Adam Walker, a second year English Literature student at Edge Hill as well as a Music Talent Scout and Staff Writer for The Label, interviewed The Inkhearts during their recent recording of their new single.
“Did you know that ‘by the end of the first year, a Diplodocus will have tripled in length and may weigh close to half a tonne?” Credit to Matt Wright, drummer with The Inkhearts, and to Tim Haines, author of Walking With Dinosaurs. In a recording session filled with dinosaur factoids, Tess of the D’Urbervilles quotes and an endless supply of tea, Skelmersdale-based act The Inkhearts laid down a remixed version of their track, Keeping Up, a bass-heavy, crisp, and punchy tune, with stunning vocal work.
Jamming in Studio One, at Parr Street Studios, former stomping ground of Black Sabbath, Stereophonics, and even Atomic Kitten, the band ripped through the recording process in a matter of hours. Whilst Ryan Ward (guitar) was recording some final parts, I sat down with, Lauren Shaw (vocals/guitar), Ben Warburton (bass) and dinosaur enthusiast Matt Wright (drums) and had a quick chat:
Guys, it’s great to be sitting down with you here, at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. Let’s start right at the beginning. Can you give me a quick run-through as to how you guys met, and decided to form the band?
Ben: We actually all met at the Engine Rooms in Skelmersdale, as part of a music programme, and the team there put us together as a ‘showcase’ band. We’ve had three other singers over the last four years, and we’ve evolved into what we are now: a four-piece indie band, going strong.
So since you’ve lost other members, has that changed or developed your sound?
Matt: Well we started out as a cover band. We used to cover other bands when there were seven of us in the band, and it’s only more recently that we’ve started writing our own stuff, and really taken it to another level.
So when you were approached by Edge Hill University’s record label, The Label Recordings, who offered to put you through the recording process for free, help you record a music video, and give you a slot at Liverpool Sound City Festival, what were your first thoughts?
Lauren: Yes. (laughs)
Ben: Where do we sign?
Short, sweet and to the point. I love it. So in the Studio you’ve been in today, huge bands like Black Sabbath, Sterophonics and even Atomic Kitten have recorded. As a relatively young band, how does that make you feel?
Matt: Atomic Kitten? (Laughs)
Lauren: We were standing around talking about it earlier. To think bands like that have stood in there, and now we’re stood there is amazing.
Ben: I’m a bit starstruck.
Lauren: The fact they were there at one point is really incredible.
How do you think your sound has developed today?
Ben: The room in there’s great. We aim towards a punchy, indie-rock sound, and the guys here have taken that to the next level, and really emphasised it. It’s been great.
Lauren: It’s given us that bigger sound we wanted.
How do you think this experience will change the song writing process for you now? Do you sit down and write poetry, and adapt that, or do you work with a riff?
Matt: We basically sit down and just start playing.
Lauren: Someone will play a chord, Ryan will start riffing, Matt will start drumming, Ben’s bassline will come in, and we just go from there.
It’s just one big jam?
Lauren: Yeah. We record it on a phone, and that recording will get sent to me, and within a week I’ll have lyrics.
Matt: A week? More like three months.
Lauren: No! Usually a week. (Laughs)
So obviously this is all part of the build-up to Sound City Festival in May. How do you feel about playing a festival?
Ben: I’m just full of excitement.
Lauren: Yes again. Just with more emphasis. I can’t wait.
What are your aims then, what do you want to take away from Sound City?
Ben: More publicity on a basic level. We have a decent fanbase at the moment, but to increase that would be phenomenal.
So this is going to be your second EP. What else have you guys got in store, any more plans for the future? When could we see a full-length Inkhearts album?
Matt: Well we’re recording some new material in a couple of weeks.
Lauren: Two songs are set at the moment, and one just needs a final set of lyrics.
Ben: 2025 sounds like a safe bet. (Laughs)
Matt: Maybe within the next year, I think it’d be nice to get something out there before 2015.
You can visit Adam’s blog here.