Tag: my Ruin
By Carl Begai
My Ruin vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy and guitar-wielding multi-instrumentalist husband Mick Murphy could write a book on perseverance. They’ve been recording the audio version for almost 15 years.
Originally launched as a solo project by Tairrie in 1999, My Ruin has had career made up beautiful highs and brutal lows, the lowest being the systematic destruction of their Ghosts And Good Stories album in 2010 by their previous record company president. Long story short, the man that lured My Ruin to his now defunct label (Tiefdruck Musik) and played the good guy became the band’s worst enemy once the album was in his hands. Ghosts And Good Stories was dead before it had a chance to breathe. A year later, My Ruin stormed back with probably their angriest album to date, A Southern Revelation, making the surprise move of offering it to anyone that wanted it for free. Now, the band is back with The Sacred Mood, their eighth studio album, a record that perhaps best encapsulates what My Ruin is all about. It’ll cost you to take it home with you, but the long time diehard fans will tell you its money well spent.
Tairrie: “Let’s be honest, in this day and age, every record is available for free. With or without a label, your record is out there on the internet, and even if you want to fight it you really can’t. Writing and recording A Southern Revelation was cathartic for us at the time and we needed to do it. It was our middle finger to our ex-label owner Daniel Heerdmann, but also the only way we felt able to take back our power as a band while we waited out our contract with the label. Other than doing nothing but mourning the album he killed, it really was our only option at that point and the fans of our band understood this and supported us in a big way. So did the press, who really got behind us and championed our album with some of the best reviews of our career. We were extremely mad about the lies, broken promises and complete lack of promotion for the release of Ghosts And Good Stories because he did nothing with it – an entire UK / European tour for which tickets had already been sold had to be cancelled – so rightfully this led to me and Mick taking matters into our own hands and addressing what he did to us head on. We decided to channel our anger and focus our rage by writing A Southern Revelation. It was our reckoning and our slaying of the beast.”
The natural assumption is that The Sacred Mood – rounded out by bassist Luciano Ferrea – is less likely to take a firm hold with the masses compared to A Southern Revelation due to the fact there’s a price attached to the music. But, as is the case with any band that boasts a loyal fan base, My Ruin’s followers had no problem forking over their beer money even though A Southern Revelation was a freebie.
Mick: “We decided to self release The Sacred Mood via TuneCore, which has made it available worldwide through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play etc. This way people can find it in a lot of different places and not just on our Bandcamp page. We’re not making music for the masses. We never really have. We make it for ourselves and the fans of band that understand and support what we do. The diehards always show their support; even with the free record we got donations because many people still wanted to pay for it.” (continue reading…)
My Ruin have carved themselves a reputation for street level in-your-face bad-assedness, albeit only amongst those that look for their metal and mayhem outside the confines of big record label business. The ultimate do-it-yourself outfit led by vocalist/wordsmith Tairrie B. Murphy and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mick Murphy – the wife and husband team par excellence – My Ruin have slugged it out for the last several years as independent artists (even with a record deal), turning in some positively brash and pointedly aggressive work for the masses to swallow.
The Sacred Mood follows on the heels of A Southern Revelation’s ultra-violence, making the descent into the Murphy maelstrom somewhat slower this time out. ‘Monolith Of Wrath’ kicks things off with pulse, pound and Tairrie B.’s lush spoken word delivery, turning to My Ruin’s familiar up-tempo punk attitude for ‘Moriendo Renascor’ before giving the expected beating in ‘God Is A Girl With A Butcher Knife’, perhaps THE song to feature everything My Ruin has to offer. From there it’s a journey through all facets of the band’s personality, Mick Murphy churning out Tony Iommi / Zakk Wylde-flavoured metal or a welcome rock crunch (‘Hour Of The Wolf’, ‘Heretic Dreams’) depending on the mood set by Tairrie B.’s vocals. And the lady is all about her non-tweaked all natural scream (‘God Is A Girl…’, ‘Harsh Light Of Day’) when she’s not in her spoken word spotlight (‘Honey Of The Human Soul’). (continue reading…)
By Carl Begai
Over the last couple months I’ve been subjected to some unsigned bands that have done a great job of knocking me on my ass. Call this Round 1 of what will hopefully be an ongoing column on this site assuming the music continues to grab my attention as these folks have. Read on if yer curious….
