Interview with Inside View

Wigan trio Inside View presented a new single “Come Over Girl» taken from their second album “Hollywood” released earlier this year. We talked to the frontman Anthony O’Brien about everything band-related.

Hi Ant! Thanks for talking to Gig Islands. Firstly, could you please introduce your band to our readers?

Hello! We are Inside View – a three-piece pop/rock band from Wigan, which is a small town in the North West of England. The band consists of Anthony O’Brien (vocals/guitar), Danny Heaton (guitar/vocals) and Will Potts (bass/vocals).

Inside View - L to R - Will, Ant, Danny

Could you guide us as newbies to your music through your releases? You started to play together quite some time ago and recorded 2 EPs and 2 albums since then.

Danny and I originally formed the band in late 2007 and almost straight away headed into a studio to start working on some demos. We then recorded our first EP “Picture Perfect”, towards the end of the year, and then our second EP “Underneath the Stars” in late 2008. We spent the next few years trying to figure out where we wanted to go with the band and what direction we wanted to take, which resulted in our debut album “Let Go” in 2012, followed by our newest album “Hollywood”, which was released in March 2015.

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How did your style or attitude change over the time?

The songs on our first album had been written over a nine-year period – so some were through the eyes of a teenager, whereas the new album was mostly written during my late 20s. As a result, I think “Hollywood” as a whole is a lot more mature sounding and more cohesive than perhaps the first album was. However, we are equally proud of both albums. We intentionally wanted the second album to have a different feel, so we listened to a lot of different music whilst making it, and we also recorded in a different studio with a different producer.

The latest release by Inside View is a single “Come Over Girl” accompanied with a rather weird video featuring a main character played by you riding a bear. What has happened to this guy?

We like to think of it is “different” rather than “weird”. We wanted to make a video that was slightly unique and creative. A lot of bands just make videos of them performing the song which I find rather boring to watch. We always like to try and make videos that are entertaining and have a story to tell – a bit like a short film. The song is just about how you can be attracted to someone even though you know they probably aren’t the right person for you, so the video is just a love story with a sad ending. Whenever we go through bad times in life, we usually have friends who carry us through – in the video the friend is just represented by a small bear!

Where did the idea for the video come from?

We came across the costume on the internet and just thought it’d be interesting to try and use the idea in a video. When we were filming it we had a lot of strange looks and some kids even asked if the bear was real – which of course he is! He was a pleasure to work with.

Was Inside View the first serious music project for the band members?

We have all pretty much been in different bands at some point. When I was 17 I was in a band called The People who were managed by someone who had worked with the Spice Girls and a lot of other established acts (he now manages Pixies), and at the time we took that seriously, but we were all quite young and unfortunately it just didn’t work out in the end. This month now marks the eighth year that Inside View have been going, so it is by far the longest running band any of us have been in. We do all take it seriously and we work extremely hard, but it has also been a lot of fun too.

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What serves as inspiration to Inside View’s songwriting?

Most of our songs are inspired by girls or relationships. Some are my own, some are to do with friends, and some are just made up tales that aren’t really about anyone in particular. I never really think too much about what I am writing. I tend to just sing whatever enters my head at the time and then I just try and make it sound as good as I can.

Do you think Wigan as a city is somehow influential to you when it comes to songwriting?

I don’t think Wigan itself is particularly influential to us, but as it is quite a small town and we dream of travelling the world, maybe being from there is influential in that sense. We are proud Wiganers, but I think everyone who comes from a little town dreams of escaping to somewhere better. We are very fond of America and a lot of its music, films and locations, etc. Some of our songs are very much influenced by that.

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You have an inspirational experience of touring USA. How different was it comparing to touring the UK?

In 2011 we went to California for a few weeks to do some small acoustic shows, and we also did one show in Las Vegas as well. It was an incredible experience and something we would love to do again one day. The audiences were great. We are influenced by a lot of American music, and I think that can probably be heard in our own music too, so the crowds definitely seemed to respond to our style much greater than English audiences do. When we went there, a lot of songs that made our first album had already been written, but the experience of being in America definitely had a huge impact on the musical style and the lyrics of our second album.

How do you measure success? Do you think a musician can have a day job and still have a successful music career?

I think success can be defined in many ways. As well as the band, we all have day jobs too, so our ultimate dream would be to get to a point where we can just make music for a living. However, success can still be achieved on smaller levels as well e.g. writing a song or album that you feel was better than your last, or playing to a greater crowd than you have done before, or making a new music video that people like better than your others and so on. I think you should always aim to become better no matter what level you are at.

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Are there upcoming gigs or festival slots our readers should be excited about?

Our next two gigs – The Forge in Bolton on the 25th and then The Acoustic Lounge in Poynton on the 26th. Both are venues we love to play at.

Do you have a dream venue and dream festival to play live?

We would love to play Glastonbury or Coachella! They are probably the two festivals that appeal to us the most. I’ve never been to either but hopefully one day. It’s not so much a venue, but I have always wanted to perform on the BBC2 TV show Later… with Jools Holland as they always have really great bands on and I have watched the show for a long time.

What is the next big thing for Inside View?

We are going to spend the next year or so promoting this album as much as we can. We want to do a lot more gigs, maybe make some more music videos, but then after that, who knows? I’ve already got a lot of ideas for album No.3 but at the moment our focus is on seeing where we can take this album.

Sounds great! Thanks for talking to Gig Islands. Good luck with the latest release.
Thank you very much! It has been a pleasure.

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