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.