High Fives with … In The Cards

We spoke to the alt-rock outfit just ahead of their EP release. 

Alternative four piece In The Cards self-released their brand new EP The Path on 25 October. Just before their support set with Breather at London’s The Social, we sat down with the band and found out all about the EP and what’s next for the band.

How are you feeling about the upcoming release of your EP The Path?

Nathan: Very excited!

Danny: Absolutely buzzing! It’s the most personal reflection of us as musicians in a body of work. It’s released this Friday!

Any plans for Friday then? 

Danny: Not for Friday, but we do have an EP release show on 31st.

Amy: On Halloween!

Danny: On Halloween night. So that will be cool. That’s in our hometown as well so that’ll be pretty cool to go back home and tear up the stage.

Talk us a little bit about the writing process for the EP – how did you go about it?

Danny: This time it was very very different to previous. We sat down and we kind of demo’d really intensly for about three months. We’d never done that before because we were sort of renovating the studio so we could actually have a space where could do that as a group. It was a shorter process, but much more intense. We got to delve deep and get nitty and gritty with it, and really pick it apart and choose how we wanted everything to be.

What’s the inspiration behind your recent single Disguise?

Nathan: I wrote disguise… it’s quite a personal song to be honest with you. I think obviously it’s about mental health and the struggle with anxiety and depression, which I went through myself for a few years. I mean, probably still do now but it was just a period of time where I was in a rut, so I wrote this song based on the acceptance of it, and the self-realization that “yeah, I am actually struggeling and that’s fine.” you know what I mean? People do that, pretend they’re okay and don’t talk about it, so I wanted to write a song that people could relate to. The title Disguise is the whole sort of people pretend they’re okay and they don’t wanna talk about it effectively.

It seems that recently bands feel a lot more comfortable talking about mental health – do you want to make use of the platform you have and make people feel more comfortable? 

Nathan: Yeah because that’s a big part of my life, my daily life. No matter what I’m doing that can take over and it sucks but it happens. People should know that everyone is in the same situation. It’s not like people didn’t talk about it but now it’s more main stream and people realizing it is something that happens to more or less everybody. Why would we not all come together and make it easier to deal with? Because on your own it’s much more difficult to deal with anything. As a group and as a collective we can bring people together in that sort of cathartic experience and say it’s alright if you’re not okay, we’re all not okay together.

And for you guys as well, it’s a good way of expressing what you are going through as well.

Nathan: Yeah absolutely. And we thought it was important to come from a man, too. Not that it’s any different as a woman but I feel like that expectation of a man to just be … there is a stigma. Which is why I hate that phrase “be a man about it”, that’s the voice in your head going just deal with it, what’s wrong with you. But there’s nothing wrong with you. But that’s the cycle.

Thoughts Collide is our fav track on the EP – has something Evanescence-like about it. Also, killer vocals! Tell us more about it.

Nathan: Thank you! So basically, I lost a close friend and he was relatively young as well, completely out of the blue, completely sudden. And it kidn of rocked my understanding of reality. Like, everything is going along and all of a sudden, someone who was there every day of your life isn’t there anymore. It’s very very abstract concept to get your head around. So Thoughts Colliding is kind of … I was so obsessed with finding the answer, why has this happened, why am I feeling like this, where have you gone, are you still there? It was an acceptance of the fact that I’m chasingthis answer that realistically I’m not ever gonna get to, but it’s doing that and getting to a point where you say okay, that’s fine, that is just a fact of life, you can’t really escape that. And discussing our place in the universe, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in yourself and your problems that you need to think your so infinitely small in comparison to it all that while it’s difficult to accept and process, maybe it’s not that bad. And I believe that when we die, we do go somewhere else. It’s kidn of talking about that as well.

How did your sound come about? Is it something you’re still experimenting with?

Danny: I feel like there’s nothing to add to the tracks. As Nath mentioned, we were able to write this by recording demos. The first time we’ve done it so usually over the years we’d sit in a practise room with our guitars and we’d write parts and then we’d go into the studio and record it. Whereas this time we were able to sit down and listen to it back and think I like that or that needs to change. We had that creative benefit really.

Nathan: Bizarrly we had more control over it with the creativity. So were able to sculpt as we wanted, a lot easier.

Danny: It’s quite organic how it’s happened. How it developed, it grows with us. We don’t necessarily think about that too much. It’s the tiny details, when we’re listening to it we hear the little bits but that’s not necessarily going to get picked up.

Amy: I think we made a step up with the melodies a little bit as well. Because it was such a calming environment you could just come in and track a little bit and leave it as that. It made it easier to make them harder *laughs* So then when it came to playing them live I was like “Oh … I haven’t got a little break in between recording, I’ve gotta do the whole thing.” It’s coming with practise.

You’re currently on tour with Breather – how’s that been so far?

Amy: Fun!

Danny: Really good! They’re such fun guys and we bounce off each other. You step up on stage and you smash the set and that just carries on and you’re all smashing it, it’s really healthy competition. And really healthy environment to be creative and be expressive. There’s no inhibition or anything like that.

Any must have’s you can’t do without while on the road?

Danny: Well I need dry shampoo. I’ve not showered today, but I’ve had dry shampoo *laughs*

Amy: Mine would have to my curling wand for my hair. That’s the only way I do my hair. I mean, I do wash it.

Nathan: And a sleeping bag!

Amy: Oh yeah!

Danny: Sleeping bag is a very very good one.

Nathan: Toothbrush, basics. I’m very no frills. As long as I’ve got clothes. I wear the same jeans for about three months.

If you could create your own personal dream festival line-up, with you playing, who would you choose? Dead or alive. 

Nathan: Dead or alive?

Danny: Queen!

Nathan: Yes, Freddie! I wanna see Freddie. Have you seen Live Aid?

Just that whole line up then!

Danny: Yeah that is fine!

Nathan: I suppose if you’re gonna ask me personally, at the moment, Periphery, they’re really like smashing it for me at the moment. I just think those guys are next level.

Danny: Fightstar, I like Fightstar.

Nathan: You do love Fightstar.

Danny: I love Fightstar! They’re a good band.

Amy: Mine would have to be (Don) Broco.

What’s next for In The Cards?

Nathan: More shows. More tours. Just going to keep smashing the live game for a bit, just get out there and let everyone know that we exist.

Danny: And we’ll be writing some more.

Nathan: Yeah we do need to start writing and go back into the studio and start getting them creative juices flowing.