Electro-metallers In This Moment talk new album Mother, covering Queen and scrambling tour plans
Electronic metallers In This Moment's work ethic puts their peers' to shame. In their 15 years together, they've produced seven records and averaged almost 100 shows every single year, building themselves a formidable fanbase in the process.
Their latest offering is Mother, which arrives today and can be purchased here from hmv's online store. Produced by long-time collaborator Kevin Churko, it finds the band driving home their blend of chugging guitars and dark electronics, all powered by some big, big choruses.
With the record out now, we spoke to guitarist Chris Howorth about making the LP, covering Queen and Steve Miller and why their touring plans are all up in the air...
When did you start working on the songs for Mother? You’ve been constantly on tour...
"We took two months off after the last tour ended up and I went to New York to work with Maria (Brink, singer). We didn't go into the studio with as many ideas as we wanted, not as many as our previous records. We'd done work with a few writers, but we wrote a lot in the studio. It was a continuous process."
How did you want the album to move on from what you did on Ritual?
"We didn't have a big plan. We'd decided that it was going to be a natural progression, but we wanted a more organic feel. A digital sound with a band feeling. We like the tone and feel of Ritual, so we wanted to extend that."
You worked with Kevin Churko, who has made almost all of your other records, why did you decide to go with him again?
"We've been with Kevin for so long and for so many eras of the band. He's really helped define our sound. Right before we did Blood, it was just Kevin, Maria and I, and that was such a defining record for us. He's a good friend and we go to him for advice on just about anything. It seemed like the right thing to do. Every time we work with it's something different. Neither of us are interested in making the same record again."
What does he give you as a producer?
"He's so creative. He's a master sound guy. His production abilities are incredible and he's really the full package as a producer."
You’ve got Lzzy Hale and Taylor Momsen on the record to help you cover Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, how did that come about?
"Traditionally, we've done a cover on every album. They're so fun to do. Maria likes doing grandiose songs like 'In The Air Tonight', which scared all of us, but she was completely fearless and knew we'd make it our own."
"She suggested 'We Will Rock You'. We all love the song, but it's such sacred ground. I said 'We can't do that. No way'. And she said said 'Well, what I got Lzzy Hale and Taylor Momsen and we do a verse each?' I laughed and said 'Sure, if you can get them'. She got on her phone and next thing you know, they're both on there."
There’s a Steve Miller Band cover on there too, why did you decide to put that down on record?
"When I up in Albany with Maria, working on the record, we worked on this synthwave piece. It was very groovy and we both loved it. I don't remember why, but we started singing 'The time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping' from 'Fly Like An Eagle' and Maria's eyes lit up. I wanted to keep it as the original and not use it as a cover, but she loved it so much that we stuck with Steve Miller. It's a really cool and interesting mash-up."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"It's like a lot of our records, Maria has been really connected to it. Mother is a real theme. Mother Earth, the power of that phrase, the dichotomy of good and bad."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"'Lay Me Down' took a while. It was the second song we started and we had about half of it. We pushed it to the side and didn't come back around until the very end. I don't why it took that time, maybe we weren't feeling it initially."
And which came together most quickly?
"'Legacy' or 'The In-between'. 'Legacy', we wrote with these two writers down in LA. That was written right after Maria's grandfather had passed away and right after my father had passed away. Emotions were super raw and we went into the session and it came out very natural. 'The In-Between' was a pressure song, we finished that on tour after we did the record, so we had to knock it out in a couple of days."
When did you decide on Mother for the album title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We were going to call Ritual, Mother, and, at the time, we decided it wasn't the right time. So, going in, we knew this was time for Mother. We had that before we wrote any of the songs."
What are your plans to take the album out live? When will we see you back in the UK?
"We had a whole bunch of plans that are now being thrown around because of the coronavirus. We had a tour booked in the US and now we're trying to move it to July and August. Hopefully, we can do that. We wanted to be in the UK at the end of the year, but that's not going to happen now. We've got big plans for Europe and the UK. We want to be over for the festivals and do a lot. We still hope to do that, it just will be later than we'd hoped..."