Peter Murphy Live Chat September 25, 2001

Adapted from USA Today:

Peter Murphy

Wednesday, Sept. 26, noon ET

Peter Murphy first came to the attention of the music world during his stint as lead singer of the British Goth band Bauhaus. After the band’s demise in 1983, Murphy briefly joined with Japan’s Mick Karn to record a single Dali’s Car album, then moved on to a solo career. Talk to the godfather of Goth about his past, present and future.

Missed the live chat? Read the transcript below:

Hartford, CT : Many musical artists have crossed over into the world of acting, especially in the past few years. Would you accept a good acting job if it were offered? If so, what kind of character could you see yourself playing? What kind of character would you definitely not play? –Pamela:-)

Peter Murphy: I really would, although it would depend on the role. I admire actors and appreciate their commitment, and I don’t want to “foolishly” assume I could do that too. I think I could be worthwhile as an actor given the role, but it’s not something I pursue with any level of seriousness.

I tried to get into the follow-up of the Matrix, and called Keanu Reeves’ office, and spoke to the Wachowski Brothers, but didn’t get any follow-up. I loved the ideas hinted at in the film – that we’re asleep, and when we “wake up” spiritually and intellectually, we’re in the real world.

Boston Ma : Hi Peter..Will the new album have any guest vocals?_Natacha Atlas?

Peter Murphy: No, it won’t. But I consciously approached the making of this album with no preconceived ideas. I had ideas of using people like Dido and Natacha Atlas, but they’re currently working on their own music.

Green Valley, AZ : Did any artist, before you started your solo band, affect you in any positive way? In other words, did you ever have any type of musical “idol”? Andy Turner

Peter Murphy: I was the youngest of 7 children, and the next youngest were 10 year old twins. I listened to Doris Day, Elvis, Beatlers, everything really. My first musical idol was Julie Andrews after seeing the Sound of Music when I was six. Then I loved Doris Day, who had an angelic voice. Then I got into Everly Brothers. THEN my twin sister took me to buy my first record, “A Hard Days Night”. Then there was Elvis. Afterwards, I hooked into T. Rex, Bowie, Iggy Pop.

lynnwood, wa : Dear Peter, In the chaos of the last 2 weeks, when Islam is, incorrectly and/or ignorantly, receiving “bad press” (so to speak) here in the U.S., I have often wondered how you, as a Muslim whom I very much admire, would respond — especially amongst our American culture where so many want quick and easy answers. In that vein then, I’d like to ask what verse (maybe verses?) from the Koran (or perhaps even a line or two from Rumi?) you might offer to those being influenced by the present backlash against your faith. Thank you!! Ardith p.s. Heartfelt thanx for last year’s two (!!) tours and, of course, for the exquisite live 2-cd set 🙂

Peter Murphy: To me, Islam isn’t restricted to a particular culture. I’ve approached it throught Sufism, so I don’t have the same cultural biases that a Middle Easterner would. I’m in a position to be watching and evaluating from both sides of the camp. It’s a tragedy for the world, which transcends Islam and East-West. It’s a scary thing that any society has its own polarized factions which become radicalized to the point where they’re blind to their own culture. The religion is being used in the same way that, say, Jerry Falwell would use. It’s just an expression of hate rather than religion; it’s about rage, power, minorities, wealth, and it’s been going on for thousands of years. The essential message in all religions is peace, surrender and tolerance, and this relates to the spiritual aspect of all people. I hope there will be some good that comes out of the evil, in that we’re going to have to look at the global village on a much more profound level. I hope that’ll evolved into something worthwhile.

I was brought up Catholic, and a strong believer. I always had faith in God. When I moved into a Muslim environment I recognized the same message. There was no conversion, just a recognition that it was the same message, only clearer. You don’t convert, you discover an aspect of surrender, which is what Islam means.

New York, NY : In a touching show of devotion to your Wife, you sang at your most recent concert a romantic rendition of the old Elvis tune -“Love Me Tender”. Could you please tell me of the significance of this song to yourselves and why you chose to sing it as well as include it on the JFL CD?

Peter Murphy: It’s like the ultimate lullaby, and it’s all about what Elvis was really like: The epitome of charisma which transcended rock and roll. Muhammed Ali had the same effect on me. The song was a tribute to Elvis. Progressive artists recognize that golden vein of brilliance in his music. What better song to sing as a sort of a serenade to your wife?

Davie, Florida : Would you ever consider getting back together with the other members of Bauhaus for another tour? perhaps even another album?

Peter Murphy: No. We’ve talked about it, and decided (not in unison) that we shouldn’t carry on after the Resurrection tour. I personally felt we should make three more albums and develop something alive and kicking, which could find its own time in a second breath. Part of the partial compromise that some of the members wanted was to tour occasionally. I think I persuaded the rest, and they agreed, that just touring would be incomplete. If we were ever to play again we’d have to be committed to albums. You can’t have lost weekends with your old mates. You have to be completely committed to the new thing.

buenos aires, argentina : dear peter: last year there were rumours of you playing in argentina, but they fell through. is playing here in your plans for the future? regards, cecilia.

Peter Murphy: The rumors were actually founded. I was working with Mexican promoters who have their own connections with the Spanish speaking world. Practically speaking, it just wasn’t possible financially. I’d be really interested and thrilled to be able to tour Argentina.

Louisville, KY : I was really impressed with the line-up for the Wild Birds tour. Peter, Eric, Kevin, and Doug are all excellent musicians and I was amazed that you pulled them all together for such a great show. As much as I liked the CD of “Just For Love,” I would have loved to have gotten a cd of, as you said, “That Band.” Any chance of this ever happening? Maybe some new recordings with them?

Peter Murphy: Actually, immediately after the tour I persuaded the Wild Bird band to come to Doug’s studio and write a couple of songs. We recorded and mixed those then. It worked really well. Not all the members wanted to become a band, so that didn’t develop any further. As for the tours, I have a desk mix of every show, and there may be some sort of online bootleg version. I must say that after mixing the Just For Love album, I was happy it offered something so unique and separate. If the recording of the Wild Birds album would be put out, it’d just be a regular live album.

Boston Ma : Are you nervous living in Turkey currently with everything that is going on?

Peter Murphy: This week, yes. There probably is just as much danger of terrorists there as here. I’m keeping up with the Turkish situation all the time, and if the violence gets too close to us, we’re out of there.

Boston,Ma : Do you think you will write a book at some point about your life?

Peter Murphy: I’d love to write something, and I’m thinking that one day I’ll use my lyrics as a template around which I can expand a kind of odd autobiographical piece of writing. It’ll be a kind of style in which I can make it a very authentic, personal record of the reasons I wrote and did what I did. I don’t have a clear timeline memory of my life, so what better way to use my lyrics?

Boothbay, ME : Hello Peter, Your website was quite exciting when it first appeared. How directly are you involved in its design and content? Are you able to read personally the submissions sent to via your site, and have you any new plans or changes in mind for the future?

Peter Murphy: Directly. I’m working with an Ankara based designer, and I spent six months working on ideas with him. We’re still developing it, and I’m really pleased with it. There’s going to be another level of the site that people will be able to find either by searching the site in a particular way, or by chance. Those levels will open up other layers of the Peter Murphy experience, as it were. When it is in operation and ready, I’ll be quite cryptic in my indications that it’s there. But don’t look for another six months. The new version of the site will be the “red pill” version.


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