Interview With James From New Jersey's The Murder & The Harlot
Described as "progressive metal-core with a lot of shifts," The Murder & The Harlot has been making some noise up and down the eastern seaboard recently. Willing to play any venue (see question #4 below), the band have been touring constantly, but still found time to release the debut studio full length, "These Hands Wrote The Bastard In Me" on January 11, 2011.
James, who plays bass, was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions via email (interview after the jump), and if you like what you read you can find out more, hear some of the band's music, and check upcoming show information at The Murder & The Harlot's MySpace Page.
Bloodofheroes: There isn’t a whole lot of information about you on the interhole – tell us about yourselves.
Well for one we're an honest/upfront group of dudes. You see what you get really. I'd like to say we're a unique blend. The influences vary between one another. From R&B to grindcore. I wouldn't say we limit ourselves. There always happens to be a ridiculous event with this band...whether its something someone did or said. Should always been a doozy in the end.
Bloodofheroes: There seems to be some consternation from a subgrenre-happy scene putting The Murder & The Harlot into a subgenre – if you had to create a subgenre for yourself, what would it be?
Yea it sounds like there's new genres coming out daily huh? And the balls in my court to come up with one...so I'm gonna throw one out there. Melatel Xcore? I know it may sound awkward off the tongue, but give it some reps. It' basically Melodic/Metal/Expiramental/Hardcore. And there you have it.
Bloodofheroes: Where did the band name come from?
Plain and simple. It's out of the book Crime and Punishment. Who doesn't like some murder and a prostitute? Right?
Bloodofheroes: The one thing I did find online is how you will play anywhere (garage, concert venue, warehouse, basement, meat locker, whatever) – what is behind that? Is there anywhere you won’t play? Like a disease infested garbage dump?
Honestly as a artist of whatever kind...how can you limit yourself in anything you do? Some of the most badass shows are in the weirdest places. And it's usually because no one gives a fuck and it's in your face. Literally. If we all had masks, Id be down for a garbage dump. I like a good challenge.
Bloodofheroes: "These Hands Wrote The Bastard In Me" came out on January 11, 2011 on Hotfoot Records – talk about how the band approached the album writing and recording sessions.
As far as the approach it was funny how everything came together because like me, we had two other new members and we were on a tight schedule. It really started with Ed, our guitar player, who would come over my house and lay down some riffs. We'd lay down shit for hours through the night until our eyeballs dropped to our knees. I would structure the songs out and put my two cents in on it. Then everyone else added their spice. All this running through [Pro]Logic and demoing it through a computer. We all had fresh minds cause this was new to us (recording a full length) so things kind of just came out. We were a bit rushed but overall we're all stoked on how it came out.
Bloodofheroes: Where does your musical inspiration come from? What are some influences that we wouldn’t expect?
Inspiration is an important thing when it comes to music. I feel the more diversity in inspiration the better, right? Our influences start with The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, MJ, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Bobby Brown, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Phil Collins, Anthrax, Nirvana, ...to present day Glassjaw, Refused, Meshuggah, Mastadon, Muse, Underoath, The Used, Thrice.
Bloodofheroes: Since the album has been out for a while now – what bits do you like the best? What bits would you change?
There's always going to be something you want to change in an album. With this one I'd like to texture it more next time. Also have more time to sit on ideas. I really enjoy the dynamics of the album and the positive nature it gives.
Bloodofheroes: Your music is pretty diverse – what is the crowd reaction when you play? To they go nuts or just stand with slacked jaws?
The crowd usually looks like they're taking a shit for the first time. One eye clinches and the other tries to pay attention. For the most part, everyone we've played in front of digs it for sure. I think it's going to take a little bit for people to understand. I could be wrong.
Bloodofheroes: Which song is your favorite to play live? Why?
"Hey Man" is my jam to play live. Plain and simple it's an ass kicker. There are lot of dynamics to the song and we can all freak out on stage. Also the song means a lot to me because it's about shitty people who just straight up lie. Fuck them.
Bloodofheroes: It is a warm summer day and you are relaxing and enjoying your favorite beverage – what is on the stereo?
An 80's mix. Billy Ocean - "Caribbean Queen" has to be on there.
Bloodofheroes: If there is one core message from The Murder & The Harlot you’d like to leave Metal Underground readers with, this is the time so lay it out!
Let's bring music back. It kind of ran away within the last five years. Screw the economy bullshit and whatever is going on, sit back and enjoy music for what it is. Give our album, "These Hands Wrote the Bastard in Me," a listen, we'd gratefully appreciate. We've been writing new tunes for the upcoming months, so stay tuned for new things. Cheers.
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