For Sydney three-piece Inklines, the last eighteen months have kept them busy recording with Lachlan West of The Vines and releasing two singles in November 2017 and May 2018. The recently released single Back To Me is the third from their debut EP Willing & Able, out now.

To kick off 2018, Inklines embarked on their biggest tour to date, including shows in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Byron Bay and Sydney, which earned them a small following around the country. While they all draw influences from different areas, Will, Tom and Daniel’s shared love for bands like Muse, Silverchair, Radiohead and Royal Blood, to name a few, has found them creating a distinctive style of melodic alt-rock. The Willing & Able EP explores themes of modern relationships, personal hurdles and just a hint of societal standpoints, across seven tracks. From the growling riffs and melodic choruses in Mylar, to the huge harmonies and earwig bassline in Back to Me, this EP will be sure to take you on a musically dynamic journey. Tom Bowden answers some questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.

What’s the latest for Inklines?
Recently we’ve just been doing a lot behind the scenes, working on some new songs and rehearsing heaps to get ready for some big things in 2019. We’ve got a small run of shows with British India in December too, which will be a nice way to sign the year off!

Is the pressure off a little bit now that the EP is out?
Certainly! We have been sitting on these tracks for some time now, and to finally have them released is a good feeling. However the pressure for the next release has since taken over, but now we have got some tracks out there for everyone to listen to, we have a bit more room to play with the new material.

Did it take a while to get your ideas sorted and where you wanted to take the EP?
In terms of song writing and producing, no. There were some songs which had been around for a few months before recording, but there were others that emerged weeks before we went into the studio, and they turned into some of the best tracks out of the lot. However, the post studio work (release plans, music videos, artworks etc) took quite some time to come together. We really paid attention to the details and wanted to do everything write the first time, so it ended up being over a year between recording and release.

Were there many songs leftover from the writing sessions?
You bet there is. We went into the studio with almost double the amount of songs that are on the Willing & Able EP, with the intention of recording and releasing a debut album. Although, after much deliberation we decided to split the songs up and release an EP first. What we do with the rest of the tracks is still up in the air but they will unveil themselves soon enough.

How was it working with Lachlan West?
Amazing. I wish he was my dad.

What do you think he brought to the table?
A fresh set of eyes, and we really needed it. We started off by giving him the demos of all the songs, and the notes he sent back to us were full of changes and “what if’s?”. At the time, some of his alterations really stood out to us as being not ordinary and completely out of the blue and not all of them stuck around. But the ones that did seem so obvious to us in hindsight, and they really transformed the tracks and took the recordings up a notch.

What is the story behind the single Back To Me?
It was one of those songs we knocked together pretty quickly and didn’t really expect to stand out. But once we all heard the first mix we agreed it definitely had potential to become a single, and we are super glad with how it turned out, video and all.

Are there plans for an album and what you might do next?
Album has always been on the table for sure. Like I said earlier, we originally recorded the tracks off the Willing & Able EP as part of an album, so we are definitely geared up and prepared to record another album. However, we are still unsure whether it’s time for that yet or if we stick to the EP’s and singles for the next few visits to the studio.

Biggest musical influence and why?
We all have a variety of influences and they are fairly diverse. I used to listen to a lot of ‘Muse’, and more recently its been ‘Catfish and the Bottlemen’. I can sit through their albums start to finish and just love every second of it. Dan loves ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’ and I know Will grew up listening to a lot of ‘Silverchair’ and ‘The Strokes’ – being the main songwriter for the band, Will’s influences probably shine through a bit more.

Is there plenty of tour action locked in for the summer?
We are in the process of locking in some dates for another tour early 2019, which we are super keen to rip into. It will mark a year since we did our very first national tour, covering Melbourne, Adelaide, Byron Bay, Perth and Sydney, which seems like yesterday to us all. Our next shows will be supporting ‘British India’ for the NSW leg of their ‘Nic the Poet’ tour, you can catch us on the following dates December 6 at Highfield Caringbah, December 7 at Tattersalls Hotel Penrith and December 8 at Narrabeen RSL.

Interview by Rob Lyon