InHuman is a more of a sledge hammer, bulldozer and tornado all at once – Interview with InHuman
InHuman are a new band, or maybe not. The musicians have been known under the name Anwynn for more than ten years. Especially in the Benelux countries, but also in France. Several albums/EPs, demos and one live DVD have been released so far. Speaking of live. I was able to see the band live twice at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Wieze, Belgium. But like many other smaller bands, there were a lot of line-up changes during this time. I don’t even know if any of the founding members are still on board. Last year the band was renamed / re-formed. “Anwynn is dead. Long live InHuman!” – you can read on the homepage. And on the Facebook page you can find the name “InHuman / ex-Anwynn”. A new album was recorded under the name InHuman. So naturally I had many curious questions for the band. And singer Eline answered all my questions.
MHF: Hi, I’m Rainer and I write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you for letting me do this interview with you. How are you?
Eline: Hi Rainer! You’re very welcome, and of course I love to have a chat with you about our album. I’m very well, thank you, I hope you are doing great as well!
MHF: As, thanks. Behind you is a year that must have been eventful. The Anwynn era has ended. The InHuman era has begun. Please introduce yourselves briefly. Who was Anwynn, who is InHuman?
Eline: Well, Anwynn was a band that was more centered around celtic mythology and related themes. The music had some nods to death metal, with a more folky feel added to it. Here and there some hints to viking metal, even. InHuman moves away from the mythological aspect completely, and is musically a lot more aggressive. We were more aiming for a movie score-esque feel, on top of a solid foundation of tight riffs and thundering drums.
MHF: Why did you decide to change the name after so many years? Is it just a name change or a new founding?
Eline: The name change was more a consequence than a starting concept. Throughout the writing of the new material, the shaping of new concepts and devising fitting visuals, we found ourselves moving increasingly further away from what Anwynn was. On top of that, apart from Astrid and myself, there are all new people in the band. It was only at a final brainstorm session on how to release our new material, that the conversation shifted to a name change. With all that had been going on, it felt like the natural outcome of things, and also a perfectly fitting time to do so. So we went ahead with it.
MHF: How do Anwynn and InHuman differ musically?
Eline: I think Anwynn is a bit more accessible, in the sense that there is less going on. There are some basic riffs, a melody on top of it, and a duo of clean vocals and grunts. InHuman is a more of a sledge hammer, bulldozer and tornado all at once; it’s vicious in its basics and there are a lot more layers to the orchestrations and choirs. On top of that, the dynamics between the two vocals are played out to the max.
MHF: If I see it correctly, there is obviously no founding member in the band anymore. How did you deal with the ongoing line-up changes?
Eline: We tried to stay flexible and adapt as well as we could to our changing circumstances, all while working on a new sound in the background. It wasn’t always easy, but we tried to make the best of it. We hope to continue with the band as it is right now; there’s already some cool new ideas brewing and we’re excited to start working on them together.
MHF: You are a small band, but with many members. You have to do all the work yourself that is actually done by a management or record label. How are the jobs shared out among you?
Eline: I assume you mean the jobs that are not directly related to making music; as far as those are concerned, we each try to take on a couple of tasks. Mostly, this is based on personal preference, or sometimes it’s simply a question of who has the time to take care of something. There is 1 person who is on top of everything and manages deadlines and what needs to be done: this is Astrid. Everything is always discussed openly among all of us, but she makes the final call and makes sure everything is done in the end.
MHF: More than five years have passed since the last Anwynn EP “Swords & Blood”. The debut album “Forbidden Songs” is even further back. Apart from the live DVD (2017), it has been quiet around the band. Why this long break? Was this “calm” also one of the reasons for a new formation? So the “calm before the storm”?
Eline: It definitely was a calm before the storm! It wasn’t a conscious break; a lot was going on in the background. We knew the kind of album we wanted, and how we wanted it to look. There was this “master vision” that we decided not to compromise on, and everything needed to be perfect. And this turned out to be a massive project, with so many things at play. None of us really knew that so much went into it, let alone how to manage it, when we started the process. This is why it took so long, because we were learning as we went along. We are very happy with the result, though, so for us it was definitely worth the wait!
MHF: You recorded the new album or the InHuman debut album during the Corona pandemic. How did you manage to do that despite all the restrictions and official requirements?
Eline: Actually, the album’s recordings were finished already towards the end of 2018. The virtual orchestrations, mixing and mastering were done starting early 2019. Our videos were also recorded during that period of time. The Corona pandemic just majorly threw off our release and promo schedule, because the material was there. We just had to sit on it for a while longer while we figured out how to handle the situation along with everyone else.
MHF: Please briefly describe the sound of the new album. What are the themes of the song lyrics?
Eline: If I’d have to come up with one description, it’d be “larger than life”. The sound is so overwhelming and grounded at the same time, with a lot of theatrics to top it off. I’m sure the phrase “There is no such thing as too bombastic” was uttered at some point during the creation of this album. As far as the lyrics are concerned, they deal with everything, well, human. All lyrics on the album have been written by Astrid and myself. Astrid is a psychiatrist, and in general a very curious person, with a fascination for psychopaths and the effect of hallucinogens on the brain. This inspires a lot of her writing. I tend to write more about personal struggles and observations about society and mankind as a whole. The combination of both aspects provides for a broad spectrum of themes and emotions we can express through our music.
MHF: How do you go about song writing? Do all band members collaborate on the writing of new songs?
Eline: Yes, we do. It’s a slow and sometimes very frustrating process, but in the end, we end up with material that has something from everyone in it. We each write primarily for our own instrument, but no one is limited to just that. Also, no one participates to every song in the same measure; sometimes you just add 1 melody, or one verse. Sometimes you wake up with the idea of an entire song locked inside your head, to which other people contribute less. We also all have very different musical tastes and backgrounds, which I think translates nicely into our music and band dynamic.
MHF: What are InHuman’s plans for the future (after Corona)?
Eline: We hope to give this album a proper live run, first. We are desperate to start playing shows again, a sentiment that is shared by every musician right now, I’m sure. We hope that this album provides us with some nice opportunities, maybe even on the international stage. We’ll be happy with everything we find in our path.
MHF: Thank you again for the interview. Do you want to say something to the fans at the end?
Eline: Thank you all so much for sticking by us, and for giving this album a warm welcome. Your words have warmed our hearts! We hope to see you all again soon. Hold on a little while longer, live music will be back. Take care!
Eline – Vocals
Astrid – Keyboard
Eerik – Guitar
Julien – Bass
Romain – Guitar
Yuki – Drums