Adapted from The Seattle Times:
Peter Murphy Happily Surrenders His Gothic Crown
—————————————————————– Concert preview
Peter Murphy and Pretty Mary Sunshine, Moore Theatre, 8 p.m. today; $19, 628-0888. —————————————————————–
Three years ago, former Bauhaus vocalist and stage specter-turned-solo-singer Peter Murphy moved to Turkey and pulled yet another transformation: from the King of Gothic to Mr. Mom.
“My wife is Turkish,” explained Murphy earlier this week. “She’s the founder of the First National Dance Company of Turkey. She’s very good and has been very busy. So when I finished the last album and tour, we moved and I took over watching the children. I put all my focus on my family.”
Although Murphy has said that fatherhood is tantamount to slavery, he’s happy with it. For six months after his last musical endeavor, he had nothing to do with music other than listening to Turkish radio – which he described as strangely eclectic – and watching MTV Europe. He didn’t mind the separation.
“After the break I took my time before I began writing again. Even then it took six months to come up with the material. Then I had to find a producer and the musicians and then we were another seven months recording. We’ve been building momentum a little bit at a time.”
The result was “Cascade,” Murphy’s fifth solo effort since leaving Bauhaus after a five-year run in 1983. He still sings in a heroic baritone, one of the most distinctive voices to emerge in the last 15 years. And the new songs – like “Disappearing,” about loss of self in a relationship, and “The Scarlet Thing in You,” a sequel to 1990’s “Cuts You Deep” – are nearly anthemic with their sweeping orchestrations and generally upbeat lyrics.
It’s a far cry from Murphy in a cage singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” at the front of David Bowie’s 1983 vampire vehicle, “The Hunger.” Murphy has been shedding that dark Bauhaus snakeskin for a long time and is glad to finally be seeing the light of day.
“At this stage, what with this being the fifth album, the thought was, `Am I going to make it this time?’ ” Murphy confided. “Everyone has been very interested. There are a lot of expectations. All I can do is come up with what I come up with.
“What I am, essentially, is a singer. I’ve finally become much more comfortable and confident with that, less hysterical. I’m pleased with the way this record has come out. It’s more relaxed. Not that it isn’t as good as the others, but my perspective is different now.
“The other thing is the new band. I had worked so long with The 100 Men after Bauhaus, things had gotten old and safe. At the same time, I had to find new players that weren’t carrying a lot of baggage and could put up with my baggage. It’s worked out.”
Murphy said he was investing more time in perfecting the music than in crafting a stage show. As his live performances have always been highly intriguing and theatrical, this change was a surprise.
“I still have the same lighting guy, so he knows what I do, and things get worked out as we go along. But I really don’t want to be the King of Gothic anymore, slinking about. It’s much more important to me that we fine-tune the music instead, that it be the main point of interest. If we get that right, everything else will fall into place.”
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