Interview: Dave McPherson

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You probably know Dave McPherson as the frontman of Essex band InMe, but he’s also a solo artist. His time as a performer has seen him bag a number one in the UK rock charts, play the main stage at major festivals, and tour around the world with bands like Deftones and Feeder. As a solo artist influenced by artists like Talk Talk and Damien Rice he’s played over 700 shows, and is soon to release his debut album to accompany numerous EPs. Dave McPherson is more than just a rock frontman, he’s an artist through and through that will hopefully be playing for years to come.

You’re coming to Brighton on the 26th of this month to play at the Pav Tav for the last day of the Hardship Diaries tour; what can people expect?

Dave McPherson I always have a good time in Brighton anyway because I’ve got a lot of fans there. It’s going to be a quite celebratory show. It’ll also be a case of not worrying about using the last of what I’ve got. I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got to finish off the tour. I’ll be playing a lot off the solo album as well as the obligatory InMe covers. The songs are really coming to life in the live environment. We’ve got Howard James Kenny supporting, he’s done the whole tour and is worth a look, as well as Gazz Marlow (InMe) so it’s going to be fun.

What can you tell us about the album?

DM The album is out through Pledge, which is the site I’ve done the campaign through, April 10th. Then we’re going to release it everywhere else May 10th or 11th, I can’t quite remember. I’ve been making it for about three years, started in late 2008. I started recording in 2009 at the beginning of summer, lived with it for about a year, then scrapped a few songs and put some new ones in. I also put in a song I always play live called “Spring Hearts Need Blood”. It’s quite an honest album lyrically, and it’s quite stripped down. Musically it’s me on my acoustic guitar playing quite live and then vocally just one man with some assorted backing. Apart from some added instrumentation like piano parts and additional string arrangements it’s quite bare which i wanted to do to differentiate completely from InMe. I just wanted to establish myself as a completely different entity musically. I’m really happy with it but I’m already looking for ideas for a second album.

Apart from what you’ve already mentioned are there any songs you’re particularly proud of that people should listen out for?

DM There’s a lot of different songs on there but to me there’s two new ones. One of them is the single “Summer: She Puts Me In A Good Mood” which is different to what I’ve played in the past and there’s a song called “Winter Hibernation”. They are both kinda what my sound is now and a different subject matter to what most of the album is about. A lot of the album is sad but they are the positive outcome from the negative subject matter. It’s pretty obvious when you listen to it that it’s about breaking up and meeting someone new. There’s also a song called “Love Rats” that’s about people who cheat on each other which i see a lot; it’s quite an abrasive song.

Since you’ve had a pretty long musical career you’ve obviously written a lot of songs. Do you ever worry that you’re repeating yourself or writing songs that are somewhat similar?

DM No, not really. I don’t worry about it too much I just write to the best of my ability based on what is inspiring me at the time. With Inme every album is completely different. Obviously I’m just one artist and it’s always going to be the same voice but I like to try different things. I don’t really get stuck in a rut musically.

I heard that the next InMe album is going to be pretty experimental compared to previous ones. Why did you decide to go down the experimental route, and how is it going to be different?

DM With Herald Moth I wanted to do something that was a bit different and technical. We achieved that but I don’t wanna do that again. I really wanted the songs to have the strongest melodic structure possible. I think for this album we’re going to remove certain negative elements that are a bit pessimistic. It’s certainly very uplifting and euphoric. I grew up listening to a lot of pop and I know it’s become a dirty word what with the horror of X-Factor, but back in the day for me it was bands like Talk Talk and Tears For Fears. I think those songs stood the test of time because there’s a lot of feeling there and they’ve got a catchy hook so I’m really aiming for that. Everything’s gotta pull the listener in and also I’m coming up to 30 so I’ve got a business head screwed on. I want to carry one making music for the rest of my life so part of helping me to achieve that is making a well established album and reaching a wider audience.

You always seem to be playing, but when you do actually take a break from performing do you find it hard to get back into it?

DM I don’t like taking a break. I gig probably twice a week just doing my local covers nights that I host. I don’t really think I’ve taken a break in about three or four years. There were months and months where we used to go without gigging back in the old days and that made me unhappy. In April I’m going to Portugal with my girlfriend and my best friend but we’re playing bars out there. I’m going to be playing three or four gigs even on the holiday so I don’t think I ever really take a break.

Since your guitarist Gazz Marlow lives here you probably spend a lot of time in Brighton; what do you think of it?

DM I think it’s a great place. There’s loads to do and people are generally open minded. I think there’s a good musical scene too. There’s a lot of musicians bonding and meeting up at gigs. I love anywhere that’s next to the sea because I find it very good for the soul. If I didn’t live where I do I think that would be where I move to.

What do you think of the Brighton music scene?

DM I haven’t had much time to come down lately but in 2009 I was probably here once a month. I know Vier; they are an all girl metal group that are ones to watch. There’s some solo artists I know; I’m friends with Matt Bonner, and I listen to Gazz’s stuff a lot. I’m pretty terrible with names But i have listened to some pretty great artists down here.

Have you ever had any overtly weird fans?

GM There’s always one. Years ago there was a bit more hysteria. Younger girls and guys would cry when they met us and I don’t know how you’re supposed to deal with that because I’m just a normal dorky dude. There was a girl years ago who used to try and pull band members arm hair out which was quite painful and a bit weird actually.

InMe went through some dark times of late. Do you think things are looking up and getting better?

DM Yep, amazingly so. I think Sonisphere last year proved it to us. We were clashing with Mötley Crüe and Gallows so we thought we’d only have a couple of hundred hardcore fans and the rest of the tent would’ve been empty, but there were about 2000 people with about 300 people brimming outside the tent. That made us realise we’d stayed on for a good reason. It was a bit tough and a lot of bands would have split up, but we’re still here.

Originally published here: http://www.bn1magazine.co.uk/music/interviews/315-dave-mcpherson-interview

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