Power Pop perfection! John Murphy’s Sitcom Neighbor just released Shag, 11 songs that sound as fresh as they sound familiar. What a joy!
Murphy explains about the how and the why!
What was the biggest fun during the making of the last record?
The most fun I had was singing all the harmonies. There are a lot of lower harmonies so it was challenging. A close second would be watching Steve work on bass lines and the guitar solos. I’d put in my 2 cents of course but once it got going Steve was fun to watch!
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
I think once you’ve written a song that you feel good enough about that you want to record it, you think you have something special. Regardless I think we all go through the same 5 stages: This is great, I don’t know, this might be crap, this is ok I guess, and finally this is great (again)!
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
A lot of people talk about the money part of the music business, losing revenue to the free digital streams, etc. But for me it’s about the artist / producer shift. These days in the big leagues especially it’s all about the producers. They can take almost anybody and make a hit record. Back in the heyday of the sixties and seventies the artist was the focus. They had to come to the table with something to produce, which I think gave us a wider variety of music.
Producers tend to do the same thing over and over with different artists so there’s not as much variety, at least on traditional radio.
(Traditional radio, a whole other interview!l)
There is also the internet where, it could be argued, there’s too much variety!
Either way the music business hasn’t personally helped or hurt me as far as I know.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
With my current girl ( if I was a smart man and had been listening to her) it would have to be the following: 1.Q65- Get Out of My Life, Woman 2. Bob Dylan- Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat 3. Cramps- Goo Goo Muck 4. David Cassidy – Brown Eyes Your Beautiful 5. New York Dolls – Trash ( the new slower version to surprise her!)
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
Success? I can’t even spell that!
When I come up with a good song idea I feel successful, when I get a good recording of that song I feel successful, if I have enough songs that I can make a full record I feel successful and when I have the finished product in my hand, well lets be honest I’m exhausted and wiped out!!
Shag has felt successful to me do in large part to the response it has received from my fellow artists, many of whom I greatly admire. They’ve been very supportive and have helped me push this record a little bit, even setting up shows for me to play.
That support has led to more radio play and more reviews.
Of course everyone wants the traditional hit song and the money that comes with that.
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