Indie-pop has been experiencing a coming-of-age recently, as bands like the Decemberists, the Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Postal Service have all been discovered, touted, and subsequently forgotten by mainstream media. The IC’s candidate for the title of “Next big indie-pop hero (at least for one album)” is the Inheritance, a band featuring hammered dulcimer. Yes, they know you don’t know what it is. Casey Cole gave us a bit of his time, and this is what ensued:
IC: First, give me the names (with instruments) of the band memers.
CC: Casey Cole, 20 (vocals, bass); Sara Bohall, 19 (dulcimer, keys, trumpet, bells); Derrick Carnes, 18 (drums, vocals); guitarists constantly in rotation.
IC: How did the band form?
CC: We were basically tired of the hardcore scene reproducing the same thing over and over again. Me (Casey), Sara and our friend Stephen (piano, sax, clarinet from the beginning through January 05) formed an electro-pop trio and played softer music with drum machines in vein of The Postal Service and Stars. Then we realized that it was way more fun to rock. We found Derrick and here we are today.
IC: You’re a band that revels in unconventional instrumentation. How did you decide to put in all the extra sounds?
CC: Me and Sara wanted to start a folk-esque side project. At the start we were just goofing around. I played the acoustic guitar, she played the dulcimer, Stephen played keyboards. Then Steve thought it would be cool if he played clarinet on a track. Then saxophone. From then on, we basically knew there would be no bounds. There’s been talk of accordions and penny whistles, but we haven’t put them into action yet.
IC: How has your unusual instrumentation affected the way people view the band?
I think it catches a lot of them off-guard. When we set up for a show, Sara has this huge wooden thing she’s setting up. At least one person every show has to ask, “What is that thing?” We’ve been thinking about making stickers saying, “It’s a HAMMERED DULCIMER… so don’t ask” but we haven’t. I think it strikes an interest before we even begin to play, and that’s a good thing.
IC: Do you use all the instruments and effects in concert?
CC: Yes, everything we record is what we play live.
IC: Is there much of an indie-pop scene in Columbus, or have you had to create a scene, so to speak?
CC: The scene in Columbus, Indiana is strictly hardcore, just like a lot of the other smaller towns out there. We don’t play much in town because of the closed-minded kids. However, we have definitely made our way around the state, and it seems like the hardcore kids in other towns tend to love us. I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t heard us before or if they’re just a lot more open-minded.
IC: So what’s up with all the hardcore-type art you guys like?
CC: If you’re talking about the skull and robot scorpion logo, that was mainly a joke. Our drummer is big into 80’s hair metal, and he thought it would be funny if we had a logo like that. We had one made. That’s it. Honest.
IC: Explain to me how I keep hearing new music and never an album.
CC: Ah, good question. We went into the studio back in December to record our first EP. When we were wrapping things up in the studio, we learned that we would be losing our pianist to school. Member changes have never really gotten us down, seeing as we’re on our fifth bassist, and our guitarists are constantly coming and going, but when you’re a piano-driven pop band, losing your pianist is kind of a big deal. We decided not to release our EP, get new members and start from scratch. The result is the nine songs we’re in the studio demoing right now. I don’t know how many of the songs will see the light of day, but we figure with nine down, some of them should make it to an EP sooner or later.
IC: Tell me when that album’s coming, by the way.
CC: Haha, well we’re hoping to get it pressed and finished by our tour in July. However, we don’t want to give a specific date until we have them packaged and in our hands. So, let’s just say soon.
IC: Tell me the funniest story you have about the band.
CC: We seriously have so many, it’s not even funny.
IC: Tell me what you’re listening to these days.
CC: Oh man, it varies from band member to band member. Derrick is always listening to Duran Duran or AC-DC. I know he’s been spinning the new Copeland disc a lot too. Sara has been listening to the new Starting Line and Fallout Boy a lot, but it’s just bad timing. That makes her sound like a pop-punk lover, and she scarcely listens to that stuff. I’ve been listening to a lot of Godspeed, Explosions in the Sky, Rush, Pedro the Lion and Medeski, Martin, and Wood lately. But you just caught me at a weird time too, because I usually listen to the trendy stuff. I won’t lie.
IC: Tell me the ultimate show that The Inheritance could play in (and broken-up/classic bands are okay).
CC: I think we’d love to play with any combination of Copeland, The Starting Line, Folly, Rod Stewart, They’ve Shot Flanigan, Green Day (Derrick) and Anathallo.
IC: Anything else you’d like to add?
CC: The They’ve Shot The Inheritance/The Inheritance Shot Flanigan Tour will be heading to the north-east this summer. Keep checking www.theinheritancesite.com for updates. Look for the new EP out in June (hopefully). And thank you to independentclauses.com for the awesome interview and heads up on good music.
-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini in the Month of May.