Dublin (dpa) – In a Dublin school art class, four young musicians get to know each other, form a rock quartet and go out with a few singles in their luggage to conquer the world.
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The story of the inhaler reads like a U2 press release in the early 1980s. Singer Elijah “Eli” is the son of Heusen U2 frontman Bono. But this fact is not a ticket for him and his associates, a genuine ticket or a guarantee of success.
On the contrary: guitarist Josh Jenkins, bassist Rob Keating, drummer Ryan McMahon and Hewson (all 21 years old) all work hard in their own voices. With success – her single “My Honest Face” has been played over 11 million times on the spot. Now, more than a year later than planned, the album “It Vault Evils Be Like This” is released.
Pandemic thwarts all plans
“Another version of the record was ready when our tour ended abruptly because of Covid-19,” says McMahon. “Pandemic physically separated us. At first we only worked online, but later formed a family and spent months together in the studio.”
Wasn’t there a creative crisis? Bono-Filius Heusen says the early mood of the Pandemic was frightening and debilitating. “But our producer said very well: To breathe, you have to breathe. From that moment on, we were excited for inspiration or movies or new music.”
It worked. “This is not only our first album, but also our second,” says McMahon. Pieces already recorded were thrown off the tracklist, and five new ones – stronger, denser and more mature – emerged. It speaks volumes about the epidemic and the effects it has had on musicians and their friends and families.
Hope for a post-pandemic world
The album does not sound like a debut. From the track titled “It’s not always like this”, you can hear loud and dancing hope for a post-pandemic world. The band emits wild, happy energy (“My Honest Face”, “Cheer Up Baby”) and spends a stunningly reduced but still emotional “A Night on the Floor”.
Inhalers surprise with the bold number “What a Strange Time to Live” which is short, spherical and psychological, before the album ends with a crash, with no sleep with “In My Sleep”. Without the rich guitars and long solos, these pieces speak for themselves: it’s a band, a unit – not just a singer and his musicians.
Four young people are locked in a confined space and have no chance to see others – perhaps not always an easy situation. The four of them – in their rehearsal room bed – have to squeeze and laugh together to fit the zoomed image: “Of course, as in any healthy relationship, there is a rift between us, but we have a common goal.”
There is no hint of arrogance, air or megalomania – there are decent, decent and funny young Irish people who hope to finally be able to play live again and show their album to fans.
“London’s park has national park benches, doesn’t it?”
The Irish “mums” are famous for taking extreme care of their children. Hussain and friends do not apply. His celebrity parents do not believe in reminding him: “When we were our first gig in London, our AirBnB fell into the water and we didn’t know where to go,” he reports. “We sat in a restaurant with all our belongings, and I called my mother if I knew where we could sleep. Her answer: There are park park benches in London, aren’t there?”
Although there is no financial support for adventure accidents – no one denies the musical influence of their families. McMahon’s parents also listen to the Beatles, David Bowie, and Thin Lizzie, Keating also listens to folk music, Jenkins loves hip-hop, hosts some of Hughes’ most famous musicians in the house, and the Joy Division, Talking Heads or Echo & Bunnymen.
Their debut album, Inhaler, shows that they are not the U2 offshoot, although Hussain’s voice is strongly reminiscent of the young Bono’s voice. In general, the father’s group has one important difference: the inhaler’s drummer is more talkative.
The band name still needs to be specified. Solution: Eli is asthmatic. His sister scoffed that he needed a spray – the English “inhaler” – she called him and his musician friends “inhalers”. But people have found it easier to catch: inhalers.