Over The Coals out of Vancouver have started make a buzz outside of their regular haunts thanks to the video for the song ‘My Worth’, a track taken from a forthcoming EP. It’s my understanding that they used to have a male singer – YouTube footage supports this – but the addition of one Susie Myers seems to have been the clincher in terms of solidifying the band’s sound. First thing that came to mind when I heard ‘em…. it sounds like Strapping Young Lad and My Ruin had a baby. Must be a West Coast thing. It’s impossible to judge them on one song, of chorus, but I like the sound of serious potential
By Carl Begai
“Take these words home and think them through,
‘Cuz the next song I write might be about you.”
Project Wyze – ‘Only Time Will Tell’
Nobody in their right mind wants the publicity Tiefdruck Musik label boss Daniel Heerdmann is getting these days. Granted, it’s small scale recognition that likely won’t make it to a CNN news reel, but his so-called business practices have been yanked out into the open by My Ruin. A tale of band vs label conflict turning ugly is hardly unique, but My Ruin’s recent test of will is one for the books; or in this case, an album. Their new outing, A Southern Revelation, is a response to a record deal gone painfully awry, which saw the band’s 2010 album Ghosts And Good Stories die a premature death at the hands of Tiefdruck Musik. Not ones to go meekly into the night, vocalist/founder Tairrie B. Murphy and guitarist-turned-multi-intrumentalist/husband Mick Murphy chose to call Heerdmann out directly in response, first in a press release, and then in the lyrics on the new album. The attack is direct and leaves no question as to who’s leaving the ring with a bloody nose, metaphors be damned, and Tairrie is quite content being the one doing the damage.
Tairrie: “At this point I really don’t give a fuck. This man conned us; he snowed us big time. Calling him ‘The Soulless Beast’… it’s really true. He led us to believe that he was going to do all these things for us. When he approached us about the record deal – and we had a lot of conversations with him on Skype – he was cool. He told us that the reason we weren’t bigger is because nobody had ever promoted us properly because they didn’t know what to do with the band, but he could do the job. We were thinking ‘Wow, this guy really gets it.’ He told me that he’d been a fan since my Manhole days, that he saw me on tour supporting Fear Factory on the Demanufacture tour in 1996. I felt that we had a connection with this guy, which was amazing.”
“We got the deal going, and it was almost like a friend thing with this guy. We announced the signing while we were in the studio recording Ghosts And Good Stories, and soon after we got this really weird email from an old friend, Shaun Glass from Soil, who is now with Dirge Within. He told us we had to be really fucking careful because Daniel Heerdmann is a lying sack of shit. We wanted to know where that was coming from, and we told Shaun we were going to confront Daniel about it. I’m very open and forward when I want to know something.”
“So, I went to Daniel right after that and told him what Shaun had said, and Daniel had a comeback for everything, which was fine. At this point we’d signed the deal; what were we going to do? Daniel tried to really explain himself, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt because God knows people have had run-ins with My Ruin. There have been altercations, and I know some people out there talk shit about me and my husband. It did worry me a little in the back of my mind, but we decided to walk our own path, and as we got deeper into the record Daniel became even more supportive. He wanted to hear what we were doing and how the songs were coming along, and we’d never had that experience before. It was great. But, as soon as we got done with the record and we delivered it – and it was something we were so proud of – this guy did the Jeckyll and Hyde thing overnight.” (continue reading…)
By Carl Begai
When a press person sings the praises of a band or artist in a public forum, it’s a safe bet that swag is involved. Every music journo has done it at some point, thinking “I scratch your back, you give me a free (insert item or sexual favour here)” until he or she realizes / remembers it’s supposed to be about the music first and personal gain last.
With the above in mind, I’ve shamelessly pushed and promoted My Ruin to anybody withing spitting distance for the better part of two years… and believe me, I’m a projectile saliva expert at this point. My efforts haven’t been in the interest of adding wearable aggressive blasphemy to my wardrobe, however. Nope; I just happen to be a My Ruin fanboy, dating back to the late ’90s and vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy’s first real metal edged smackdown, Tura Satana. And oddly enough, after years of silence we reconnected somewhere along the way and became friends. Thus, any stories, reviews, thoughts, musings or dirty jokes based on My Ruin’s brand of noise were spawned by that friendship.
