Image: MUR-MAN (left to right: David Murdoch, Abi Knell, Jonny White and Jules-Franck Bellamy)
MUR-MAN are a North London four-piece indie rock band that craft high-octane, melodic pop songs about love, lust, heartbreak, and depression.
Following the release of their raw, promiscuous debut single, ‘Christian Boys’ comes the charmingly catchy ‘Trearddur Bay’. Laced with a hypnotic guitar riff and an infectious chorus, the upbeat arrangement provides a beautiful antithesis with the poignancy of the lyrics.
We caught up with the band to talk about the inspiration behind their new single, the importance of live music and their plans for 2019.
What’s the story behind MUR-MAN, how did you come up with the name?
David- I started like most, writing songs in my bedroom a few years back, my second names Murdoch and originally was going to be a whole concept/persona behind MUR-MAN, but I decided to stop thinking I’m Bowie and form a band instead!
Jules – Mur in French means wall, so I was slightly confused by the name when I joined the band but we’re all rolling with it now and kinda like the fact it’s unusual.
How and when did the band form?
David – We all met on Gumtree over the past year. I kept posting ads on there, as although London’s full of musicians it can be really difficult to just meet people that are likeminded.
Abbi – I first met David at a gig just over a year ago, we both love the same bands and performance styles, so we took off from there!
Who are your biggest influences?
All – Bruce Springsteen, Joy Division, Idles… some bands we’re not influenced by musically but by the way they approach performing and interacting with their audience. It’s such an important part of how you play. Though we’re mostly influenced by general life experiences, everything that comes with falling in and out of love, and the general stuff that makes people tick.
Tell us about your new single Trearddur Bay – what is the inspiration behind the lyrics?
David – It’s about growing up in North Wales, my parent’s divorce, my first depression, heartbreak, dark thoughts that came along with that. The lyrics at the end “I don’t want to fall in love again” was a mantra for many years, I think people can relate to it also.
Jon – We’ve been playing this one for a while now and it’s always been a personal favourite too. We’re glad we’re finally able to share it with everyone.
Touring in the digital age is now more important than ever. How important do you think it is for new bands to create meaningful experiences through live shows?
All – That’s always been important, it depends on the band and music, it’s sometimes disheartening when you go to a gig and the songs sound exactly like they do on the record. There needs to be an atmosphere and something special about watching a band live that separates them from their digital presence.
What can we expect from a MUR-MAN gig?
High energy from us all, the odd sing along, and usually Abbi’s mum comes down and sells our merch (we love Jill). Jon might crack a joke or two and Jules will continue to be the handsome enigma playing guitar on the end.
How do you come up with the concepts behind your music videos?
We normally just sit down and try to think of how we can make it as entertaining as the song, we didn’t want to go for the usual approach of singing to the camera for our first few videos; we wanted to make more of an impact. We enjoy making visuals and lyrics that can become talking points for people.
What does 2019 hold for MUR-MAN?
Bigger shows, a tour later this year and some VERY catchy singles.