- 08 May 19
Hotly tipped rockers The Murder Capital on their growing cult following, their friendship with Fontaines DC, and supporting high-flying punks Idles.
It was as support act to Fontaines DC your humble correspondent first came across The Murder Capital, the spell they cast with their gritty cacophony was mesmerisingly potent and I remain happily in their thrall to this day.
Since then they have kept the devoted on tenterhooks drip feeding us morsels such as YouTube clip ’More Is Less’ and debut single proper ‘Feeling Fades’.
Momentum grew. Dates sold out. Audiences transmogrified into baying mobs.
But behind this minimalist approach is a deliberate intent.
“This is everything for us,” affirms frontman James McGovern. “We don’t do anything else in terms of career and life, this is all we do and it means so much to us. We do carefully consider our steps.”
As we speak, the band are in London putting the finishing touches to their next single ‘Green And Blue’, which they’re recording with Flood of U2, Nick Cave and New Order renown (he also produced ‘Feeling Fades’).
“His understanding of what you need and how to interact with you is superb,” enthuses James. “He’s incredible to record with and has become a great friend. There’s a trust there, we’re really lucky to have him. We’re going to record the album with him.
“The song came together really quickly. I actually wrote a poem on the bus on the way to rehearsal and it sparked an idea for a bassline. For a long time, we wanted to write a single with a bassline that didn’t change – one that was repetitive and relentless, which can be overbearing but also provide a sense of safety somehow. Green and blue are colours that are fundamental to nature, the land and the sea. I wanted to write a story about the things that are natural and important to us, and how to bring us back to experiencing life that way again when we get lost.”
The last time we spoke to James, he was carrying a book of Keats poems. What’s burning a hole in his pocket these days?
“Ha ha! My favourite bookshop is The Time Travellers Wife in Skibbereen, it is full of rarities. I found a book there titled Poetry By The Best Authors, which made me laugh. The inscription is dated 1862. It contains a huge range of poets and I take broad inspiration from that, but Keats is a pillar in The Murder Capital’s life.”
They have, of course, been courted by several labels, but McGovern et al are happy to follow the independent route.
“We released the first single on our own Human Season Records,” he says. “We want to see how much control we can retain and how much we can do ourselves. We’ll see how far we can take it. Who knows – in a few years time, we could end up signing bands to it, and it could become another extension of ourselves.”
Additionally, several advances were made by management companies, but the Dublin troupe eventually settled with Q Prime, home to Metallica and Snow Patrol.
“We got lots of interest from many different managers – we met six or seven of them in London. Damien, Cathal from the band went over with myself. At the time, our bassist and drummer had left, so we were just pretending they had stayed at home and everything was okay! We found the perfect people in Diarmuid and Gabriel. We worked off our instincts in terms of choosing our manager, Tara Richardson. We talk to her on the phone everyday It was a gut decision.”
In the UK, the response has also been positive: The Murder Capital have just sold out a surprise show at the Windmill in Brixton, and were enthusiastically received when they supported Idles.
“The Electric Ballroom is the biggest room we have played to date – it was crazy!” says McGovern of the Idles show. “We were able to watch them from the side of the stage, and we had a few drinks with them afterwards. Joe is a really lovely guy – he’s very considered and empathetic. You can tell that he nurtures his thoughts before spitting them out.” McGovern is also more than happy to enthuse about the band’s friends Fontaines D.C.
“I’m so proud of them and the work they put into that album,” he smiles. “It’s such a great record. You can tell they’ve trusted their gut and their authenticity is shining through. It’s a beautiful body of work.”
As for their own debut?
“There’s no timeline yet. All I can say is it will be released!” he laughs.
Considering the buzz they’ve generated, The Murder Capital are certainly approaching this music business lark in a very mature manner.
“Ha-ha! Hang out with us for a day and say that again!”
The Murder Capital play Whelan’s on May 11 as part of the Eastbound Festival