Los Angeles punk legends Fear have announced their first ever UK show.
First formed in 1977, the band have never played on British shores, but will change all that on the 4th of August with a gig at London’s O2 Academy in Islington.
Fear’s current roster sees frontman Lee Ving joined by drummer Andrew Jamiez, bassist Paul Lerma and lead guitarist Dave Stark. They band will be supported at the London show by JFA, Reagan Youth, Naked Aggression and Red Light Rebels.
Fear are currently at work on their new album, the follow up to 2000’s American Beer. Meanwhile Lee Ving appeared as a guest vocalist on last year’s Greatest Hits Vol.1, the debut album from punk/metal super-group Teenage Time Killers, masterminded by Corrosion Of Conformity’s Reed Mullin.
Tairrie B. Murphy and Mick Murphy. Photo: Travis Shinn.
This Saturday night, 12th September, sees the advent of the most hotly anticipated ticket in rock. For one night only, a thundering hoard of punk, rock and metal’s finest musicians will descend upon LA’s Fonda Theatre for the live debut of Teenage Time Killers, the heavy collective spearheaded by Reed Mullin (Corrosion Of Conformity), Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds Of Satan, Chevy Metal, Neanderthal) and John “Lou” Lousteau (musician, producer and chief engineer at Studio 606.)
Appearing alongside the likes of Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), Neil Fallon (Clutch), Tommy Victor (Prong) and Lee Ving (Fear), is My Ruin’s Queen of Scream, the legendary maven of metal, Tairrie B. Murphy, who is set to perform her track from TTK’s debut album, Greatest Hits Vol.1, “Clawhoof.”
Murphy herself graciously took time out to speak with us in and among rehearsals for Saturday’s show and fending off the inferno that is the current heatwave beating down on LA.
SBA: How did you come to be a guest artist on Greatest Hits Vol.1?
TBM: Nepotism! I highly recommend it. Just kidding! I believe Reed Mullin (Corrosion of Conformity drummer) asked my husband (Mick Murphy) if I would be interested in doing a song after Mick played him our last My Ruin album while they were in the studio recording. Mick was introduced to Reed by our good friend and TTK producer John Lousteau who Mick grew up with in Knoxville, Tennessee and who occasionally sits in on drums with our band live when we play Los Angeles. Once Mick started working with Reed & Lou, that’s when the album really started to take shape and come together musically.
Your song on GHV1, “Clawhoof”, is a killer track. How did you come to record that specific song? Was it written with your vocal style in mind and did you have input in its writing?
Thank you. Yes, Mick did write it with me in mind. Many of the songs were matched with vocalists after the fact but a few were written with specific people in mind. “Clawhoof” was one of them. I had nothing to do with the music. Just the lyrics. Once he demoed the track and played it for me, I loved it.
Where did the name come from?
Believe it or not it was actually the working title of the project before Reed decided to change it to “Teenage Time Killers”. For months, the guys had referred to it as this and I really dug the name because it sounded so evil. I guess it just stuck in my head after hearing them say it for so long and when they decided to go with TTK, I had just started to write my lyrics so thought it might be kind of cool to use it as the title of my track to keep it included in the project. I built my song around it. Unlike many of the other recordings on the album, it’s got a more sinister underlying theme to it rather than political.
I understand you were actually suffering with the flu when you were recording? Is that right? You’d never guess, the song sounds great!
Again, thank you and yes, I was pretty ill the day I went into the studio to lay my vocals at 606. My voice was definitely not in its usual form. You always want to feel you are at your best when recording, especially when you are a guest and being featured on someone else’s album rather than your own. I was a bit concerned with a room full of dudes watching me in between coughing up a lung. I did a couple takes and felt like my throat was really raw but they loved it and that was it. When I first heard the track mixed it took me a minute to get used to it because I’m used to my scream in My Ruin which is more metal, but I think being sick gave it a more punk rock feel which was pretty cool considering the overall vibe of the album as a whole.
During the recording process were you conscious of being the sole female contributor to the project at all? Is that something that’s in your mind at all as the show at the Fonda Theatre approaches?
I didn’t really think about it until the end of the recording and I was listening to the final mixes and sequence. I’m stoked to be the lone wolf representing the ladies on a project which includes some of my favourite male vocalists like Pete Stahl from Goatsnake and Neil Fallon of Clutch. As far as the show goes, I just want to have fun and do my thing. I’m not really focusing on the fact that I’m the only woman, just happy to be a part of such a cool project with so many rad dudes.
The show at the Fonda Theatre in LA is taking place on the 12th of September and being that it’s one night only, should be one hell of a night. It’s an extraordinary line up of musicians to have playing in one place. Can you share any details about what you have planned?
