Erin Dodd catches up with Southern rock’s finest in Mick and Tairrie B Murphy of My Ruin in advance of their UK tour this month to talk about the new free to download album ‘A Southern Revelation’ and what it means to them as a band who have been plugging away at the centre of heavy metal music for 13 years.
“Everything we do as a band holds significant meaning to us” – Mick Murphy
S] What is the relevance of the title A Southern Revelation? Does it hold any significant meaning for you as artists or personally?
MM] “We made the album in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee and in my opinion this had a very direct affect on the overall outcome. You can feel the Southern vibe all through it. Tairrie was reading The Book of Revelation during that period of time and it inspired some of the lyrics on this record. Everything we do as a band holds significant meaning to us.”
S] Why did you decide to make A Southern Revelation only available via download?
MM] “Tairrie came up with the idea while we were recording the album. As soon as I heard her say it, I knew it was a great idea. It appeals to me because it allows us to reach people directly and get our music to anyone anywhere in the world while leaving all the bull**it of record labels behind.”
TBM] “It’s our gift to the fans and our middle finger to our former label Tiefdruck Musik.”
S] What do you find are your main lyrical influences?
TBM] “The Bible has always been a main source of inspiration to me over the years and The Book of Daniel and Revelations played a heavy part in the lyrics of the new album. The lyrics on ASR were also heavily influenced by what we were going through at the time previous to writing them, shortly after the embarrassingly botched release of our sixth album ‘Ghosts And Good Stories’ on Tiefdruck, and our feelings toward that label and its owner.”
S] Many of your fans find a real emotional connection within your lyrics, is that something you consider when writing songs?
TBM] “I have always written for myself. It’s my way of venting and my release. My lyrics are often, if not always a direct reflection of my life during the time of writing each particular album. I love that so many of our fans can connect with my words and relate to my stories because I think the subject matter of love, anger, friendship, betrayal, trust and loyalty is universal and cathartic to scream about. I have never really thought about anyone but the relationship I am addressing in my lyrics when writing. It’s more of a personal therapeutic source of purging for me as an artist. If I sat down and wrote with the intention of my songs being relatable, they would probably sound as fake as I felt writing them. I think people relate because the lyrics are real.”
S] Tairrie, your vocals are lot “softer” on this album; was this a conscientious decision or was it more spontaneous?
TBM] “I would have to say it was a more spontaneous type of thing because I didn’t really plan it out. I wrote the songs and we never rehearsed them or did any pre-production with me vocally. I just went into the booth and let it spill. What you hear is what they were from birth. I always seem to record very in the moment, or at least I have on our last few albums.”
S] We love how you combine the sounds of pure Southern rock ‘n’ roll with aspects of heavy metal and powerful, rather soulful vocals. What made you decide on such a combination?
MM] “It’s a very natural thing. We just do what we do.”
TBM] “I’ve always felt my screaming spoken word was soulful to me but this is the first time I have heard someone else say this. I think our songs have always had a healthy and honest mixture of heart, passion and fire in both the music and lyrics which is what I think sets us apart from other female-fronted bands in our genre and makes what we do as My Ruin unique and ours.”
S] Are there any bands that you would consider to be your musical influences or heroes?
MM] “There are many great bands from my childhood that really set me on the rock path. Some that come to mind are: Kiss, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, U.F.O., Jeff Beck, Rick Derringer, Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads), Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.”
TBM] “I would have to site Nick Cave as a heavy musical influence for me personally. Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Henry Rollins and Phil Anselmo come to mind as well.”
S] One obvious event that has happened is your change from a four-piece to a two-piece. Has this changed My Ruin as a band? Do you see it now as a much more personal project?
MM] “This has always been a very personal project for Tairrie and me. We recorded the last couple records as a two-piece just to simplify things. We remain a four-piece band on-stage though and we currently have a ‘killer’ rhythm section with Isaac Lee on drums and Luciano Ferrea on bass.”
S] Mick, this change to a duo has obviously put a lot of emphasis on your musical talent, with you now playing guitar, bass and drums. Do you welcome the challenge or would you prefer to concentrate on one instrument?
MM] “I love playing all the instruments on our records but, I have also enjoyed recording the band as a four-piece in the past as well.”
S] You have a UK tour starting on January 18 to celebrate the release of your new album. Can you tell us about that?
TBM] “We’ve got a new agent on board named Mick Wood from STC Touring and he’s also promoting many of the shows. We’re excited to be kicking off the tour in Glasgow, Scotland on the 18 which is also my birthday and we’ll be doing 15 dates in the UK with a special one-off in Vaureal, France which is near Paris. We’ve got a really cool London-to-France coach trip planned as well for fans in the UK that everyone going is also very excited about and we are bringing Godsized, Long Day Fear and our good friends in Sanctorum out on the road with us. We are really looking forward to all the shows and after parties planned. We love the UK!”
S] Where do you see My Ruin in 10 years time, a My Ruin Greatest Hits album perhaps?
MM] “I gave up on predicting the future of the band years ago. At this point we take things one record and one tour at a time.”
TBM] “And, with that in mind, we would like to we would like to remind you how important it is to stand by underground artists that continue to do it for themselves and invite you to raise your middle fingers to toast the true spirit of independence by visiting our website www.myruin.net and downloading a free copy of our new seventh album and getting yourself a ticket to come see us on our upcoming tour.”
For more information visit the link above, and find tickets for the upcoming My Ruin tour here.