Features Interviews Murder By Death

Interviews: Murder By Death


Murder by Death have been making their way back and forth across the country in support of their latest album, Good Morning, Magpie. After traversing their way through a brutal storm in the Midwest, they managed to make it to sunny California. There, Scene Point Blank had a chance to chat with frontman Adam Turla to discuss their past endeavors and what the future holds. 

Scene Point Blank: Is it nice to be back in California after the messy weather in the Midwest? 

Adam Turla: Oh man. It’s so bad over there. We left right as it was starting. There was snow half way up our van. We had to chip away a bunch of ice. I'm kind of scared to go back.

Scene Point Blank: You're gonna need a snowplow to lead the way

Adam Turla: Yeah! We need one of those.

Scene Point Blank: Have you all started writing for the next album already?

Adam Turla: A little here and there. We’re going to finish this tour and then really get down to writing.

Scene Point Blank: Do you plan on doing any more camping out in the mountains to write?

Adam Turla: I’m going to do some camping over the summer but more for just enjoyment.

Scene Point Blank: Can we expect there to be another chapter in the "Desert Series?"

Adam Turla: I don’t know. I don’t want it to seem too gimmicky. When I started writing Red of Tooth and Claw, I didn’t intend for it to be a part of that story. Then I just thought, “this guy could be the same guy that shot the devil.”

Scene Point Blank: Speaking of the "Desert Series," I know you were writing a comic to go with Who will Survive and Red of Tooth. What’s the status on that?

Adam Turla: Not very far. I have a couple pages but my buddy, who’s an illustrator, is busy. I’m busy touring. I’m thinking of telling him we’ll just spend a few days in some cabin and just write it out. Get pages drawn up. Just get it done.

Scene Point Blank: Do you plan on it being a series, or will it be more of a one shot deal?

Adam Turla: The idea was to do a graphic novel. Like a 100 page graphic novel.

Scene Point Blank: With the DVD, it seems like it was missing footage shot at certain shows. I don’t recall seeing any of the Hollywood footage that was supposedly shot. Apparently, there’s no San Francisco footage either--

Adam Turla: Yeah, the sound on that wasn’t very good and some of the shots weren't great. The thing is, we weren’t really supposed to film at the Troubadour anyway.

Scene Point Blank: Why is that?

Adam Turla: They just don’t allow it.

Scene Point Blank: What’s going on with the "7 Series?" You’ve got 4 out there and 3 to go.

Adam Turla: Yeah, The Builders and Butchers will be the next one. They recorded “Until Morale improves.” We covered their song, “In the Branches.”

Scene Point Blank: Have you got the other two bands?

Adam Turla: There are a few people who said they would do it: Frank Turner and J Roddy Walston. We asked Lucero, but those guys never get stuff done. Laughs. We asked Against Me! and they were unsure.

Scene Point Blank: I had actually interviewed Against Me! a week or so ago, and they didn't recall being asked.

Adam Turla: Who did you interview?

Scene Point Blank: Andrew.

Adam Turla: I'll have to message him about it.

Scene Point Blank: Are there any bands you tried to get, but they just didn’t have the time or the interest?

Adam Turla: Well, Lucero and Against Me!, but we’re friends with them. We don’t really want to push them. We messaged Mastodon’s management because we really want a metal band. We think it’d be cool to get a metal band and their management kind of seemed interested, but we might have to push them. If they're not a fan already, then it's a matter of them going through our catalog and picking a song.

Scene Point Blank: Have you thought about The Loved Ones?

Adam Turla: Loved Ones. Hmm, we haven’t got a punk band. That might be something. Also, it may go beyond seven if there are enough people interested.

Scene Point Blank: You put out Skeletons in the Closet, a compilation of rarities, demos, and live stuff. There are two tracks that particularly interest me: “Crows” and “Songasaurus Rex.” Both are from 2005, and I don’t think either song had been previously released--

Adam Turla: Yeah, those were just songs we didn’t like enough for Bocca. When I was going through my closet and found all the archives, I just found all these songs. I didn’t intend on releasing a b-sides album, but there was just so much stuff—like this Guns n' Roses cover no one’s heard. With "Crows," I just kind of sat down with a mic and recorded it. The same thing kind of happened with "Songasaurus Rex." We wanted to try to do a crazy instrumental track, but we just didn’t like it enough for the album. Then, when I was going through the archives and listened again, I thought it was pretty good. I figured I put out all our vinyl and shit, so I’ll just put these all out and hopefully people will buy it.

Scene Point Blank: One thing I noticed about "Songasaurus Rex" is that it sounds like something that could have been on Like The Exorcist.

Adam Turla: Yeah! That was kind of the idea. To write something like that album but--

Scene Point Blank: But with a modern take on it?

Adam Turla: Yeah, and a cool thing about that is they really are like skeletons out of the closet because they're like skeletons of songs. Also, another thing about that: it starts with the newest stuff and goes to the oldest. I did it chronologically.

Scene Point Blank: I didn’t even notice that! Now, “Yes” from Magpie was written for Bocca wasn’t it?

Adam Turla: It wasn’t written for Bocca, but it was written during that time. Yeah, I love “Yes.” I think we’re playing it--

Scene Point Blank: Tonight! Tonight!

Adam Turla: No, not tonight. Tomorrow, I think we’re playing it.

Scene Point Blank: Did you think to bring back "Crows" for Good Morning, Magpie?

Adam Turla: No--

Scene Point Blank: Because you hadn't heard it yet, since--

Adam Turla: Yeah, not since September when I went through the archives.

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Words by Aaron H on March 7, 2011, 4:56 a.m.

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Murder By Death

Posted by Aaron H on March 7, 2011, 4:56 a.m.

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