In the Meet The Band spotlight this week is the New York group Inherus. Their debut album is Beholden. Vocalist/guitarist Beth Gladding (Lotus Thief, Botanist) and vocalist/guitarist Brian Harrigan (Grid, Swallow The Ocean) introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Inherus.
Brian Harrigan: Back in 2018 Anthony (diBlasi), our bass player, put an add out on social media about wanting to start a post-metal/doom project. He had just left his previous band (Witchkiss) and I was looking for another project to take on, so I contacted him. We got together and jammed a few times and realized we clicked, so we talked about recruiting a drummer to round out the lineup. I reached out to Andrew (Vogt), having played with him in a previous band (Swallow the Ocean) and liking his style. Coincidently, Anthony had also played with Andrew a few times in a different incarnation of that same band and he thought Andrew was a good fit as well.
The three of us started practicing regularly and had started writing some songs. Then one night, Anthony attended a show, and met Beth. Him being the natural networker that he is, ended up sending her a recorded practice session with our most complete song on it. She returned it a short time later adding some vocals and a guitar solo. Andrew and I heard that and were immediately sold. We invited Beth to join us at practice and it was apparent pretty quickly that this is the lineup we wanted.
Describe the songwriting process for Beholden.
Brian: The writing process began in 2018. Anthony, Andrew and myself had the skeleton of what became “Forgotten Kingdom,” put together before Beth joined. After she came in and made that song a million times better, she brought some great starting points for what became “One More Fire” and “Oh Brother.” Simultaneously we were jamming out some riffs that I had that became “Lie to the Angels.” All of that music was written in my jam space and prior to Covid hitting.
When Covid hit we took a break from getting together and writing music in the same space. During that time my daughter was born and I realized I couldn’t have practices in my space anymore. Luckily for us, Beth was in the process of building a studio of her own. When Covid died down, Anthony, Andrew, and Beth started getting together and practicing regularly again. I was still adjusting to the whole dad thing, so I didn’t rejoin the fold right away. During that time they jammed and wrote “The Dagger.” When they sent that song to me, I was blown away. Definitely one of my favorites on the album.
Beth Gladding: The process as I see it so far is each of us brings something to the table. From Brian there are wild contrasts of heaviness and gorgeous atmospheres that often counterpoint the stuff I write on guitar. It’s like having a twin you get to shred with. From Anthony, there is his walking bassline nature, that goes from bluesy meanderings to mammoth riffs. From Andrew there are the leviathan foundations of any possible structure, because of his versatility and strength. I think of myself as adding some kind of light to the sound that’s my own, like threading color across a shifting landscape.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Brian: For Beholden we reached out to Mike Usifer from Beacon Soundworks studio. Anthony and I had both worked with him in our other bands. So, for me the strongest memory was just being excited about going to the studio every week, a place I felt very comfortable, and recording some great music with great friends.
Beth: I’m in agreement with Brian about the sense of place and trust in the engineer. The strongest memory was standing outside Mike Usifer’s studio in Beacon. Mike was really
incredible to work with, his patience and willingness to help us zero in on the work itself was nothing short of inspiring.
What was the biggest challenge in recording Beholden?
Brian: For me the biggest challenge was vocals. I’ve always wanted to do vocals in a band, but have always been very unsure of my abilities. As I mentioned before, I’m very comfortable
recording with Mike. He’s such a down to earth dude. When I laid down my first vocal take, and saw his reaction, I knew I was headed in the right direction.
Beth: Covid. Musicians are built to interact with each other and to create by bouncing ideas off each other. Covid was soul-crushing on its own, but it was so much worse because on top of
the suffering happening all over, we also couldn’t create in a room together for some time.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
Brian: This would probably vary depending on which member you ask. (laughs) I would describe us as a post-metal band. We also have a lot of other elements thrown in there, though.
Beth: Beholden is heavy, fierce, up-front and varied in genre. It surfs genres because it can. It’s an album that describes not just a moment in our lives but also an experience we all lived through to capture. It’s relentless, pulverizing and sweet.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Brian: Beth is best suited to answer this question. She writes her lyrics up front, starting before the song is even finished. She has lyrical ideas on tap, everflowing. I tend to write mine when the song is finished and I have a good feel for how I want to present them. This dynamic works well for us though, because I tend to struggle when coming up with ideas for what to sing about. With Beth laying down the foundation, I get to write my lyrics in reaction to what she already has.
Beth: The dynamics of relationships, and the inner wilderness we experience in love and loss. Music for me is the transmutation of pain. Sometimes that doesn’t directly translate into a song
about any one experience, but rather conjures a feeling, a place I return to, in this case in sound and word. We all have this human experience, and sometimes the feeling is that we’re lone
voyagers in that. But I guess the process of writing music for me has been passing a piece of the bigger conversation to the next person. The best experiences have been playing these songs and reaching a listener in a way that, even momentarily, dissolves the sense of being alone because perhaps driving on some highway or hearing it wherever, there’s a moment where the bigger message (what it means to you) gets through. Music is inherently a connection.
How did you come to sign with Hypnotic Dirge Records?
Brian: We had talked about the idea of approaching HDR for a while and when the time came, it was on our list. HDR is a stand-up label in my opinion because they do what they do with love
and dedication. Nic takes chances on records (like Forlesen’s Hierophant Violent), and from those chances we were able to get stuff out to listeners.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Brian: I’m just stoked that our music is getting out there. We’ve already surpassed any goals and expectations I had. We’re on a label, sites have reviewed our music, we have two videos out,
and in less than a month’s time, I’ll be able to hold a physical copy of music that I was a part of creating.
Beth: The singular goal and expectation is to have produced an album that I would listen to. That may sound selfish but I know that if I’ve made something that I will come back to, then others will listen and have something of the experience I had listening to the songs.
What has been your most memorable Inherus live show?
Brian: I’d say our last show at The Kingsland in Brooklyn. We had a great time, playing and hanging out afterwards.
Beth: Agreed – so far, Brooklyn, but we are just getting started as covid put a hitch in our ability to play tons of shows.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Beth: We have the record release show on June 9th at Olive’s in Nyack with Sun Voyager and Shadow Witch, and on July 14th we are at Quinnz Pins, for those closer to Hudson Valley itself.
How is the heavy music scene in the Hudson Valley?
Brian: I think it took a big hit during the pandemic, but it seems to be coming back to life.
What are some of your non-musical hobbies and interests?
Brian: I’m a huge nerd so I love to read. I’m also a huge Magic: The Gathering player. I also like to hike and play disc golf.
Beth: Fun stuff for me is hiking, collecting rocks, vintage glass, books and being with my animals. I’ve been known to play the odd video game.
What’s the best thing you’ve binge-watched lately?
Brian: I recently went through a re-watch of The Wire. That show is just so damn good.
Beth: I’ve just re-watched a ton of Italian horror. Argento, Lenzi, Bava, Fulci. Returning to watch the original Suspiria was probably the best recent thing.
What’s currently in your heavy music rotation?
Brian: Vildhjarta – Masstaden Under Vatten, Humanity’s Last Breath – Valde, SAVER – They Came With Sunlight, Psychonaut – Violate Consensus Reality, Bell Witch – Future’s Shadow Part 1: The Clandestine Gate, Wake – Thought Form Descent, Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite.
Beth: Brutus, Blackbraid, REZN, Samsara Blues Experiment, Krallice, Kvelertak, Boris.
(interview published May 27, 2023)
Watch Inherus – “Forgotten Kingdom” Video