It’s a scary thing for fans of a band when their lead vocalist goes solo. What does it mean for the band? Are they swaying away from their signature sound? Will it suck? These are all questions that fans of The Wombats don’t need to worry about as frontman Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy unleashes his solo project Love Fame Tragedy on the world, confirming it won’t strike tragedy for beloved UK outfit.
“We’ve already got a few songs for album five… I guess everyone has these egoic ideations of going solo or doing something like that but for me it was almost like business as usual. It was like where is the next great song coming from and where do I find it which is what I would have been doing anyway,” explains Murph. “I guess selfishly I wanted to make an album where I can pretty much do whatever I want and there’s no politics and I don’t have to push anything through. It doesn’t have to be overly political – not that The Wombats is overly political – but things definitely happen when you’re in a band with the same people for 16 years so I just wanted to have a crack at something new.”
With uber pop single, ‘My Cheating Heart’ making waves already, the distinctive vocals of Murph shines through. But the Liverpool-born lead has no conscious desire to differentiate Love Fame Tragedy from The Wombats.
“It’s weird because you know the record label and my manager – they’re always talking about differentiating from The Wombats but I can’t think like that. I write songs for The Wombats and my lyrics are my lyrics and my voice is my voice so some of these songs probably are going to sound like The Wombats songs. I hope that some of them don’t,” laughs Murph. “There’s a couple of songs on there that are just mega dance-y and poppy and I probably wouldn’t be getting away with those with The Wombats so there’s just less strings attached.”
‘My Cheating Heart’ will appear on the debut EP, ‘I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It’, inspired by the title of a Picasso exhibition at The Tate, London. It explores perception verse reality in the entertainment business and was written during Murph’s transition period of moving to LA and getting married. For the most part, however, the EP is a classic breakup album and not at all a reflection of his personal life.
“It’s weird, isn’t it? It’s something deep within,” he laughs. “The lyrics are the lyrics that I’ve probably been barking up the same tree for a long time and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. So yeah, there’s a lot of break up-y / angst-y vibes in the EP and pretty much everything I do.”
While Love Fame Tragedy is a solo project, Murph has pulled in some talented friends as contributors. On the first four track EP, Murph has called upon Joey Santiago of The Pixies, Gus Unger-Hamilton of Alt-J, former Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain and model / singer Maddy Jean Waterhouse. An additional 29 songs will be released in EP’s and albums over the coming months and include even more star-studded musicians.
“I’m just literally roping in as many people as I can. Mark [Stoermer] from The Killers plays on a song in the next EP and I’ve written a song with Dan [Smith] from Bastille…but the band itself is not going to be a super group.”
Live Murph will be pulling in friends to form his band in each city, which will include some exciting guests during his return down under (again – seriously time for a dual citizenship!) in October for Yours and Owls Festival and the Love Fame Tragedy national tour in Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane. We’ll have to wait and see who they are!
Tickets at www.secretsounds.com.
Debut EP I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It out Sept 13th
Written by Tammy Walters