There is a certain band/duo who are doing a lot of press of late because they have a new (fourth) album coming out. Being a mixture of unhip and distracted, I have never gotten around to listening to their music but I do read a lot of magazines and these two keep popping up in all of them this spring. This morning I read another ridiculous interview with them in the mag Nylon. Granted, the interview was about their favorite things, giving them full license to prattle on about all the crazy cool stuff they like. But they end up sounding absolutely dotty.
I can’t resist writing my own version of just such an interview, with a band I’ll call The Murderers.
TRULY AMAZINGLY GREAT HIPSTERS
In our new feature celebrating our favorite artists’ favorite stuff, The Murderers Alexa Dearheart and Phillip Nails muse on minivans, guitars and the advantages of tight pants.
“When we met, I found out that Alexa was obsessed with Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table. That was enough for us to start a band together,” Phillip Nails of The Murderers says while taking refuge in a Williamsburg cafe made to look like a grandmother’s rec room. “We just loved that whole Vicious Circle vibe,” adds bandmate Alexa Dearheart. “And the Menendez brothers,” says Nails, referring to the two brothers who went to prison in the 1990s for killing their parents. “We send them flowers on their birthdays. We’re craaa-aazy.”
Inspiration for their music always comes from something visual. “I mean, I picked my guitar because it looked good and it’s pink,” Dearheart says, sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner, unassuming in jeans, a flowered blouse and lots of gold jewlery from the 1980s, while Nails looks dapper in a cropped wool blazer, a tangle of scarves and necklaces and really tight gray pants. This month, the band release their fourth album Your EKG Came Back Normal, which exhibits neither the skanky meanness of Keep Your Thoughts To Yourself or the go-go dance rhythms of Take A Snort, but something decidedly more downbeat. Bongo drums, spoken word ballads and even a touch of Phil Collins combine to create a record that’s equal parts hip and untenable.
“Rock ‘n’ roll is normally regurgitated stuff from the 60s and 70s,” says Nails. “I think we’ve really hit on something here by ripping off the 80s and pairing it with some World Beat from the 90s. I’m talking rebirth here.”
Over a half-dozen pints of Guinness (Nails) and a rice milk white tea and peppermint schnapps latte (Dearheart), the duo share their obsessions that have shaped them.
Dearheart: We want to drive what no one else we know will ever drive. I’m nuts for driving and I like to do it in comfort.
Nails: Incredible lines on the new Town & Country! I get chills.
Nails: When I really want to chill, I look at all the Thomas Kincaid art I’ve purchased and listen to New Order. I lived in Sacramento for six years and I totally get what he means when he says he’s a Painter of Light. There is no light like the light in Sacramento!
Nails: Recently, I discovered hemming. My pants will never be the same. Also, wearing pants several sizes too small so you can really see what kind of manhood I’ve got going on. I love sweatshops in Asian countries for my knitwear. What I really need is a white suit though, hopefully in seersucker.
Dearheart: I love stripes. With checks and mustard yellow shoes. I’m very bizarre!
Dearheart: I recently had a lovely stew made with Nutella and veal. I can’t get enough of the stuff. My mum always said there are two kinds of people in the world – those who love the taste of hazelnut and those who don’t. I’m firmly in the first camp.
Recording Albums In The Middle of Nowhere
Nails: We always go off somewhere in the boonies, mostly so we can talk about how we were in the boonies and not doing Twitter or Facebook and really concentrating on our art.
Dearheart: We loved this studio garage we found in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Nails: We would sit in there, eat Twizzlers all day and just jam.
Nails: I have 40 guitars. I collect them. My favorite guitar is the first one I ever got, at age 14 because when I went to take lessons the teacher told me I have no natural talent and he ended it. He said my younger sister would be the guitar prodigy but now she’s an accountant and look at me!! LOOK AT ME!
The White Horse Tavern
Dearheart: We love to go there and drink.
Nails: I don’t want to brag but I drank 19 straight whiskeys there once. That’s one better than Dylan Thomas. So… I’m just saying.