Hello! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We’ve been well. Just had two amazing weekends at music festivals- Hillside (Guelph, ON) and River and Sky (Field, ON)- and we’re still buzzing from how much fun and how great the crowds were. Possibly also still buzzing from all the beer and liquor. Luckily for our bodies and minds we have this coming weekend off before we enter into a jam packed August and then, come September, a whole bunch of touring.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I’ve Always Been A Gambler”?
This song is the first publicly available track from our upcoming third album, Wicked Lines & Veins. I guess you might call it an advanced single. We recorded it in our hometown (Sudbury, Ontario) at a brand new studio called Deadpan Records. We tour with a sound tech and have since our first ever outing and he (Matthew Wiewel) owns the studio with his partner Jen McKerral. This album was the first one tracked there with him in its entirety. We’re really excited for people to hear the new album, and this single is really just a sneak peek at what we’ve got in store for everyone.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not so much an event, but frequent listening of old folk and bluegrass songs that have similar themes. Particularly “The Cuckoo”, or at least a version of it, a song that mainly speaks of the narrator’s desires that range from love, winning and, of course, gambling. The narrator in our “Gambler” even borrows a line or two from it.
How was the film experience?
The filming experience was really fun and, overall, a very smooth and positive experience. We did the video with Shawn Cosmo of Here Kitty Kitty Productions. We were working with limited time and a limited crew, so it was very business like. We spent two days at a beautiful farm near Sudbury with a great cast of extras and helpers who helped make it all work. Shawn really deserves a ton of credit for running the show and telling us when to get back to work and stop messing around. It was also very hot in the loft of the barn where we shot all the actual gambling scenes and we were sweating up a storm.
The single comes off your new album Wicked Lines and Veins – what’s the story behind the title?
The title comes from the chorus of the title track of the record. In context, it’s a description of the topographical/geological markings that signal the transition from one landscape to another. In a larger sense, we chose it because it seemed to encompass several of the prevalent themes of the album: family, as in genealogical lines and the blood in our veins, our relationships with children and parents, the power of those bonds and the emptiness and devastation of their loss. In a different sense, the title also refers to the land of the Canadian frontier. Waterways carving lines and ridges out of the mineral veined bedrock, the unnatural straightness of farmer’s fields set against the natural wildness of the forests from which they are carved. We deal largely in rural and bucolic imagery, and we noticed that these themes kept popping up, so we decided on a title that summed it all up in a way.
How was the recording and writing process?
Barry Miles, our banjo/dobro player and one of the primary songwriters, wrote this song on his own and brought it in a rough form to the rest of us to work on. I know that he spent a lot of time carefully working on the lyrics to include allusions to some traditional songs and such. The arrangement came together pretty quickly- it’s a pretty tight, no nonsense type of song so that kind of calls for a tight, no nonsense structure. Recording wise, we had a blast working out harmonies (he sings the choruses so fast) and nailing down tones, etc. The setup at Deadpan Records really makes everything seem easy, so it all went very smoothly.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
More than anything- and maybe more than most of the tracks on the new album- this song has deep roots in the world of traditional folk music. Gambling, after all, is an ancient theme in music. The lyrics contain references to old songs that, we hope, some people will pick out and understand the contextual importance of. In a way, it’s an attempt to pay homage to the themes and characters of traditional world with some more modern musical twists.
Any plans to hit the road?
This summer we have a full slate of music festivals around Ontario to keep us busy. Coming up we have Blue Skies, Summerfolk, Live from the Rock, The Fred Eaglesmith Picnic, and Northern Vibe. In September, we’ll be headed to the Canadian Maritimes for three weeks to promote the album as it comes out that month. Come winter, we’ll likely be headed back overseas to both escape the cold weather and promote the new record over there.
What else is happening next in Murder Murder’s world?
We’re hoping to have a second single out in a little while with the release of the album. Of course, the album release is really the big thing for us. It comes out in September and we’ll be working our butts off to promote it. Expect to hear from us a whole bunch really soon!