Interview with the Prolific Lewis Jack Inman



Lewis Jack Inman is a musician from Leeds, United Kingdom. Lewis has been active since 2014 starting with grunge band Fossilz on lead vocals and guitar. In the 3 years the band was together they performed shows around the local cities and released 2 EP's. After Fossilz disbanded and taking on what he learnt from the experience Lewis decided to focus on continuing with his music venture solo so he would have the freedom to experiment with a wider variety of genres and discover his own sound. Within a year he started performing his new material in the local scene and made a studio at home committing to teaching himself production so he could then delve into the full creative process of his new journey.

What first got you into music and when was it?

Music has always been a part of my life, growing up as a kid my Dad got me into the blues and classic rock with artists such as Jimi Hendrix, SRV and Queen. But I’d say my early teens so round the age of 13 is when I properly delved into music listening to more variety of genres from grunge, folk, funk, hip-hop and many more. It was that first major realisation that there was more out there than what you would hear on the radio or music a parent would recommend and it was from that point where I was hooked.

Who inspired you to make music?

Kurt Cobain/Nirvana is what gave me the kick to commit to the guitar and make my own music. For someone at the time who didn’t really have confidence to want to play and be the creator Nirvana just gave me that push onto the path I deep down wanted to follow. Over the years instruments I have learnt and the genres I experiment with have been influenced by acts such as John Frusciante, Swans, Mumford & Sons, Jeff Buckley, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and many more!

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

At this moment in time I’d say alternative, My first album had quite a influence of themes such as Folk, Rock, Lo-Fi and Indie. Then songs I have been writing for the follow up release retain some of that vibe but are delving into more of the Rock side of the genre. With my previous band Fossilz I was mainly writing in the genres of Grunge and that was for around 3 years so since continuing as solo artist my style has changed quite a bit as now not being in a band I am not held to one or two genres, it’s nice and refreshing to be able to experiment outside of the box and delve into more softer genres or even just alternate genres of rock. Being a solo artist just gives me more freedom to have a go at all the styles that interest me and try mold them into my own thing.

What is your creative process like?

My process has always been pretty much the same but just evolved over the years with more experience and methods I experiment with. Usually it’s just picking up my guitar and jamming until some form of structure appears or writing lyrics with some sort of guide to the structure I want then picking up my guitar and trying to pull it together from there. Whatever artist or band I’m listening to at the time can have an influence on what style/genre I will create the song in, for example when I was in Fossilz I listened to Grunge and Punk bands which influenced the songs I wrote then. Now in the present since I listen to more of an open variety and with trying to blend my favourite genres to make my own style the song’s genre will vary on the day so I could write something that’s very calm & soft or loud & heavy, it just depends on the day I suppose.

Who would you like to collaborate with and why?

I’m always open to collaboration. I know I will ask my friends Alex & James who were in Fossilz with me to collaborate on future solo projects as the musical bond I had with those guys was so strong and just flowed so naturally, I’d really like to have their input on future tracks once I fully find my sound. Also my girlfriend Louise, she has such a deep interest in music and this powerful amazing voice! I would love to get her on future tracks too which we have spoken about a few times, I know we will sort something out but that is something I am very eager to do. A dream collaboration would be John Frusciante, words can't describe how much I would love that as he is one of my idols.

If you could support one band, who would it be and why?

That’s a hard decision. I would probably say Red Hot Chilli Peppers as they are one of my favourites and opportunity to support would mean so much to perform to them and also I would have my fingers crossed to have an opportunity to join in with one of their live jams or a song… I can dream.

What is the one message you would give your audience and what message would you give the MU readers?

Support your favourite bands and artists whether they are big or small, Paying for their work goes a long way whether it’s those who are trying to make a career out of their work but also those who are already established. I think a lot of people don’t realise the cost piracy has on the industry, I don’t want to ramble on in detail as so many of us do because the information is everywhere about this but the thing is at the end of the day who cares whether they are rich or should be giving CD’s away for free because they are unsigned, audience support is critical for the industry. If everything was free in life the majority of the entertainment we have today wouldn’t be possible.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Being a successful musician.

What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for music?

Probably what I do now but with no satisfaction, I reckon my mind wouldn’t be as developed too as I have gained a lot from being a musician. Also I imagine the time I use for my music would be filled up with time on video games and the pub.

Where have you performed?

I have performed in quite a few venues around Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and a few local towns around the outskirts. A few recent gigs I did at Jock’s Cavern in Wakefield would stand out as favourites, being a solo artist on a bill that’s majority bands the audience have been great and interactive to my sets which were much quieter. It’s a great crowd there to feel comfortable and always a good laugh. I’d say my least favourite is a joint between 2 I did in Dewsbury when I was in Fossilz… Yeah those were uncomfortable to say the least. As for my next gig so far I have one booked ahead in May but that hasn’t been announced by the promoter yet, If you follow my Facebook page though you can keep up with the latest updates for upcoming gigs!