There are no opening bands, just 2 hours of TTK which are going to be a hard, fast and loud on stage. Mick is playing guitar for the entire show on 50 songs with all the guest vocalists. Reed is drumming much of the set and also singing a few songs and John Lousteau is drumming a few as well, including the ones with me which My Ruin bassist Luciano Ferrea is also playing. The show’s set is made up of the TTK album, songs by some of the guest singers’ own bands and a bunch of classic punk covers. It’s gonna be killer. Pun intended.
Has it been difficult getting all the musicians together for planning and rehearsals?
When you have this many people involved in a project, it’s bound to be a little complicated and a bit of a logistical challenge. The main core of the band has been rehearsing the past few weeks at our studio with a few of the vocalists who are based in LA coming in, but many of the guests are flying in last minute to do a full show run through with everyone at Studio 606 on the last 2 days before the gig.
I have a huge amount of respect for my husband Mick as a musician and, being in a band with him for the past 15 years, I’ve seen him at his best on stage and in the studio with My Ruin and all the side projects he’s been a part of, from Neanderthal to Chevy Metal, The Birds Of Satan to Heavy Seventies as well as co-producing my new solo rap album with me. But he’s really stepped up his game to another level with the TTK album and this show which he really helped to pull together this past month in rehearsals.
Mick co wrote/co produced GHV1 and played guitar on the majority of the album, but his contributions have kind of gone unmentioned in the press and overshadowed by some of the more famous names involved, which is a shame because of all the time and work he put into it. He’s not the type of guy to toot his own horn so I’m gonna toot it for him! He deserves it. I can’t wait to share the stage with him again and also watch him rock with all the other artists performing before and after me.
Knowing that not ALL the guest artists from the album can be there on the night, have the artists who are going to be there had to learn new songs from GHV1 to perform?
Yeah, there are a few people who can’t make it due to their own touring schedules so a couple of the other vocalists are going to do those songs.
Which songs will you be performing, and will you be playing any songs other than the TTK songs on the night? Can we expect to hear anything from the My Ruin catalogue?
I’ll be performing my track from GHV1 along with “Moriendo Renascor” from My Ruin’s last album and a cover of Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick” which I like to put my own red lipstick twist on live!
It’s been a while since you last performed live with My Ruin, and your fans will know that you released your first new rap album in over 25 years, Vintage Curses, last month. Has it been challenging to get back in to that Metal headspace again?
I thought it would be but surprisingly, my scream came back to me pretty quick and naturally. Coincidentally, my first rehearsal with TTK was on the 1 year anniversary of the last night I performed live with My Ruin in the UK which was on The Sacred Mood Tour in August 2014. I hadn’t screamed since then so I really had no idea what to expect given this past 12 months my headspace has really been focused on the recording and release of my new album and working on my first book which I am currently in the early stages of writing.
Is the show being recorded at all? All these incredible musicians from the world of Punk, Rock and Metal playing the same show together seems like too good an opportunity to miss!
Yes, I agree it’s going to be a memorable evening for everyone involved and plans are in the works as I write this to make it happen which I think it will. Unfortunately there are a lot of factors that go into a big show like this behind the scenes and it’s often comes down to money, rather than art much like most things in the music industry but fingers crossed because we would love to be able to share it with all those who can’t be at the show due to it being a one off special event in LA.
Teenage Time Killers appear at LA’s Fonda Theatre this Saturday, 12th September. Get your tickets here: www.fondatheatre.com
Teenage Time Killers have announced that they are to play a one-off live show in the USA.
The supergroup, helmed by core members Reed Mullin (Corrosion of Conformity), Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds of Satan) and producer/engineer John “Lou” Lousteau, released their debut album, Greatest Hits Vol.1, in July.
Speaking in recent interview with Skin Back Alley, Teenage Time Killers songwriter and guitarist Mick Murphy said of the project: “It is a surreal honour to be a part of something like this. It’s been awesome getting to collaborate with so many people that I admire. I’m stoked about everyone involved with the project, famous or not. Some of the lesser known artists really shine and hold their own.”
You can currently listen to Greatest Hits Vol.1 via the Rise Records stream below. The album is available to buy now here.
Last week saw the release of Teenage Time Killers’ debut album, Greatest Hits Vol.1, surely the most eagerly anticipated release in the world of punk, rock and metal in 2015. It is an album the likes of which heavy music hasn’t seen for quite some time, assembling as it has an unrivaled line up of renowned musicians, all of whom have contributed their own unique talents to a collection of songs that is “the best punk-rock mixtape you’ve ever heard, threading a line through the music’s evolutionary edges, whilst expertly weaving together its common DNA.”
