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Interview with Ambrose from The Murlocs
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My dad is a musician, so I was intrigued since a young age, especially when my parents were separating. I guess I thought that if I showed interest in music, I would be able to keep a close connection with him. I’ve always been pretty into skateboarding more than anything else. If I wasn’t doing music, I would probably be hurting myself on a skateboard still.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to paint and draw sometimes. I’ve done a few Murlocs merch designs lately. I enjoy taking photos on my point and shoot camera and filming a bit of my dad cam and of course skateboarding when I can. Music takes up so much of my time, though, whether it’s writing lyrics or organising things such as video clips, artwork, shows etc. I co-manage The Murlocs, and everyone in Gizzard is fairly involved with making decisions together on lots of things, so every day there is always something going on in both our worlds.
How long has your band been around?
The Murlocs started in November 2010 so it’s coming up to 12 years!
It doesn’t feel like we’ve been together that long, so I guess that's a good sign that the end won’t be near for quite awhile. I can’t really see us ever breaking up completely as we are too good of friends.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Ocean Grove, Victoria. Very close to Geelong where we all grew up throughout our teenage years playing in pubs and whatever other random lunch time school shows and market gigs we could get. The Nash hotel was the biggest staple in our scene. So many great bands came out of that place. It was a special place for all of us and I haven’t ever seen anything like it since. The community we had was like no other. Everyone was obsessed with playing 60s garage music. It’s still the backbone of everything we really do still to this day.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
‘The Murlocs’ came from google searching the ‘Oracle’. ‘The Murlocs’ is a creature that fiends for the ‘Oracle’. That’s all the information I could find at the time on the internet. It was a classic rush to decide on a band name and I always wished we thought harder about it but obviously no one cared too much at the time. Less than a year later, we were playing a show at the Nash and I overheard a bunch of dudes chatting about ‘The Murlocs’ and WoW then they walked into the band room to go see us. I’ve never played WoW or ever been into any video games other than Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I think my favourite venue of late has been The Brunswick Ballroom here in Melbourne. They have an amazing grand piano, a sick apartment with a balcony for the greenroom and an amazing team of lovely people that work there. My favourite venues overseas would have to be Vera in Groningen, Netherlands and The Magic Stick in Detroit, Michigan. Mainly because of the bowling alley down stairs.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Captain Beefheart, Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Howling Wolf and Big Mamma Thornton.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Work hard and put yourself out there, even if it’s not in your nature to do so. Worry only about making good music for yourself and no one else. Don’t worry about getting knocked back from people in the industry as it’s all a part of the journey to pick yourself up and try again. Believe in yourself and put it out on your own accord if no one wants to do it. If I could tell myself anything it would be to focus more time on mastering my craft.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
They all mean a lot to me in different ways. ‘Bittersweet Demons’ means the most to me as it’s about a dear friend of mine who passed away back in 2019. Every time I sing it I immediately can remember all of these wonderful memories we had together, I miss him every day.
The obvious crowd favourite is ‘Rolling On’, it’s always fun to get everyone singing along together in unison.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Our songwriting process comes in different ways each time. With ‘Rapscallion,’ we resorted back to our original ways of Cal writing the music and me writing the lyrics. I think that’s when we are at our best. My strong point is probably lyrics and the other guys are a lot better than me at writing the music. I’ve become more of a wordsmith than a musician at times. Since the start, having been involved in two active bands where everyone else are such talented musicians, I struggle to keep up with them at times. I always seem to have a better chance at contributing to songs when I throw in vocal ideas rather than a keyboard or harmonica part.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
No one ever critiques someone else’s lyrics. Sometimes I’ll ask the others for feedback which can help me decide on what’s best for the song. The main themes in our songs are about mental health. Whether it’s reflective of ourselves or close friends and family, there seems to always be a sense of this subject throughout our music.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
In a few months we are touring the USA and Canada. It will probably be the only proper tour we will get to do for this album and we can’t wait to be back over there again. It’s very rare for us to tour, so it’s going to be a huge weight off our shoulders to add this notch to the belt. After that we will start thinking about doing an Australian tour.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
If you’re wanting some murl love letters, sign up to our mailing list via our website: ww.unclemurl.com
Otherwise, we stay fairly frequent on all the other usual suspects:
Seeya in the metalverse X