Some of you may not be familiar with a little band named Murder By Death. The quartet from Indiana, according to their bio, “layers the vocal sounds of an old saloon with the haunting strings of an Hungarian folk dance and the hard driving rhythms of pure rock n’ roll, producing what Stuff magazine has called “lush, orchestrated songs,” somehow simultaneously reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Radiohead”, whatever that means. We were lucky enough to sit down (actually an e-mail interview, but sit down sounded better) with lead singer/guitarist Adam Turla and ask him a few questions that were on our minds. The following took place between the hours of 11-12am on May 11th, 2006.
Let’s start off with a cupcake question for our readers who might not be familiar with Murder By Death. Who are you? Where are you from? What’s your sign?
My name is Adam Turla. I sing and play the guitar for Murder by Death. We are from Bloomington, Indiana. I am a cancer.
Murder by Death is a fairly memorable name. Who came up with it, and is there any hidden meaning?
It is from the Neil Simon play of the same name. It’s a murder mystery spoof, making fun of all the classic mystery novels while being a classic murder mystery story. The idea was to a have a name that sounded dark but was funny when you thought about it, (since it doesn’t make sense).
Your newest album, In Bocca al Lupo, is coming out May 23rd. Do you have any big pre-promotion plans?
We are doing a long long tour to support the record, as well as a lot of acoustic in-stores and radio performances of alternate versions of the songs. Right now on our website you can preorder the record and get a free t-shirt if thats what you mean by pre-promotion by the way.
Your previous albums have seemed to have their own unique style and theme. Where were you trying to go with this album? Does it still follow a story or theme like your previous releases?
This album is thematically about sin, redemption, and guilt. The songs are each about a different character who fits the bill. In that sense it is like an anthology of short stories all tied together by the same themes.
I like “Sometimes the Line Walks You” and “Shiola” the most.
I personally am a huge fan of everything Murder By Death, and I know you are about to embark on a massive tour showcasing and promoting the new album. Are you as hyped for In Bocca Al Lupo and the tour as your fans, including myself, inevitably are?
We are very very excited. We’ve never done an entire US headlining tour before so we are very curious to see how it goes. Hopefully people will enjoy it! On the tour we will be projecting a film I pieced together from old 16mm film clips that loosely go with the music we are playing. It has everything from matadors to old fisherman to haitian dance in it and should look pretty awesome projected behind us as we play.
Are there any venues or cities in particular you love playing in? Do you think you will be able to keep up a high energy performance while playing literally every night for 2 months?
We have toured a lot in the past so this is nothing any longer than we’ve done before. Headlining this much is a different question though, but we hope that people come out! It’s an entire US tour so we are hitting alot of great towns. We always love Chicago and the Metro so that will be fun. We like Vino’s in Little Rock, the Church in Philly, the Middle-East in Boston, to name a few.
I first fell in love with Murder By Death live. Everytime I’ve seen you in concert it has been epic. Do you think there is a big difference between your live music and your recorded work?
I think this record does the best job of capturing the live quality, so I am very happy with it. Someday I’d like to do a live dvd if we can get a good enough recording and some cool production.
Tent Show was an opportunity to make all the decisions about how we market Murder by Death and it allowed us to keep doing our own art and have the final say with all decisions concering MBD. So far so good!
What does the future have in store for both MBD and Tent Show? Any big plans?
Touring touring touring. We’re just gonna give this record the best push we can.
Anything else you’d like to add? Shoutouts to peeps and whatnot?
Thanks for interviewing us!
Once again we would like to thank Adam and MBD for taking the time to conduct this interview with us. Also, we would like to thank Samantha and Penny of Filter Magazine for hooking us up with the opportunity to do this. In Bocca Al Lupo will be released on May 23rd. For more MBD info check out their website.
PS: Stay tuned for a Murder-By-Death-related contest coming soon to All Things Go.
-Zack & Austin