INHEAVEN: An Interview

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It’s too loud to talk back-stage at Scala, so London four-piece INHEAVEN and I move to the run-down metal steps next to a fire-exit to chat. We’re still inside, but you can smoke here like the old days. Days of wild abandon and political movement. Days none of us saw, but that these cult prodigies are bringing back to the forefront.

“We’re inspired by the counter-culture of the late nineteen-sixties,” says front-man James. It’s an idea that seeps through every angle of their released debut LP, which alternates between hell-bent fury and soaring love songs. An ode to retro coming-of-age youth movements. “We wanted to have our own revolution; spark that scene. Why can’t that happen again now?”

After a decade of so-called ‘landfill indie’, Chloe, James, Jake and Joe are just one of several young bands using their art to change the world: “it would be irresponsible not to” as Chloe puts it. “It’s a political awakening. We’ve seen a lot of younger kids and teens talking about politics at [our] shows and we want to encourage that, and for people to speak up.”

Along with the LP, the band produced their own zine – bursting with Leftist imagery, including a striking picture of Theresa May and Donald Trump, bastardised by marker pen. Though songs like ‘Stupid Things’ drift into realms of escapism, it’s clear that the main thrust of this debut album is to function as a manifesto for young people.

Later, the band take to the stage in front of a sell-out crowd of mainly-late-teens. Flowers twine James and Chloe’s microphones, mirroring the flora placed on their tongues for the eponymous LP cover art. It’s a confident use of “repetition of images” made popular by “Andy Warhol and The Factory.” It’s also in line with the revolutionary movement they’re initiating: “the flower on the tongue is supposed to be a blossoming of speech,” they say.

An hour-long set has the audience circulating and chanting lyrics, crescendoing with ‘Regeneration’ in which James is swept up by the crowd and carried around the room. Though INHEAVEN acknowledge the “throwaway” culture of a world obsessed with the Internet, they’re confident in a “younger, hungry fan base” keen for change, both in the music business and general status quo.

“Young people are excited about music again and it’s great,” James says, “Anger is a powerful tool. Anger and love. I guess it’s a bit of freedom, a bit of love, a bit of hate,” he clarifies, addressing the anatomy of the LP. The revolution’s happening right now and INHEAVEN are a voice that young people are crying out for.

Palm Honey: An Interview


Jeremy Corbyn has pissed off Palm Honey. “He’s upset me” deadpans frontman Joseph Mumford, who is miffed that their BBC Introducing set at Glastonbury “clashed with Corbyn.” Whether that’s because the Reading four-piece were forced to miss the speech that drew one of The Pyramid’s largest ever crowds or because said crowds didn’t turn up to watch Tucked Into The Electronic Wave live isn’t clear.

Those who did prioritise their set experienced a moving stream of dream-pop psychedelia, which the band (Joseph Mumford, Harrison Clark, Seb Bowden and Ayden Spiller) repeat tonight for a rapturous audience in the basement of Stoke Newington’s Waiting Room.

Palm Honey don’t write about politics. But that’s only for fear of sounding “too preachy…we don’t want to sound like U2 or something” grins Mumford. Outside of the studio though, politics is a “second favourite” after music. Though his speech clashed with their set, Palm Honey “still love” Corbyn for his honesty and principles: “he’s stood for the same things his whole life and hasn’t been interested in careerist nonsense.”

In particular, it’s the contrast with the grotty politicians we’re used to that make Jezza so appealing: “people are fed up with nonsense fake politics and those who dictate the media are completely out of touch with people in general.” Despite this, the frontman also predicts the sticking power of the current Conservative government, propped up by the DUP: “far worse things have lasted in government…I think they will probably last a while because people will forget and become apathetic.”

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On a far less depressing note, and one that we’re always happy to discuss: vinyl. As for all of our alumni, records are a “ritual”, and for Palm Honey, it’s the fact that records encourage fans to “actually listen to the whole body of work” that make them so important to a music industry drowning in corporate interference. “We are big believers in format: in an EP or an album and I think it’s important that people listen to music in that context rather than taking things out.”

With a record (You Stole My Blackout/Bones) already out on Flying Vinyl, Palm Honey return this autumn with Starving Hysterical Naked. Mumford “loves Ginsberg a lot”, though the song title (a line from fifties Beat Poem Howl) was chosen for the aesthetic more than any affinity the new material has with the poem: “it’s a stark image and I think a song title should give you an idea of its aesthetic.”

“Not as pop-y” as previous records, the upcoming track shares affinity with Ginsberg’s classic through its mood: “it’s the darkest, heaviest and most dissonant thing we’ve put out.” We hope you’re as excited as we are!

 


 A version of this article first appeared on the Flying Vinyl Blog here