all agree].
Chloe: Yeah, and I like ‘Do You Dream’
I’ve heard that you don’t like being ‘genre-fied’ or being tied to your influences. Why is this?
Uhh, well we don’t mind it but we like leaving the book open really. Why tie yourself down to one thing when theres so many different options out there? We like to be genre-defying really. But were very open with what we like, I like Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth & Nirvana.
We don’t mind people calling us an indie band, that doesn’t bother us. I mean we are an indie label.
Where do you think you’ve come from your first release, ‘Regeneration’?
James: I think we’ve just expanded as a live band. Our songs have become more ‘band than bedroom’. I think with songs like ‘Treats’, ‘World on fire’ and ‘Vultures’, we’ve definitely had the live show in mind.
Chloe: I think that comes after touring a bit and seeing how the crowds react.
James: We love it when the audience can lose themselves a bit. I think the best feeling when you go to a gig is that free feeling like nothing can stop you. We try to evoke that emotion.
[To Chloe] Whats it like being in a primarily ‘boy band’? I can imagine it getting a little rowdy sometimes…
No, they’re very well behaved, I’m probably the rowdy one.
Haha, right so you set the standard then! What’s tour life like? And when you’re back home, where do you go up from there?
James: Tour life is good.
Chloe: Tour life is feral, you kind of get used to it. The lifestyle of being tied to nowhere is quite a gypsy lifestyle but I love it.
James: It’s like being at sea. Touring with INHEAVEN it’s like you’ve got you comrades with you, it’s cool –
Chloe: And when you’re at home, everything stands still. You’re on this weird 2-3 week tour, then you go back to normality.
So who are INHEAVEN ‘s all-time favourite bands?
Jake: [no hestitation] The Modern Lovers. I also like garage rock.
Joe: I like all the 70’s rock stuff like Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and stuff like that.
Chloe: I like similar stuff. RAM, Pixies. I guess as women in bands, the first person I ever saw was on the Top of the Pops – like the old ones – Chrissy Hind was on there. Then as a teenager, I saw Courtney Love and The Distillers and that kind of thing… and The Spice Girls obviously.
I’ve heard they’re going on tour you know! In terms of upcoming music, who are you liking at the moment?
Dream Wife‘s a good one. The Magic Gang, Thyla who are playing with us tonight, YAK, actually we played here with YAK. There are loads of new bands coming up which is interesting and people seem excited about it. So yeah, a lot of great music coming through.
In terms of where you are now, where do you see INHEAVEN going?
Well, we’d like to tour the world obviously.
Another album coming pretty soon. And we’re going to America with Pale Waves. Yeah, Pale Wales are our favourite new band.
I think we’d like to create a more expansive sound really and change it up with every album.
When you create your videos, what do you generally have in mind? Or does it vary with each song?
Chloe: We’ve got loads of videos out, like 12. Some of them, for example ‘Treats’, when we were working on the song, the idea behind the video came before the song was finished. James was like “it needs fire, needs cheerleaders” and I was like okay whatever we’ll make it happen.
James: We wanted like a classic MTV video from like back in the day so there are guitar solos, there’s blood, there’s fire, there’s girls you know, cheerleadinging and shit like that.
So your debut album ‘ INHEAVEN ‘ is obviously self-titled. What was the reason for this?
James: Well I guess all first albums are. Like I really love how for example Led Zeppelin just had ‘Led Zeppelin’. It’s quite a classic way of doing things.
Also we just really love our band name and it looks really good written down.
It’s from the movie of ‘Razorhead’, a David Lynch film. There’s a scene where the lady in the radiator sings a song called ‘ In Heaven ‘ and we have that playing before we go on every night.
What’s been your favourite gig so far?
Glastonbury John Peel was a good one.
That German one was good.
Oh yeah, that German festival that was amazing!
Is it different gigging abroad as opposed to the UK?
Yeah, it is different. You get loads of food, you get a shit load of cheese. Yeah, European Haribo is amazing.
Oh yeah and they don’t have still water in many places. Well, they say it’s still but it’s still fizzy.
What about one of your weirdest gigs?
There was one where a man halfway through brought round some onion bhaji to people. They looked nice and they did taste good too.
Who would you say is the weirdest one out of you all?
Um, we’re all pretty weird haha. We all have our own weird quirks –
Chloe: I’m just always angry for no reason…
You don’t come across as an angry person!
Chloe: Really? I’m boiling inside.
James: I’d say I’m pretty angry and anxious – I’m a worrier. You could literally name anything and I’d find something to worry about as if my brain looks for it.
Joe: I’m a bit of a perfectionist I guess. I can also fold my ear in on itself.
Jake: I don’t know, I disappear.
Yeah, he does actually.
We’ll be walking one way and realise Jake’s gone, but we know he’ll come back.
If there was anything you could bring back from your childhood what would it be?
Cheese Strings, yeah and Lucky Charms. Oh and Sunny D – it isn’t the same because all the additives have probably been made illegal.
Agreed on every one of those. But back to you – what’s coming next for INHEAVEN in 2018? What can we expect from you – any festivals planned?
Well, we’re going to America for five weeks and we’re playing like 20 shows there with Pale Waves. Then we’re going to record our new album in the summer ready to start releasing new music in September, so yeah, we’ll be really busy.