What is your names?
Just me, it’s a solo project, so Michael Robert Murphy
Give us a little bio about you.
I’ve been a frontman, singer and songwriter in bands since I was 18. Most known for being in The Wicked Whispers, a psych/rock band from Liverpool who went on to do countless tours across UK and Europe and had a solid fanbase, who lapped up our collectable vinyl releases and shows. We also did OK in the mainstream, getting decent UK press and radio including BBC Radio1 and 6Music. I started a label to run things and learnt everything I could about the business and built a strong network. After the band ended, I took some time out and then launched a solo career, dropping a lo-fi EP called ‘Metamorph’ in late 2020, which features some real raw emotional tracks including ‘Out Of Sight’ and ‘Dry Those Tears’. Since then, I’ve been in the Studio with The Coral’s James Skelly to record some singles. The first, ‘Puzzles’ dropped this month.
What made you go into music?
We got taught about The Beatles in school and I was hooked from there. Also, I used to love pulling out my mums Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and classical records, so music become an expressive form from an early age.
Who are your influences?
The Beatles, The Kinks, Neil Young, The Doors, Love, The Coral, Oasis, Nick Cave, Steve Mason. I find new music and influences every day
Are you a signed?
I’m releasing through my own label currently called Rabbit Hole Records.
Tell us more about the latest single.
Me and James Skelly (The Coral and producer of Blossoms/The Lathums), having known each other for years, started chatting on working together on my next singles after the debut EP. For the first time I approached it differently and quickly wrote five songs and sent them to James. He picked two of his favourites and I went in and recorded them. I drafted in another mate Phil Murphy (Peach Fuzz, Mick Head, Bill Ryder-Jones) to play drums and then James and engineer/studio manager, Chris Taylor played all the instruments. It was really smooth and fun as it should be. First single ‘Puzzles’ James brought my music back to my psych roots but took it somewhere new.
What is the meaning behind the single?
The song is about being your own worst enemy sometimes when good things are staring you in the face. Although I deciphered this after I wrote it which is common for me. I never go in knowing what my songs will detail in advance.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing and recording process like?
A dream. James Skelly is one of my favourite singers and songwriters of all time. So, working with him felt special. Hearing him sing along to my songs was boss. I think we made a great team and defo drive each other on and putting each other onto new music. It was also chance to return to Parr Street Studios, one of my favourite places to record. When I was a very young, I recorded there while Coldplay were recording Rush Of Blood to The Head and got used to hanging around the studio with great artists like that regularly. I went into the studio once a couple of years later to pick up a mix and Oasis were rehearsing there. Always full of superstars and the best local acts alike. I love it there.
Will we also see a music video for ‘Puzzles’, if so what can we expect?
Yeah, it dropped on release. It’s my fave video of mine to date done by a great mate of mine, Dan Hewitson of Freakbeat Films. It’s the perfect visual marriage. Arty, trippy and visually stunning. All done fairly quickly and cheaply too, Dan has the magic to make something special from very little and we love working on ideas together. We wanted the artwork to bring the video life. It did.
Will we see an EP or album and if so, what can we expect from it?
My debut EP was the start so ‘Puzzles’ is the start of the next chapter. Expect another new single and a special vinyl release to drop in time for the summer. Behind the scenes I’m writing working out my debut album.
What else can we expect in 2021?
Another two or three singles, some festival appearances and a big hometown headline show at The Arts Club Liverpool Fri 26 November 2021. I may do some more UK shows also if there’s interest. I’m putting a band together for the live side so would love to get out there a bit more this year to warm up
Where do you see yourself now in five Years?
Still releasing music, I want to release as much as possible when the momentum is there and the fanbase grows
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
If I was to use one of my quotes, ‘Sink or Swim’ is always a good one. Or you’re IN or OUT
When you are at a gig, what are five things you cannot forget?
The smell of ale, the look of joy on people’s faces enjoying music, people coming together by music, the sound of the audience in harmony, the feeling you’ve discovered a new act tonight and off home to find their Spotify, vinyl releases or whatever