You wouldn’t think this Midwest emo band came from a former cellist, jazz musician and drummer.
Ask St. Louis band Inches From Glory how to describe their sound and you’ll get a variety of answers.
The band of three’s consensus, however, is how their lead singer and bassist Blake Mickens describes them.
“We’re emo from the Midwest, but not Midwest emo,” Blake says.
Having that “emo” lable doesn’t always come with the stererotypes, Blake explains. It’s not like they have My Chemical Romance haircuts or wear eyeliner.
“I didn’t go through the emo thing, but there’s definitely way too many pictures of me with guyliner,” Blake says.
Blake, guitarist Kelly Franklin and drummer Marty Aubuchon all come from different musical backgrounds.
Marty learned the drums after his father tried to teach him piano, an instrument his father played with his church. Kelly first got introduced to music playing the cello. She didn’t even pick up a guitar until high school. Blake played in his high school’s jazz band.
Despite their emo label, Kelly says the band doesn’t try to portray a certain image.
“Our vision is no vision,” she says.
“We’re just ourselves,” Marty adds. “If you have a vision, you end up looking like 30 Seconds to Mars.”
They all take influences from non-emo musicians. Their idols range from low-key indie musicians to old-school jazz.
The band crafts their emo, punk-inspired sound with twinkly, arpeggiated major seven chords. Their sound surprises Marty, who says he usually listens to pop but loves listening to Inches’ songs.
“I’ve never been in another band where I genuinely listen to the stuff we make,” Marty says.
Blake, who writes the majority of Inches From Glory’s music, says there’s no point in writing music you can’t “bop” to. He wrote songs for Inches before Aaron and Kelly joined the band.
Blake encourages anyone to pursue music, regardless of their musical background.
“You shouldn’t have to think, ‘Oh I don’t know theory and I don’t know chords and notes and I can’t do it. I can’t make awesome music.'” he says. “That’s incorrect. You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it.”