Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy has emerged from The Wombats’ burrow with his debut solo project (featuring several luminary guests including Pixies’ Joey Santiago and Alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton), Love Fame Tragedy.
STACK: The Picasso show (for which you named this project) focuses on a period of fierce, mad creativity in 1932 when the artist painted a ton of images of his secret lover. Were you deliberately seeking inspiration in art when you visited the exhibition?
MM: I guess I was, yeah. I always tend to go to galleries and museums to get inspired. It’s a great opportunity to shut off the rest of the world and search for ideas. It tends to get me excited and forces me to remember that there are infinite possibilities out there, most of which are are often overlooked in day to day life.
Did your direct nod to The Killers’ Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine in Pills come before or after [The Killers bassist/rhythm guitarist] Mark Stoermer became involved with the project?
It was a lyric I had in my phone from years ago. I did think about getting him to throw a bassline underneath the lyric, but then I realised how cheesy that would be.
Do you remember when or how you came up with the phrase “a poorly-timed backflip” [from Backflip]? It reminds me very much of one of those fail compilation videos.
I have no recollection. I am guilty for watching a lot of that fail crap I think. But i was drawn to how excitable someone who is about to perform a backflip is, followed by the complete opposite when they stack the landing.
You describe guest Maddie Waterhouse’s wonderful voice as “soft and cool in that Sexy Boy vein” – are Air a band that’s always somewhere on your playlist?
I mean Air are a mega cool band, but I’m not exactly a die-hard fan. I love the juxtaposition of male and female voice on songs and that’s something that I really want to explore in this project.
Matt Chamberlain is an incredibly lauded drummer; what is it about his approach that you love?
Ah, man… he was literally insane. He played on three songs and it took about one hour for him to record all of them. We were all chuckling in the control room. Drummers like him don’t come around too often.
Considering the title of this EP [I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It], did you want to explore anything specific about the victim mentality or how it reveals itself, through these songs?
The title came from a conversation I had with my wife. She was saying I always play the victim in all my songs, and I was like, ‘Hang on, isn’t that 90% of all songs?’ It’s an interesting topic. The title is also a slightly comedic look on how the victim mentality only has so much gas in the tank, and at some point in life you have to move beyond it.
I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It by Love Fame Tragedy is out September 27 via Good Soldier.
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