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Death becomes her
Anna Murphy from We Should Be Dead talks to Roe McDermott about the differences between Limerick and L.A., playing Simon Cowell when auditioning new band members and her haunted phone…
Roe McDermott, 19 Aug 2010
"Could you ring my landline?" asks Anna Murphy when I call. "My phone has this habit of pressing buttons during calls." Does she mean that she has a habit of pressing buttons during calls? "No! Why does everyone think it's me, it's not! It's the phone, it's haunted or something."
Ah yes, the old "my electronical equipment is demonically possessed" problem. An epidemic sweeping the nation. When I ask about We Should Be Dead's bummer of a moniker, it seems a ghost has pushed the 'Delete' button in Murphy's memory too.
"No-one can remember where the band name came from. It's terrible!" she laughs. "Usually we make up a different story every time. You run out of things to say. I think originally it was 'You Should Be Dead'. We thought our audience might get a bit offended!"
As it is, people don't seem to agree with the band title's sentiment and are very glad We Should Be Dead are alive and making music. They've just returned from an extremely successful tour of America and a year-long stint in Los Angeles, where they not only gained a huge following, but recorded their latest album, Dreamstate. However, despite the great reception the band enjoyed, it seems their stay in L.A. was not an easy one.
"It was really hard to adapt over there, it's so different. Irish people, and I think particularly Limerick people, are very 'no bullshit'. We like having a laugh too. But over there they didn't get us, our humour, nothing. We probably came back knowing a hell of a lot more about the industry, but that's because over there it's all business. Even at gigs, because of all the competition, it's so impersonal. You'll have six bands playing every venue and it's very 'get in, play your set, pack up your crap and get out!'"
This impersonal vibe extended to the social scene too, and the lively, fun-loving band found that the Land of the Free wasn't necessarily the Land of the Fun.
"It's really hard to make acquaintainces, and you do notice that a lot of people over there don't have friends. It's sad. You'll see them floating around at all these parties on their own. It's probably because L.A. is so vast and spread out that unless you drive everywhere you meet people once and never see them again. So we did that typical Irish thing. We met a few Irish bands and formed a mini Irish community. We needed to so that we could have some craic!"