Interview: The Murlocs

Words by Nadia von Bertouch

Hailing from the Victorian coastal town of Ocean Grove, The Murlocs have kicked off 2016 in the best style possible, releasing their second full album ‘Young Blindness’ today!

After winning the Triple J Harvest Festival competition way back in 2012, The Murlocs continued their wave of success by releasing their debut album ‘Loopholes’ in 2014.

Two years on and the self described ‘sloppy garage rock’ five piece have returned with an album that pleases just as much, if not more.

In keeping with their gritty, garage rock sound, several tracks on the album feature the unmistakable fuzzy melodies of front man Ambrose Kenny-Smith on the harmonica in tracks such as ‘Adolescence’ and the title track, ‘Young Blindness’.

The band is set to take their latest record around Aus later this month when they begin their ‘Young Blindness’ tour.

As well as touring the album around their home turf, the boys are headed overseas for the first time to play Levitation festival in Texas, as well as with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on their tour around the states!

Ahead of the Album release and tour, I caught up with Ambrose Kenny-Smith, who as the front man for both The Murlocs and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, undoubtedly has a huge 2016 ahead of him!

During the interview we chatted about everything from their up-and-coming tour to 99c beers, and photo-shoots with pigs!

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Firstly, congrats on the Young Blindness record, you must pretty amped for it’s release on Friday?

Yeah it’s definitely been a long time coming! It was a pretty long process so we’re feeling relieved to finally be getting it out there.

Have you made any plans to celebrate its release?

Not really, I’m sure the boys all have something planned. We might have to go out for some drinks Friday night.

Following on from your debut album Loopholes, how do you think Young Blindness differs from your previous sound?

It’s definitely a tighter sound on this record. We were a lot more prepared this time and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It has more of a theme to it, starting off pretty upbeat and then getting a bit darker I guess in the middle, and finishing off happy again.

Where did the inspiration come from for those darker tracks? Would you agree they reflect feelings of uncertainty young people go through, especially on your track Adolescence?

Yeah for sure, I was spending a lot more time just sitting at home writing and going between two different bands – I kind of had this feeling of not always knowing what I was doing or where I was going so I guess that is reflected a bit in the record.

So your tour kicks off at the end of the month starting in Adelaide (woo!), can you give us an idea of what to expect at the show?

The first show of the tour is always good fun. Manglewurzel are playing the show in Adelaide and should do a good job of getting the crowd going and to get us ready to go for when it’s our turn!

How about the home shows in Melbourne?

Yeah, they should be pretty… interesting.

Especially with the 99c beers

Yes! We’re not sure if that’s a good or bad idea, hopefully we get out of it without any lawsuits.

And after touring Aus you’re headed over to Texas for Levitation Festival, that’s pretty huge!

Yeah yeah, we’re keen to finally get overseas. It’ll be our fist time heavily touring when we support King Gizzard for a month throughout the states, which will be pretty interesting for me playing twice every night!

So what else can we expect for the rest of 2016?

We usually try to do two Aus tours in a year, so we’ll probably do that again. Then we’ll probably take some time off for a year or so and then start writing for the next album!

Lastly, can you tell us about the photo-shoot with the pigs?

Haha, that was a weird fantasy of mine that I got to live out. I always wanted to do a shoot with some pigs, we found a farm where the pigs were treated well and weren’t going to be turned into bacon and yeah they let us do the shoot.

Well it definitely made for a good photo!

So kiddies of Adelaide, make sure you don’t miss The Murlocs when they visit the Jive on the 31st of March!

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