On the Road w/ Walrus

Posted by Megan Hilario, July 20, 2017

We talked to Jordan Murphy of the Halifax psych rock band about how Walrus got started, what they've been up to and where they're headed next.

What’s the story behind how the band formed?
We formed about 5 years ago when my brother Justin started recording some songs at home. He would put all the instruments on and then I'd do drums and percussion. We released a few EPs and then started touring as soon as we could.

What is it like being a band in the Halifax music scene, and the pros and cons of breaking out of it?
Halifax is a small city and has a small music scene. There are lots of great musicians and bands doing their thing here. Since it's fairly isolated from other big Canadian or US cities, bands definitely have to work harder and travel farther to get known. We are on the road a lot and only play Halifax a couple times a year, so I don't feel like I know as much of the bands in the city as well as I did a few years ago, but I think Halifax will always have a vibrant music scene.

Last month you released your first full length, Family Hangover, is there a certain process, either individually or as a band that seemed to help the creative process?
Well, Justin writes all the tunes and then brings them to the group. He usually has an idea for different parts, then we kind of flesh them out together and they continue to grow as we play them live. We worked on this album for quite a long time, trying to make it sound just the way we wanted in the studio.

What would you say inspired the lyrics and sounds of your most recent EP, Family Hangover?
Justin would have to talk about the lyrics and writing the songs in terms of sound but I would say we were really inspired by the studio we work out of, and working with Charles Austin. He would always have suggestions for different amps or using different types of tape machines on different instruments. We experimented a lot. That really helped shape the sound of the album. As far as other influences, it's definitely a melting pot of all our own influences individually, in terms of our own parts.

What’s your favorite song to play live?
Regular Face

You guys have some pretty quirky music videos, we're curious to know what the planning/inspiration was behind them, or if you kind of go in with an idea, and see what comes about?
We've done most of our videos with our pal, Jeff Miller, and we love his work. Some of the ideas we've come up with and some Jeff has brought to us but we always end up working them out together when it comes time to shoot. Usually they start with just a small idea or something we think would look cool with a specific song.

You guys are just about to finish a full tour, with Toronto being your second last show on this run, what’s next for the band?
Yeah, we are wrapping up this little run in Toronto and then we are off to St. John's next weekend for George St. Festival. We've been really busy on the road recently. Left Halifax at the end of May for Field Trip and then a EU/UK tour and US/West Coast tour right after one another. We were only home for 2 days in June, but we only have a few dates/festivals in July and then we are off in August. It's been a busy year since February. We'll gear back up in September for some dates with Matt Mays, Night Owl Festival in Toronto with Ty Segall and some more US stuff. Looks like we'll be touring a lot in October around the US as well.

If the band could support any act, dead or alive who would be?

I'm gonna say an alive Radiohead but that answer would be different for each member I think.

What’s your favorite live show you’ve attended?
Again I'd say Radiohead, in Montreal.

What is your earliest memory of what sparked your love for music and passion to perform and write lyrics?

When it comes to writing the lyrics and music of Walrus songs, again you'd have to ask my brother. But for me, as early as I can remember music has been around my life. Our father plays and loves music so he always had us involved with it. I started playing when I was 4 or 5 and it was always around our house. The Beatles are his favorite band so my first experience musically probably had something to do with them.

See Walrus perform live alongside Petra Glynt, Future Peers and Jake Boyd of Hollerado on JUL 22 in the Drake Underground. Get your tickets here!

Posted in: Music

Tags: drake underground  music  walrus