Kingsley Chapman and the Murder – August 2015 – INTERVIEW

Kingsley Chapman and the Murder

Hello all. As some of you might be aware GJB Performance Photography is no more (click here to find out more). After a few great years and many, many great bands we have decided to move on to other projects. This website will continue as a photo archive. So a huge thanks to anyone we’ve worked with in the last 3 and a half years. It’s been phenomenal.

So what better way to go out than an interview with Kingsley Chapman and the Murder! One of the most promising bands to emerge recently, which is saying something given the wealth of talent around here at the moment. Along with his new band The Murder he has crafted a remarkable return and transition.

But don’t just take my word for it, or Steve Lamacq either as recently their debut single won a public vote of BBC6, they play a headline show at the Cluny on 6th August. Oh and Kobadelta and Bernaccia supporting. So get down and judge for yourself.

I caught up with Kingsley for a chat…

Kingsley Chapman and the Murder Newcastle Feb 2015
Ccan you give us an introduction
My name is Kingsley Chapman and I front a seven piece band called The Murder from Teesside in the north east of England.
The new material appears to have hugely evolved from previous projects. How would you describe it to people?
 
How would I describe the music? I’d describe the music as dark cabaret done by people who have a tendency to sometimes play their instruments too loud and on other occasions too quiet.
Kingsley Chapman – Cluny Jan 2015
How did you recruit your new band? They have quite a good reputation as an act themselves, seems like a great pairing.
 
Basically I was very lucky. I borrow most of my band from a brilliant Teesside group called By Toutatis. Their singer Dan works away in the Middle East meaning that the rest of the band don’t seem to have much to do for about ten months of the year. I had a bunch of sketchy songs that I wanted to attempt to start a band with so asked their multi instrumentalist and general all round genius Ben Hopkinson to help out on piano. Once we’d bashed a couple of these tunes into shape I got their violinist Robbie Major involved, and then their drummer Ben Muriel. I’ve been friends with Snowy our bass player for years – he used to drive The Chapman Family around and do our sound in 2009 – and it seemed obvious to ask him to help out in some way. I’d known our other drummer Jonny Snowball from various bands he’d been played with in the past – Dirty Weekend, Weird Shapes and The Broken Broadcast – and once I knew he was interested in getting involved it was an absolute no brainer, he’s a brilliant drummer. Finally on trumpet we have James Leonard Hewitson who I’d heard of as he’d seemed to have played brass with every north eastern band that I liked.
Kingsley Chapman – Cluny Jan 2015
There seems to be a fair bit of interest in new the band. Do you think Chapman Family fans are ready for the change?
 
To be honest with you my new band wasn’t made with fans of the old group in mind. It’s certainly not been designed to try and grab fans of the Chapman Family into my new gang. If some of them like it then that’s fantastic but I think they’re two separate beasts. I loved my time in TCF but this is something new for me – it’s my take on what I think rock and roll should sound like – and I didn’t see any point in attempting to retread old ground. For starters, I just don’t have the capabilities to make that sort of music.
Was it a natural process for song writing, or did it take time to find the right sound?
I don’t think we’ve found the right sound yet. We only started practicing together at the end of last year and I love the racket we make but it’s still a work in progress, we’re still getting there. I have a very definite noise in my head as to what I believe the band should sound like from song to song but trying to translate that noise into words to be interpreted by other musicians is sometimes difficult as I’m not highly musical myself. I have my own musical language which consists of suggesting the drums make “the noise of Viking warships invading an enemy shoreline” or asking for the violins to “cascade cinematically in a widescreen snowstorm”. It’s the only way I know of getting my message across.
Kingsley Chapman and the Murder Newcastle Feb 2015
Who or what is the biggest influence for the band?
 
The influences are far and wide. I always said when asked this question in my old band that you’re influenced by every single second of your waking day and I still stand by that. So I could be influenced by a news report, or an overheard conversation, or anything that directly influences my life.
In musical terms I’ve tried to go back to the music I genuinely loved when I was growing up for inspiration. I’ve went back to the bands that first got my ears twitching and my heart racing – bands like The Doors, The Smiths, Queen, Roxy Music, Cure, Bowie etc. This probably sometimes gives the music a bit of a nostalgic feel but it’s not an accident. It’s our attempt at putting a new slant on classic style.
Kingsley Chapman – Cluny Jan 2015
What was the pivotal moment that got you into music?
 
I’ve always loved music in some way. I’d endlessly listen to my parents vinyl collection as a kid and in my early teens I was always round my grandfathers house learning to play the guitar and keyboard. It’s probably the moments that got me back into music that are more significant. We started the Chapman Family as a reaction against identikit careerist indie bands that seemed to be polluting the airwaves and the venues a few years ago. Once that band had finished I turned my back completely on any form of music as I was completely and utterly worn out both mentally and physically. I didn’t go to a gig or buy a record for over a year and it took someone special to point out how utterly miserable I was without music in my life to restart my metronome. At the moment I feel completely energised by it all. Playing and making music is the most thrilling thing in the world to me and having these wonderful musicians around me to do the complicated bits is fantastic!
Kingsley Chapman and the Murder Newcastle Feb 2015
What are your plans for the immediate future and any long term goals?
Our debut single is coming out on July 31st on Too Pure. It’s called “Lovers” and it was recorded in Stockton at Green Dragon Studios and mastered at Abbey Road in London. In regard to long term goals I just want to keep making music. Ideally I’d like to take the band out on the road so we could show people how good we really are. There is simply nothing in the world that compares to the euphoria of playing live and I think our show is pretty good. It’s not the finished article yet – we need a few more songs and a bit more confidence – but it’s getting there. I never got to play in Paris with the old band so my main aim with The Murder is to get us there. With the amount of members in the group it’s pretty impossible to get us all together so our shows at the moment are few and far between. It’s a shame and there’s a million reasons for it but at present it can’t be helped. If someone can pay for us all to quit our jobs that’d be a big help.
Kingsley Chapman and Nadine Shah – Cluny Jan 2015
Find out more over on www.kingsleychapman.co.uk
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