Riding the wave of their highly-anticipated debut album, the rock band have set their sights on Glastonbury – and then the Moon!
After spending the last few years touring as a support act for the likes of Noel Gallagher and Blossoms, Dublin-born band, Inhaler, are now taking centre stage with the release of their first studio album: It Won’t Always Be Like This. Composed of frontman Elijah Hewson, guitarist Josh Jenkinson, bassist Ryan McMahon and drummer Robert Keating, the Irish quartet are destined to soon reign over the global music scene.
As the band catapult towards this exciting milestone in their career, McMahon reflects on their humble beginnings back in Dublin.“The three of us (McMahon, Keating and Hewson) met in school, when we were about twelve or thirteen and we all bonded over a similar taste in music. No one our age was really listening to Nirvana, The Pixies and what-have-ya.” But it would be another three years before Hewson managed to poach Jenkinson for the band, after impressing him at a local house party. “He hijacked the party aux and put on “I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses. We asked him to come jam with us and he did.Now here we are, five years on!”
Despite bonding over similar tastes in music, Inhaler’s sound is unique and hard to define – a conscious decision made by the band. ”We really want to break down genres because that’s how a lot of people our age digest music now,” declares Hewson, who aspires to mirror the way modern audiences consume music. “You don’t go into a record shop and pick up a certain genre anymore. Spotify gives you music and you make your own album, and your own playlist. I guess we’re just a symptom of that really, and it makes it really fun in the studio.”
The expectations that come with the release of a debut album are likely to weigh heavy on the mind of a band embarking on their first steps into musical stardom. However for Hewson, commercial success isn’t something he’s particularly worried about. “We just hope people feel something when they listen to it. I mean if it goes to number one that’d be great and we’d all be partying and so on, but if it doesn’t, we’ll still be partying, you know what I mean? It’s a real test of your metal to record an album, because it’s not an easy thing.”
With the album partly comprised of hypnotic singles released over the past couple of years, the boys also managed to take last year to write some new material, which altered the overall direction of the album. “Lockdown happened and then we stopped touring. For three months we were left with no other duties I suppose, other than just to write,” explains McMahon. “A lot of the songs are inspired by different things but the main message of the album is hope. Over lockdown we decided to talk about the wider world and stuff that was going on around us that was making more of an impact.”
Despite the creative benefits of lockdown, Keating admits it’s been a struggle going from isolation into full-time tour preparation. “There are a lot of pressures, but I don’t think it’s the pressure that’s full on for us, it’s more just maybe the workload. We’re using this time wisely to try and get ahead, so when gigs come back we can put all our attention on that.” Being able to perform live is vital for a band’s success, and while the last year has been difficult with the closure of music venues, Jenkinson remains grateful for the past twelve months. “We’ve been lucky to be able to do what we love doing, to play music and record music. Obviously not to a crowd, but it’s a privilege nonetheless.”
However, Inhaler has already cut their teeth with their fair share of live performances, setting their sights firmly on taking their show to Glastonbury. “Any gig after [lockdown] going to feel like Glastonbury,” jokes Keating. “Performing at a BBQ is going to feel like The Pyramid Stage!”
“We were supposed to do that in 2020. Unfortunately we didn’t get to announce it, that was a bit of a punch in the gut. But Glastonbury has always been one that’s a dream of ours,” McMahon reveals.
With the release of their new album, the band look excitedly onward at what else they plan to achieve, and for this Dublin four-piece, it appears the sky is simply not the limit. ’We wanna play on the moon,” declares Hewson, punching a tightly closed fist in the air. “That sums us up as a band, we aim for the stars!”