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February 2021

INHEAVEN on tour: "We're like a haggard, newborn baby!"

Following the release of their self-titled debut in September last year, INHEAVEN's just-finished Dork-badged tour hit up loads of spots they didn't get a chance to on the album run. It was loads of fun.
Published: 3:00 pm, February 19, 2018
INHEAVEN on tour: "We're like a haggard, newborn baby!"
Not only is tonight in Cambridge the second date of INHEAVEN’s headline tour, but it’s also guitarist Jay Lucas’s birthday, and something of a homecoming as drummer Joe Lazarus actually lives here. With family and friends piling in to see them, the band are in good spirits.

As they rattle around the empty venue before the show, the four-piece bring the gang mentality of The Clash and stylistic observation of The Strokes into a melding factory of their own creation. The room quickly sees stars and stripes draped over instrument cabs, roses adorning every spare surface, and a large blood-red velvet style backdrop.

“We’re really into that,” singer and guitarist James Taylor admits. “My favourite thing is when you walk into a gig, and you feel a part of it. A band with a smoke machine, and like, one light bulb is not inspiring, is it?”

“It could be cool though, just one light,” singer and bassist Chloe Little swiftly interjects. “I like the sound of that!”

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Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]

It’s clear they take this approach very seriously. During the show’s set up, James and Chloe can be seen scattering roses across the stage, with every position picked meticulously, as if each stem is holding its own individual role in their grander scheme.

“We design all the backdrop and the drum skin and everything so that when you come in it’s like our world,” James says. It’s all of these little flourishes that come together to create the environment that matches the sound they unleash: proof that INHEAVEN has cracked the balance of both style and substance.

As if kicking off the new year with a tour wasn’t enough, they’re also jetting off to the US for the first time in March with fellow Dork faves, Pale Waves. It’s not hard to see why the band are excited about hitting the open road across the pond.

“A lot of our favourite bands are from America,” James begins. “We’re looking forward to going to Seattle, Chicago, New York…”

But it’s not all just going to be about the long drives and bright lights.

“Have you seen all these crazy food Instagrams in America, [and] food bloggers?” Chloe asks excitedly. “[I’ve] been screengrabbing things that I want to eat in certain places, because I love a list. So I’m making a ridiculous list of all the places that I want to eat. Not oh, ‘I want to see Niagara Falls…’

“It’s easy to want to sit and do nothing when you’re touring,” she continues. “Because it’s weird hours, and you have to get up late and things like that. You have to make a conscious effort when you’re in new places to try and see something or to be reading or writing every day.”

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Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]

Cutting their teeth on tour over the last three years, the band’s time on stage has helped them develop who they want to be. “Each individual character comes out when you see us live,” says Joe. “Everyone has their own thing, and you get to really see that.”

They’ve learnt a lot, too. “Every night of the gig you go home, and you’re like, ‘Why did I do that?’ And the next gig you won’t do those things,” James confides. “It’s kind of like a slow build, character building, and developing how you want to be on stage. That’s something you only get from touring, and I think we’ve got that from being on the road. I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes next.”

“Last year was a bit of a blur because there was a lot of shows,” recalls Chloe.

“I think time goes very quickly,” James adds. “Like you’ll go on tour, and it’s freezing, and then you come off tour, and you’re in your t-shirt, and you’re like, ‘What happened?! Where am I, what year is it?”

Losing time to the road is only one of a few things that touring can take from a band. “You kind of just live in exile from the mainstream society when you’re in a band,” Chloe explains.

Negatives aside, INHEAVEN love the road. It’s why they’re doing this in the first place, and currently where they’re thriving. “Speak to us in five years time when we’re all, ‘It’s fucking shit!’” James laughs. “But yeah, we love it at the moment. Playing live is when the record comes to life, and you really see - I think other people, that’s who makes the record. You can make a great record, but it’s the audience reaction to it that makes a great record even greater.”

“Everyone wants to be out on the road the whole time if they can,” James confesses. “That’s what we’re building up to, I guess. Right now we’re like newborn babies, every city we go to, it’s like seeing stuff for the first time.”

“We’re like a haggard, newborn baby!” Chloe interrupts, laughing. “A road-worn newborn baby.”

INHEAVEN’s self-titled debut album is out now. Taken from the March issue of Dork - order your copy below.

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