THE NAMM SHOW 2016 INTERVIEWS
Norman Matthew of Murder FM
Murder FM is a band on the rise, ready to break out in a vast and epic way! Their current magnum opus Happily Neverafter is being distributed by Sony/Red – and their single We The Evil has been remixed by none other than Tommy Lee of the mighty Mötley Crüe! We caught up with Norman Matthew, Murder FM’s wickedly charismatic front man at The Namm Show for an interview. As the sun was setting above the Anaheim Convention Center, we spoke with Mr. Matthew outside at the water fountain and it was truly time to GET EVIL! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Murder FM.
I’m Norman Matthew, I am the vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, janitor, therapist, life coach and an all around bad guy of the band. I do the business, so I always have to be the bad guy. Everyone else is so cool, I’ve got to be the bad guy. But you know what? This is what you got to do to get us where we got to be.
Where are you guys based and what is your local music scene like there?
We are based out of Texas, we all kind of live throughout Texas. I live in Dallas and the music scene is amazing right now, especially the rock and metal scene. Which has always kind of been great, I mean there is Pantera, Course of Empire, Drowning Pool, Toadies, they’re a rock band they’re not a metal band. But there’s always just kind of been a big scene out there and it’s still really kicking man, there’re some great young bands like The Looking Glass. Our band is doing great out there. There’s a ton of great clubs, just a great support for the scene, so I know that Dallas scene is kicking, San Antonio is kicking – where our drummer lives – and our drummer Shakes, we actually stole from the Sebastian Bach Band and Wednesday 13. That was a coup for us, man. So I know the scene is kicking out there. We are actually doing a Texas headline tour next week starting on the 28th, so we are really excited about that.
We’re here at NAMM, are there any exhibits you are really excited about?
You know, I’m a Gibson artist and I’m not just saying it, but the Gibson booth is great, the Blackstar stuff is great. I’m hoping to see more of it tomorrow because today has been the press and appearances. Which is cool, I remember five years ago standing in line to get Nikki Sixx’s autograph. Now it’s like Tommy Lee worked with us on the remix of our single- “We The Evil” – on our new record so it’s kind of crazy how things come full circle. It’s been really cool to be like “wow, I’m on the other side.” I remember walking by and thinking, man I wish I could be in a band and people want my autograph, you know. So it’s really cool, and I’m very thankful. We try to be extremely humble about it because it is awesome.
Let’s talk about “We The Evil,” what inspired the lyrics for that one?
You know, I must have been driving from the gym one day and I was like “why don’t people write songs from a ‘We’ perspective anymore?” Everything can be so, “I, I, I,” and very introspective and narcissistic and that’s cool, but I grew up on big arena bands. I was young and I didn’t get to enjoy it as a teenager, so I was trying to enjoy it now. Big things like, Wildside, Girls, Girls, Girls, Paradise City, We Will Rock You, it was all about the movement, so I was like “we the people” and then I was like yeah I can’t write a song about we the people, because I’m not political in that way and my history knowledge is zero. I was like “We The Evil” there we go. It’s like what happened to anthems, so it’s kind of our dark arena rock anthem. It where that comes from, it’s a fun song. Some things change, something simple, a good riff, a good groove, get the heads banging in the crowd, that’s what it’s about for us man.
Pick any other Murder FM song, what inspired the lyrics?
We have so many we can pick from, Lethal Lovers or Rainy Day Parade, would actually be two that I would pick lyrically that are pretty well done, because they didn’t come from such a personal place, as so much as a storytelling place. It came from a kernel of truth, so to speak, but it was one of those times again where I was like, we really got to write songs for people. I mean, who wants to hear me bitch about my relationship problems or my guitar player’s relationship problems, it’s like we really got to make this more for the people again, and make it about something that everyone can attach themselves to and kind of make it their song. I tried to do that with this record Happily Neverafter, really make it for the masses. If I wanted to sing songs about me and all the shit I go through, I could just sing and play acoustic guitar.
You said you worked with Tommy Lee, what was that experience like?
It was crazy, man. I’m wearing a Crüe shirt right now. It’s funny, the A&R guy at our record label said hey man, my friend is Tommy Lee and I think he’s really going to like your stuff, I want to send this to him. I think he can do something with it. I have this hunch and I have to send it to him. I’m like, sure dude – send it to Tommy Lee and I’m sure he’ll be all over it, wink wink. So we sent it and a few days later I’m getting emails from Tommy Lee and I’m like, what the hell? Is this really happening? Voicemails, send me the tracks dude, I want to remix this and turn it into a thing. Next thing you know, we’re working on a remix and there it was. Not only is he a friend, which is crazy, he’s a big supporter of the band. He was fighting to get us on some of those Crüe farewell shows, which is really cool – if it never came to fruition, which it didn’t, it was still just cool to be like, woah dude. I used to see you when I was 10 years old and now you’re trying to get my band personally, vouching for us. This is awesome.
Is there any band either now or from the past you’d want to open for? Who and why?
It would be four, obviously the Crüe but that won’t happen so we can scratch it off the list, KISS because that was the band that got me into it. Guns N Roses. KISS got me into it, GUNS N ROSES made the connection for me wanting to be Slash and Axl in one. I didn’t just want to sing or play guitar, I was like man I should put both of those into one. I was like, dude, I want to rip and I want to wail. And NIN, because they really introduced the dark side of things to me with the electronic side and Trent Reznor writing and recording everything. It was kind of how my creative process worked, so those three bands right there along with the Crüe kind of molded what I became. So it’d be cool to open for them. All things are possible. One of those is happening, I just can’t say yet. Once they announce it, we can announce it. It’ll be a big year for us. We’ll be seeing some arenas.
What’s up next for you guys?
Texas tour. We’ll be doing some co-headline stuff, which is cool to be moving up the ranks in the world. February, March and we’ll hit some arenas in April so we’re super psyched about that. Excited to make that announcement, I think it’ll be a great time especially for a band like us when people are saying that rock is dead. Not really, man. There’s just not enough bands taking chances, getting people excited about it, if you ask me. I’m not saying there are new bands that aren’t good, because a lot of new bands are my friends. We’re kind of like, lifers. We’ll be playing at a taco cabana with each other when we’re 60 years old. For us it was like, record deal or not we were going to be doing it at the level we were all the time, so when the record deal came about it was really cool. It helped us to launch us to an even higher level. The thing is, with us, we were going to do it no matter what. I think that transcends our audience a lot. It transcends to people, it feels very real in a way like, it would feel for Guns N Roses when they came out. That just, raw – we’re going to do this no matter what anybody says. So you might as well get with it now, because it’s going to happen. I don’t know, just perfect timing for us on those types of things because it’s really going to help us put the stamp on what we’re trying to do.
Do you have any messages for people reading this who should check out your band?
If you’re checking us out, thank you. If you’ve supported us, thank you. We definitely have a cult following that has brought us at the level we’re at, I say it all the time. We had zero marketing dollars up until we got signed and before that we got two top ten videos in Europe. We played in Finland and ended up on the game Rock Band III. That’s all because of our fans making that noise, so anyone that’s a part of our legion (so to speak), I want to personally thank you. It means a lot to us, because we know it. We read it, we keep up with the tweets and the Facebooks and Instagrams personally. It makes us inspired to see that level of support, especially at this level. So thank you.
(Interview and Photo by Ken Morton)
Murder FM on Facebook