How do you feel the internet has impacted the music industry and you specifically?

As with everything there are always positives and negatives. The positive side being the accessibility whether it’s your favourite bands discography or discovering music that you wouldn’t be able to find in your local shop, also the bonus of social media and streaming platforms which are really useful to musicians like me who are trying to get our sound out there and make something of what we love doing. The negative side being just as much such as the piracy I mentioned earlier which takes a toll but also bullies who just go out of their way to attack bands an artist just because they are not a fan of their music, I get some genres aren’t for everyone but is there really any need just to slander someone because they are not making music you like? It’s sad and pathetic but that’s the internet for us, positive and negative.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Bad Touch by the Bloodhound Gang. If I ever have an encore or if my set is a bit short and I can throw a cover in I choose this majority of the time. Just a funny upbeat song in general but after a more serious set it just hits well and leaves the audience in a good upbeat mood which is even better if there is another act after me.

What is the most trouble you have gotten into?

To be honest I’ve never really been in trouble. The only thing that comes to mind is that I was suspended for two weeks at school, conveniently 2 week before the summer holidays. But I was suspended for coming into school with a mohawk which was against the rules in hairstyles but if I shaved it off I would have had a skinhead which was another style against the rules. They wanted to have me in isolation for the last 2 weeks but I took the suspension for a longer summer holiday.

If you could only listen to one album from now on what would it be?

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. One of my favourite albums but since there is that much going on in each track it would keep me occupied for a while listening out for new stuff waiting until either deafness or insanity hit first.

What is the best advice you have been given?

Something my dad said to me which gave me a boost to pursue my music more which was, “It’s better to have a bad day in a job you love than a good day in a job you hate.”

If you could change anything what would it be?

Nothing, because then I wouldn’t have learnt the lessons or gained the experience from the events.

Which bands do you think are currently under-rated or that people should look out for?

A lot of the bands I have followed in the local scene have disbanded in previous years which is sad as they did inspire me when I first started with my band. However one artist I can think of who I have done a few gigs with is J K Simpson you can find him on Facebook and Spotify, he’s a real cool guy and his music is great too it’s like a blend of indie rock, blues and 60’s rock. If he ever does a show around your local area I highly recommend you check him out!

What is next for you?

I am currently starting work on an EP which I intend to release in the next few months hopefully! I’ve just finished polishing the songs on paper and I have already started to do some recording for it so all is going smooth so far.

See next page for further questions if you have a new release.

What was the driving force behind your new release?

The driving force really is my eagerness just to get more music out there. Last year after releasing an album and a single I just got this wave of inspiration and wrote loads of new songs as well as completing half finished ones from the past few years. So the 4 songs I chose from the pile for this release I feel are a good continuation from the themes of my album but also show a development that can be progressed more in the album I intend to work on straight after this EP. The subjects in this EP are focused around relationships, losing a loved one and looking into your future and what actions to take with the unknown.

What was the process for writing and recording the release?

From all the songs I have written recently these 4 I chose for the EP just stuck out and I knew these were priority to release first together. The process for recording this excites me as I’m taking a more full sound approach than my debut album which was more Lo-Fi and simpler production. I have plans for the percussion to have a more full louder rock sound and to have more guitar tracks layered to build on the rhythm of the songs. Also I have been experimenting with some ambient styled synths to help fill in those empty spaces but as production goes on I’ll see how that goes and if it’s appropriate enough for the tracks they’ll stay in.

Were there any hurdles to overcome when going through the writing and recording process?

So far all has been smooth, hopefully that continues as well. But a lot of development has been happening with the songs as usually it’s just me playing these songs on my acoustic guitar singing along but now that the basic sound has been captured in the studio I get to play around with other instruments on top which adds so much to filling out these missing pieces I can hear in my head but also it provides me with more ideas and inspiration for the tracks which can lead to me adding something I wouldn’t have thought of in the first place.

When and how are you launching the new release?

As of yet I have no exact date for release but I am aiming for April or May, closer to the time I will post confirmation for the release date on my Facebook page. The EP will be available on my Bandcamp and most streaming platforms I am on such as Spotify, Deezer, Apple music, Amazon Music and many more! Also I will have physical CD copies at future gigs.

How are you hoping it will be received, have you changed your sound from previous releases to this one?

I hope those who have enjoyed my previous releases enjoy it and those who haven’t heard my music before enjoy it and discover my other releases through this. The sound has changed in a sense of production and volume, it won’t be as Lo-Fi and soft as my first album. My aim for this EP is to show development and experimentation with my songwriting and sound production. I am looking forward to the reaction of those who enjoyed the first release as this EP is the first step on a path where my aim for each release following is to show more variety in sound and style of genres I choose to delve into.


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