At the epicentre of this righteous rabble of rock’s finest is a quake-inducing triumvirate that have spent the best part of the last two years carving out the bedrock upon which the temple of Teenage Time Killers has been built; Reed Mullin (Corrosion Of Conformity), John Lousteau (chief engineer at Sudio 606) and of course guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds Of Satan, Chevy Metal and Neanderthal.)
Here’s what Murphy, one of heavy music’s foremost practitioners of the six-string slinging art, had to say about the genesis of Teenage Time Killers, the writing and recording process, and the possibility of future releases bearing the band’s name…
Skin Back Alley: News of Teenage Time Killers seemed to slip out in the early days of the project and there was a lot of inaccurate information being circulated on the internet in particular. What IS the origin story of the group and how did you come to be involved in it?
=MM= Well, back in 2012, C.O.C. did their self titled record as a trio at 606. Great record, by the way. Probably one of my favourite of theirs. Anyway, my long time friend, John “Lou” Lousteau, who produces and engineers at 606, became close friends with Reed during that time and I guess they kicked around the idea of doing a hardcore EP made up of Reed’s songs and some punk covers with Jello Biafra singing one and Reed singing the rest. Months later, Lou brought this idea to me and asked if I wanted to play guitar on it and I basically said “Fuck yea, I wanna play guitar on it because Reed Mullin is one of my favourite drummers.”
Even after the news about the album started to spread, it seemed to take a little while for a record label and official release date to be confirmed. Was it tough finding the right home for the project?
We took our time with record labels and business side of things as we worked on the album. By the time we were ready to move forward, there were a few offers on the table. With all the well known people involved, there was interest right away.
Am I right in thinking that the essential core of the group is Reed Mullin of Corrosion Of Conformity, you and producer/engineer John “Lou” Lousteau? You guys were the trio who wrote the songs and pulled them together in the studio?
Yes, you are correct. We’re the core members of the group.
How did the writing process tend to work? Did you all bring in your own songs? Did you work on each other’s? Was it completely different for each one?
Once we got in the studio, things really took off. The musical chemistry between Reed, Lou and me was really natural because we all grew up on classic punk/metal/hardcore, we’re all from the south east and we all wanted to make a raw spontaneous album with a natural human feel to it. The music for the first 5 songs was finished really quickly with time to spare so in the heat of the excitement, I came up with 3 new songs on the spot so we worked those out and recorded them as well.
As Reed was leaving Los Angeles after that session, he had a chance meeting with Randy Blythe at LAX, he told him about the project and Randy said he wanted to sing a song. It just kept growing from there into a bunch of different guest singers and musicians from the punk and metal worlds including my wife/My Ruin vocalist Tairrie B Murphy (who’s actually the only female artist on the record).
At that point, we needed more songs, so another 606 session was booked, Reed brought more songs, I brought more songs, we did a couple tunes written by Reed’s pal Jonny Webber, one by Goatsnake guitarist, Greg Anderson, and we threw in some more covers. By the end we had 21 songs completed with 19 different singers.
Tairrie B. Murphy and Mick Murphy (Photo: Travis Shinn)
Were there any tracks that you feel are “yours” more than others? The bone-crushing “Crowned By The Light Of The Sun” feels like it has a real Mick Murphy vibe to it?
Haha. Thanks. The riffs in “Crowned…” are indeed mine. Like I said, Reed brought songs and I brought songs to the table so yea, I do feel certain ones are “more mine” than others to a certain degree but Reed, Lou and I all contributed to every song on the record. It was a team effort and we all produced it together.
And the music tracks were all laid down at the infamous Studio 606 on THAT Neve console?
Yes, I’d say about 95% of the music was recorded at 606 on the infamous Sound City console. The record was also mixed entirely at 606.
Were you concerned about giving the album a cohesive “sound”? With varying styles of music and so many different performers, the collection could become the world’s most killer hardcore mixtape?
I don’t think we were particularly concerned with cohesion so much. I think we wanted to see where the varying factors would take each song naturally. I think that makes for a dynamic work of songs and an interesting listen. Growing up, I loved making mix tapes, so this record is like a dream come true for me. It’s like making the ultimate mix tape and actually being a part of creating the songs!
How did the recording process work? Did you, Reed and Lou lay down the music first with vocalists recording later? The disparate geography of the guest vocalists presumably meant that their performances were recorded in many different locations?
Yes we did the main music tracks first and then Lou would send the session files where ever they needed to go. Dave recorded his bass parts at 606 with Lou and me. Some of the guest guitar tracks were done in Raleigh and some of the vocals were recorded at 606, some in NC and the rest all over the place according to where the singers live.
And how long did the writing and recording process take?
All in all, it took about 2 years to complete the project.
