Dirty 7

John Murry

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John Murry and Friends will perform The Graceless Age album in its entirety this coming Sunday, April 14, at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco. This is a rare opportunity to experience an album DI called an instant classic that leaves one “more tender and aware of the perverse duality of love.” Murry returns to Europe and the UK in May for a string of dates before a special pair of shows in New York City on May 16 & 17. See full itinerary here.

John Murry by Dara Munnis

John Murry by Dara Munnis

John Murry has witnessed more than his share of humanity’s dark side. He’s known the same little coloured balloons that took out ol’ Tim Hardin, though like Tim he probably sought such inflation because of the sad, lonely things his eyes have seen and his heart understands. Murry’s songs don’t sugarcoat the “mean old world,” and even a lover’s closeness can be tinged with violence and trepidation, as in the opening line of “If I’m To Blame” off his luminously honest The Graceless Age: “A pistol in my pocket, a hand down the front of your pants, and you say, ‘Love only makes me bleed.’” This is Mamet in miniature, all the pheromone thick danger we pose to one another distilled into a single sentence.

At times, his truth-telling can be tiring, but wise tricksters like Murry always dance on the edge of wry entertainer and painful messenger, the mixture of laughter and tears the only delivery system that ever really gets what we need into the buried, desiccated parts of us that hunger for uncut reality even as we fight against it in our conscious lives. Spend a little time with John Murry, the man not the musician, and it’s not all doom ‘n’ gloom. His chuckle comes from his belly, and he seems distinctly aware of the cosmic laugh track running beneath all human activity. He swears wonderfully and abidess fools and schemers with the same ill temper as the Impound. An hour with Murry is a chance to see the humor in things others miss or are afraid to laugh at. And this guy lurks in the crannies of what is a predominantly heavy catalogue – you just have to listen closely to see his smile in the shadows. What’s so cool is how all the dirt he’s sifted through – the kind you can never fully wash away – is also a reminder that it’s in tilled and tended soil that new things grow and it’s worth getting your nails black trying to raise shoots up into sunlight.

John graciously accepted DI’s invitation to stir our compost bin around, and as usual the man worked up a sweat giving us the good stuff.

Favorite dirty word or expression?

Cunt. It’s the sound and violence of the sound of the word that adds weight to its use. Joe Goldring can make it sound like, “You are about to die,” just by using it. Powerful thing that one word. But in everyday use, I dig using cockfucker. It’s confusingly great. And brokedick – very Southern word for “really fucking broke…no…really!”

One of the grossest things I’ve encountered while touring is…

There was this one green room in Langenau, Germany that was so disgusting no one wanted to sit down. Paul Brainard did and a shard of old glass cut his hand. He had to have surgery to regain nerve sensations. I laid down. I was an idiot but I napped!

Besides sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, what does a mind and body need?

Red Vines. Seriously. Why hasn’t the world embraced Red Vines as they should? I would also add books. People need to read. For fun. Not knowledge. For life. What happened?

A filthy song I love is…

”A.D.I.D.A.S.” by Killer Mike. Genius shit. Perfect song.

Groupie love – good, bad, scary or what?

Scary. Thankfully pretty non-existent, but the idea of someone I don’t know thinking there is value in trying to get with me because they heard a song is repulsive. I am not those songs or that person. I am John Murry. Not *that* John Murry. THIS John Murry, the one behind the words, not inside them. They don’t know me. Who wants to make themselves feel of value by attaching their body briefly to someone they see as having value? Idiots. Also, anyone who would use their body for that reason needs help. I dig my wife. A lot. So, it kinda makes me mad.

Which would make you feel most unclean?

  • Having your music used in a montage in a Kate Hudson/Sandra Bullock-style date movie
  • Having it show up in the background of a celebrity sex tape
  • Having it used to market erectile dysfunction medications

Honestly, I have ideas for all three, especially if it’s Hudson and Bullock dating. Bob Dole is in the Viagra commercial, and it’s a hair metal dude’s sex tape. I’d feel honored.

One of my favorite dirty ass rock ‘n’ roll bands is…

The Reigning Sound/Compulsive Gamblers. Why? BAM!