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Living Happily Never After: An Exclusive Interview With NORMAN MATTHEW Of MURDER FM

By Wendy Jasper, Black Metal Aficionado
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 4:43 PM

"If you get in too much of a hurry you may get the kiss of death rather than something that helps you grow as an artist."

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As the world waits for the most anticipated release of the summer, MURDER FM vocalist Norman Matthew and his bandmates, bassist J6, guitarist Matt Xero and drummer Jason “Shakes” West are gearing up to hit the road in support of their Beau Hill mixed release Happily Never After. This is not the band’s first release, but it is their debut for Famous Records Global/ Pavement/ MRI/ Sony Red, a subsidiary of Sony Music whose Artist and Repertoire department is headed by Will Hunt of EVANESCENCE fame. Doors are opening wide for these Texas natives and they have hit the scene in a very big way.

The lushly arranged, heavy hitting album will feature nine original tunes, a cover of THE CURE’s “Burn”, and a bonus track; a remix of the band’s hit “We The Evil” done by MOTLEY CRUE drummer Tommy Lee. Additionally, Hunt makes a guest appearance on the cover of “Burn” that is sure to surprise listeners as this version of the song is so much darker than the original. The album release is slated for August 7, 2015 and is already receiving rave reviews from media outlets worldwide.

“We have had such a great opportunity handed us and to have Tommy Lee involved is tremendous. He has done a remix of “We The Evil” that showcases it in a way that it will appeal to a variety of fans,” Matthew said. “We have always had a very good underground following; somewhat cult-like, and we have done extremely well internationally. We had already done so much of the grunt work, touring and writing and producing our own product that I wasn’t in a rush to just sign with anyone. If you get in too much of a hurry you may get the kiss of death rather than something that helps you grow as an artist. Plus, I wanted the music to be right and as we were working on new songs one day I get a call from Will. He and I went back and forth on the phone and in emails for several months and so we worked it out so that I flew to Nashville to meet with him the day before Thanksgiving (2014) and then it all just melded together. The culmination of all of it is this record.”

Having Beau Hill at the helm has raised the bar for the band as well. The internationally renowned producer is known for bringing out the best in an artist and while Matthew is a well-rounded producer himself, having his mentor mix the record has been inspirational. The band has a large catalog of self-produced music but as Matthew was working on early production it became clear to him that the album needed to be new and fresh for the fan base. Only a few of the bands previously released songs have made the cut for the record; “We The Evil”, “Machine Gun Kisses” and “Rainy Day Parade”.

“The majority of the album is all new music,” he said. “However, we wanted “We The Evil” to be the lead single off the album and we didn’t see any reason that we shouldn’t put it on the record. Also, this was the song that caught Tommy Lee’s attention and he wanted to remix it as a bonus track. It has been reworked a bit because Beau put his big ‘arena rock’ shine onto it and we made some adjustments for the better, so anyone who has heard the song will feel like they are hearing it again for the first time. We have done the same with “Machine Gun Kisses” and the song does have a life of its own; it has been featured on the video game Rock Band 3 so we thought it would be a good addition as well. Ultimately we are going for the big picture and we want to get the music out to the masses who have not heard us and we think those songs will help. These songs helped to transition us into the new material as well.”

Tommy Lee’s involvement with the band came as a surprise and has turned into a wonderful, mentoring relationship for the band. Matthew joked that he told Hunt in one conversation that it would be cool to have someone like Lee involved because of the working relationship that Hunt has with the MOTLEY CRUE bad boy and then, suddenly, Lee and Hunt make arrangements to produce the guest remix for the album.

“Tommy heard the song through Will and I start getting messages from him about working on the song,” Matthew said. “So, now I’ve gone from idolizing Tommy Lee to having him work on my record so it’s surreal. He is actually a fan. We didn’t pay him to do the mix, he did it because he really loved the song and now I hear from him a lot and I just look at my phone and trip out and can’t believe this is happening for us. He has been behind us on social media, there is a big press campaign and I think people are going to love it.”

The band does have touring plans for the fall as they are in high demand as part of a package or headliner. Additionally, the band will be on the main stage at Dirt Fest 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. The band played the show last year and was a hit with the audience so they were invited back as a main stage act.

“We have a lot of opportunities ahead of us and we should have some touring announcements very soon. Our agent is working on outstanding things for us. Who knew we would be in such high demand?” he laughed.

Once tour plans are solidified, they will be announced to the press and also available on the band’s website, www.murderfmmusic.com. Be sure to check the site often as the band puts news up as soon as dates are confirmed. The group is very active on social media and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter. Music videos are in progress and August 7th is just around the corner. Become a part of the Legion now!

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