Yeah, tough guy, so what? Big deal.
By Carl Begai
When a band releases an album for free, the knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss it as a collection of odds and bits that aren’t worthy of an official “real world” physical release. A Southern Revelation is available at no cost to friend and foe alike (details below), featuring brand new material written and recorded in the wake of a label-instigated shitsorm that would have ripped a lesser band to shreds. Call it nine shots of venom capped off with a chaser celebrating the good old days, served up as a middle finger dedicated to Tiefdruck Musik boss Daniel Heerdman following the botched release of My Ruin’s previous record, Ghosts And Good Stories.
A bloodletting rather than an exorcism, vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy tears down Heerdmann, false promises, industry politics and the posers it spawns, ever the elegant wordsmith whether she’s a raging scream or calculated spoken word. Always a treat to listen to – “listen” being the operative word – lyrical violence abounds, with Tairrie venting in her trademark no-bull fashion on ‘Walk Of Shame’, ‘Middle Finger’, ‘Seventh Sacrament’, ‘Deconsecrated’, and the killing blow, ‘The Soulless Beast’. And while certain folks may feel that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, being compared in song to the devil and stamped as “The Great Pretender” by name should be food for change of thought. (continue reading…)
By Carl Begai
My Ruin vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy doesn’t subscribe to the mythical glitter of stardom, nor does she believe it’s necessary to get her assets out to sell her music. She’s an artist in the truest sense of the word, suffering both figuratively and – as the need arises – literally in order to get the results of her creative energy out to the masses. And, like many of her kind, she isn’t restricted by the “musician” box checked on her resumé. For sheer love of creativity, Tairre has her own business marketed under the banner Blasphemous Girl Designs, offering up one-on-a-kind custom jewelry for those interested in wearing a piece of in-your-face inspiration. Certainly not as high profile as selling hot sauce by the case or moonlighting as an actor, but it’s another pursuit that gives Tairrie a sense of accomplishment.
“I’ve always been a do-it-yourself girl,” she begins. “Back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when I was a rap artist, I used to design custom pieces of jewelry that I would have made for myself at the Slausen Swapmeet in Los Angeles where Eazy E and NWA used to get stuff made. I was really into two and three finger rings, nameplates and cut out earrings. Before that, I was designing custom jeans and jackets that I would cut, bleach, sew, paint and embellish with various patches, vintage fur and found objects. I remember having this woman come up to me at an underground club I used work at one night, and she was a buyer for a really upscale store in Beverly Hills called Camp Beverly Hills. She asked me where I got my jeans and when I told her I made them myself she gave me her card. Next thing I knew, I had set up a make shift factory in my grandfather’s garage to hand make 80 pairs. It was crazy!” (continue reading…)
When you encounter a band boasting a song entitled ‘Feed A PETA Member To A Starving Child In Africa’ it’s a reasonable assumption they aren’t going to be giving you Mötley Crüe or Slipknot anthems. Los Angeles-based Ana Kefr are the culprits in question, and it’s clear from the word “go” that the very last thing they’re interested in is playing to singalong industry / scene expectation. Described by yours truly in a 2009 review as a demented mating of Dimmu Borgir and Voivod, the band’s independently released debut album Volume 1 is a large-as-life offering of off-the-wall strangeness. Not because it meanders like a Mr. Bungle prog thrash experiment gone mad, but because in spite of the epic scope of the music the songs are rooted firmly at street level. Ana Kefr never get lost in their own brilliance. No surprise, then, that frontman / co-founder Rhiis Lopez is likewise grounded with a very simple and well fed passion for what he does.
“Dimmu Borgir and Voivod happen to be two great bands, so comparisons like that are a big compliment,” says Lopez. “Ana Kefr’s sound is actually the product of both myself and Kyle (Coughran / rhythm guitars). Kyle and I both come from diverse musical backgrounds, we’ve grown up listening to artists from every genre you can imagine. As far as any ‘off-the-wall strangeness’, there’s not really a point to writing music, being in a band, performing or anything else if you’re just going to rip off someone else. I understand being inspired by other artists, but sounding like another act is kind of like being in a touring karaoke band – it doesn’t feel artistically honest. I’d rather have a flawed original work than a perfected forgery. (continue reading…)