Speaking of the guest vocalists, what an incredible line up! As well as you, Lou and Reed, it strikes me that the pedigree of the performers on this one album is almost unprecedented. What was it like as a fellow musician to work with some of these titans from the punk, rock and metal scenes?
It is a surreal honour to be a part of something like this. It’s been awesome getting to collaborate with so many people that I admire.
Did you have any sense of being star struck by any of the people involved? Were there any of the artists who you were looking forward to working with in particular?
After living in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, I don’t really get star struck. I’m stoked about everyone involved with the project, famous or not. Some of the lesser known artists really shine and hold their own on this album. Everyone gave their best and helped to enhance the final product.
How were the guest artists decided upon? Did you guys have people in mind for each of the songs or write material with anyone already in mind?
Much like Reed’s chance meeting with Randy at LAX, it was all very serendipitous. Certain people just made sense for certain songs and nothing was forced where it didn’t fit. I wrote Tommy’s and Tairrie’s songs specifically for them to sing, Jello was set to sing his from the get go and Reed had the songs he wanted to sing himself. All the rest were pretty much decided after the music was recorded.
Mick Murphy and Tommy Victor (Photo: Tairrie B. Murphy)
A lot of the album’s contributors got together for a photo shoot at 606 earlier this year. What was the shoot like and was that the first time that so many of you had been together in the same place?
It was the first time a lot of us were meeting each other and it was cool. Like a rock n roll party in a killer recording studio with cameras. It was also the first time many of the people involved got to hear the entire record so there was a lot of excitement, good vibes and a sense that we had all accomplished something unique and rad.
Without taking anything away from his work on the album, in those earlier days was it frustrating to read headlines suggesting that Greatest Hits Vol.1 was essentially Dave Grohl’s project, or articles that only picked up on some of the other “marquee name” contributors?
Being excluded from press coverage after putting so much into TTK kinda sucks, but that’s how the media is unfortunately. Thankfully, more of the actual story is getting out there as things move along. With so many people involved, it’s difficult to get all the facts straight and names out there clearly, but it is finally moving in the right direction. Dave’s the most well known person involved so obviously the media is going to print his name first and foremost. He didn’t spearhead the project but he did play a substantial role. He played bass on over half the album and we used his studio for the majority of the recording. The “marquee names” will always get the most coverage when it comes to stuff like this but hopefully, they will also help draw more attention to the record so the lesser known artists can be heard by a wider audience.
I’ve heard rumours that you guys are getting a Teenage Time Killers live show together? Is that true? It’s highly likely to be the best live show on earth, but I imagine it’s a huge challenge in terms of co-ordinating everyone’s diaries?!
Plans are in the works but we’ll just have to wait and see with that. Hopefully live shows of some kind will happen. Fingers crossed.
Making the assumption that some of the contributors won’t be able to make the show, will those people who are there simply stand in for those who are M.I.A?
I guess we’ll have to feel that out as we move along and learn more. I really don’t know at this point. I don’t think we could get every single person together at the same time though, but who knows?
Were there any tracks worked up that didn’t make GHV1, and do have any idea at this stage as to whether there will be any more albums bearing the Teenage Time Killers name?
There are a few b sides that are available with the record on iTunes… some alternate versions with Reed singing and one extra track. As far as more records? If the opportunity arises to do more, I’m in for sure!
Mick Murphy, Trenton Rogers, Reed Mullin and John Lousteau (Photo: Travis Shinn)
Teenage Time Killers’ “Greatest Hits Vol.1” is available to buy now. Read the Skin Back Alley review of the LP here.
Teenage Time Killers, the all-star punk, rock and metal storm that has formed around the eye of Corrosion Of Conformity’s Reed Mullin, My Ruin’s Mick Murphy and producer/engineer John “Lou” Lousteau, have shared a new track.
“Crowned By The Light Of The Sun” is set to feature on TTK’s debut album, Greatest Hits Vol.1, scheduled for release on the 31st of July via Rise Records. The track features vocals from Clutch frontman Neil Fallon alongside additional guitar from Jim Rota and bass by Dave Grohl.
Mullin, Murphy and Lousteau are joined across the remainder of the album’s 20 tracks by punk, rock and metal luminaries such as Jello Biafra, Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Nick Oliveri, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Tommy Victor of Prong and Danzig, Lee Ving of Fear, Mike “IX” Williams of Eyehategod, Mullin’s Corrosion of Conformity band mates Mike Dean and Woody Weatherman, Karl Agell and many more.
All the instrumental tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 were recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studios in Northridge, CA. The album was produced by John “Lou” Lousteau, Reed Mullin and Mick Murphy, and engineered and mixed by John “Lou” Lousteau at 606.