How do you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
I would describe our sound as being familiar, falling into the emo and indie rock categories. However, I think our band is quite diverse in the fact that it is comprised of 4 guys who have different musical backgrounds and tastes and we all bring something different to the table. I have yet to think of another band out there that sounds like us or that we sound like. I think We Talked About Murder sounds a little like this, and little like that, but it doesn't sound like one particular "sound" or band.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Everyone in the band is 26 years old or older, so we're all influenced by "older" stuff. Personally, I would have to say: Firehose, Dinosaur Jr., Van Halen and other hair bands from the 80's, Superchunk, Sonic Youth, Rush, Fugazi, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes and all that good 70's stuff, Slint, Drive Like Jehu, Jawbreaker, etc. to name a few. I know that Mark's into older stuff like the Who and the Beatles. Rick likes Steely Dan, Braid, and Prince, among other things. Matt's into more hardcore stuff. Everyone in the band digs classic rock. That's pretty much the only thing we can listen to in the car where everyone is in agreement. Nothing like seeing 4 dorks bombing down the highway in an old Suburban listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive.
What are the top 5 CDs going in and out of your CD player right now?
That's a good question, and I'm going to be stretching it to name 5 CD's because I usually don't listen to that many CD's at once. I usually play one CD over and over and wear it out until I'm sick of it. That one CD as of late has been the new Stephen Malkmus record. Damn, that record is good. I've also been listening to the new Shipping News, the new Unwound, and Barry White's greatest hits. O.K. so that's only 4. Sorry.
Being that you are considered- by some- to be an indie rock band, what are your thoughts on the notion that the labels "emo" and indie rock seem to go hand in hand?
My feeling is that there are indie rock bands and there are emo bands. And then you have the majority of bands (like us, I think) that fall somewhere in between. I don't really have much of an opinion on this subject except that I think some people take it too seriously, and don't focus on the music itself. If something is labeled as emo or whatever, then right away you've got people deciding they don't like it. Human beings tend to categorize things, and when something doesn't fit a preconceived mold, then people get frustrated with it. However, if it makes someone's job easier to call our sound "emo" or "indie", then that's O.K. with us. We're just having a good time playing what comes naturally.
Just what is the Texas music scene like?
Overall, the Texas music scene is good. Austin is where it's at! Austin is by far the best city in the state, and probably the one of the best cities I've been to, period. Austin is the live music capital of the world, which is a good and bad thing. There is a lot of support for live music, but there is also a lot of competition. Everyone is in a band. There are so many musicians and live music venues here it's unbelievable. So you get a lot of great bands to see and play with, but you also have a lot of bands competing for spots and attention. It's tough.
What brought you all together as a band?
Matt and I used to play together in a band and when that band broke up, we wanted to start something else. I've known Rick for years, because we grew up in the same town (Corpus Christi) and we bumped into each other and mentioned the desire to play. I've also known Mark for years because I went to school in San Marcos, where he lives. We set up a practice and the rest is history.
What do you do outside of music?
I work in an office for my "day job" doing market research. It's not too bad. I like to hang out with my girlfriend and we play in our garden and do whatever sounds fun. Matt works in the kosher deli of a local supermarket, and he goes to chef school when he has the time. Mark works in a record store and works on his house. Rick goes to school for graphic design and works 2 jobs.
Why the name?
The name stems from a song title of an old band Matt and I used to be play with called Pressure in Time. I actually came up with phrase because I used to talk to this girl on the phone. I guess I talked about murder or death or something on the phone a couple of times, and she said, "Why do we always have to talk about murder?" or something like that. Anyway, she and I used to fight all the time. It got so that I didn't want to be around her or talk to her. Eventually, we stopped talking to each other because it made me miserable (and her as well, I imagine). The song title/band name means cutting out the things in your life that upset or anger you.
What are your thoughts on Has Anyone Ever Told You??
Well, my answer to this question is going to be biased. I really should let one of the other guys answer it, but since I'm the only one here, I'll answer it. Has Anyone Ever Told You? is a small record label started by myself and my girlfriend, Jennifer. It's just the 2 of us and we run it out of the spare bedroom of our house. Both Jennifer and I have always had a DIY attitude on just about everything, so it just seemed natural to us to start the label. We have both learned so much from running this business and I think we've done a pretty good job with the amount of knowledge, time, and funds that we've had to work with. So far, we've mainly worked with bands that I've been involved with, because its easy to learn about running a record label when on both the artist and label sides and when dealing with friends. We have put out some releases by a great band from El Paso by the name of Egon (they are the best band, check them out!), but we are about to start making this a more full time deal. We are currently in the process of recruiting new bands and we are going to be putting out some great releases this fall.
What does the future hold for We Talked About Murder?
To keep on keepin' on. We plan to play as much as we can in Austin and other Texas cities, as well as bordering states. We do a lot of weekend "tours", since we all have day jobs and it's hard to get away for extended periods of time. We are planning a short one to two week tour in October and we'll probably head north through the Midwest. We are also planning a split 7" with a yet unnamed band, as well as a full length CD. Both of those will probably be out sometime early next year.
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