With rapid momentum, Murder FM (Murder F*cking Music, in full) are in their ascent from the dive bar to the mega-stadiums in which they had seen KISS and Motley Crue as impressionable young’ns. Their dark, industrial-tinged fist-pumping anthems have been picking up both critical buzz and radio airplay, striking chords within a diverse array of music-lovers. Between managing the affairs of his band, living on the road, and being a father, it’s remarkable that frontman and songwriter Norman Matthew found any time in his schedule to answer our questions.
Interview By Sean Barrett
From September 2015 Vandala Magazine
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Pumped for Dirtfest?
Norman: Absofreakinlutely! Dirtfest was a big tipping point for the band last year, and to come back this year on the main stage is like a rock n roll cinderella story \m/
Any bands there you’re looking foward to seeing?
Norman: Down, without a doubt. Hellyeah. of course (1,2, Barbeque), those are our Texas brethren. Also Startset. We have crossed paths with those dudes so many times, it would be killer to actually see them finally! We are excited to see all our fans from last year and our traveling fans. Murder FM made a mess last year and now we’re coming back to finish it up haha!
I’m not seeing any dates listed afterwards. Are you gonna be taking it easy?
Norman: Hell no! Dates are about to be announced. We didn’t realize there was a demand for the band in certain markets in the US, add to that we had a surge at radio with the lead single “We The Evil” being added to so many killer radio stations, so we had to adjust and adapt to that quickly. We will definitely be out in big spurts from the release of “Happily Neverafter” on 8/7 until 2016!
Why do you think so few bands are shooting for the arenas these days?
Norman: Because they don’t have the balls to dream big! I mean that in the nicest possible way. For some reason along the way, it became passe’ to want to be successful. So many bands trying soooo hard to be sooo hard, it’s actually become comical and a parody of itself. By trying sooo hard to not be cliche’ and Spinal Tap, some bands have actually turned into the cliche’ on accident, y’know? I grew up idolizing bands, they were larger than life to me and gave me the ambition and drive to be the biggest rock band in the world, or at least have a great time trying! I wasn’t and still am not afraid to say that we want to be a successful band. We work our asses off, we have played every ditch and armpit we can possibly imagine. We rolled up our sleeves long ago and started doing the grommet work which earned us our cult following. Maybe it’s just easier to get in with a scene and live in die in that scene, but I’ve always wanted to transcend that and cross over. I want people to be in love and captivated with rock bands again.
In a band of this ambition-level, to what extent are things kept D.I.Y.?
Norman: We are about is real as it gets man. We are part of the machine now with label, management, booking, publicist, distro, but make no mistake my friend, I grew up in a border town with a mafia mentality, so everyone is only lucky enough to go a couple days without hearing from me on some level haha! Part of our deal was that is was going to be treated as a partnership with the label. We have veto power on decisions. We have creative control and we choose when it’s time to tour, we don’t like to wring the towel on markets, we want our fans to know, if we are coming around a second and third time, it’s because we WANT to and we love doing. We keep the band and the legion very close to the chest.
Of the bands you’ve toured with, whose fans have responded best to your sound?
Norman: Oddly enough, we have had great responses from Deftones to Five Finger Death Punch, Avatar, Gemini Syndrome to Black Veil Brides, Korn and The Used. That’s the thing about our sound, mentality and essence, we can appeal to a broad audience, by design or flaw, I’m unsure, but we do. Opening for Rob Zombie was without a doubt the absolute best responses and really put the band over.
Any up-and-coming bands out there you’d like to bring on the road?
Norman: The Projekt, Vannah Red, Heartbreak Heroes, Looking Glass, The Nameless. I remember being very young, in a band and needing someone to help me break the glass ceiling, and it means alot to me if I can ever help out any young band that really wants to lay it all on the line. There’s a certain romantic element to helping a young band develop and grow under your wing. They become a part of you. “Fame may fade, but legacy is eternal”.
How was the Tommy Lee remix for you? Any plans to collaborate with anyone else?
Norman: It was huge! Bigger than his infamous penis haha! I open my inbox one day and I’ve got a new message from Tommy Lee to share files in a dropbox. Next thing you know, we are getting that remix of “We The Evil” done. Our A&R guy at the label put that together. He knows Tommy, had a hunch he might like the band. I jokingly mentioned the idea of a remix and next thing you know, it was real…well, surreal honestly. I worked with one of my childhood idols on my own music, and even cooler, I gained a friend out of it. He’s a big supporter of Murder FM and he is a super sweet dude. Definitely one of the biggest moments in my musical career. “We the LEE-Vil” Baby! We also have Will Hunt of EVANESCENCE playing drums on the title track “Happily Neverafter”. I’m always open to collaborations. Someone tell Robert Smith of THE CURE to call me haha!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Norman: Thank you to all our fans. YOU put us on the map, YOU made this possible, our new record “Happily Neverafter” is a trophy representing your undying support! Everytime Murder FM takes a step up, know it’s really a win for YOU! Sure we write the songs, play the shows and drive the miles, but if you weren’t there to breathe life into it, we would not exist. So Thank you! #getevil. “Happily Neverafter”, 8/7/15 on Famous Records Global/ Pavement/ MRI/ Sony Red
Check out Murder FM out online and be sure to grab your copy of “Happily Never After” as well.