Drummer Dave Ullrich, one-half of the Kingston, Ontario, power duo The Inbreds, knew they had a good thing going from the start.
It was just him and bassist-vocalist Mike O’Neill jamming together three years ago, with every intention of recruiting more members along the way, but the ultimate stripped-down package elicited enough of a favorable fan response that they put two and two together and stayed that way.
“There were definitely times when we were generally insecure about what we were doing,” Ullrich said recently. “We were never really looking for a guitar player or anyone else to augment our sound. Maybe we will in the future, but right now everyone’s being very supportive. The reaction keeps us going.”
The reaction also piqued the interest of TAG Recordings, the new Atlantic imprint. It caught wind of The Inbreds’ bare-bones rock debut “Kombinator,” fueled by O’Neill’s hook-laden lyrics, and is releasing it Aug. 22, along with the savvy single “Any Sense of Time.”
After months of nonstop touring, the ball started rolling for The Inbreds after they received airplay on Canadian Broadcasting Co.’s popular “Brave New Waves” program. Through their own label, PF Records, they also mailed demo discs to record companies, including TAG.
“I called them up and they said they received the package but no CD. Someone had ripped it off,” Ullrich said.
It was proof enough for TAG.
To survive as a duo, the two must get along. Ullrich said he and O’Neill are best friends.
“We’d have to be, just by default,” he said, laughing. “There’s no one to decide the arguments. They’re always a tie. It’s just us and the instruments in the car going from town to town.”