Volume 92, Issue 80

Thursday, February 18, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Kicking cubicles in the ass

Currie spices up art vs. commerce debate

Space flick for beings of all sizes

Celebrity sighting

Underground sound

Diviners play with poison

Corporate greed at Sineplex


Underground sound

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

For Matt Murphy, formerly of the band Superfriendz, the past year has come with a wealth of new beginnings.

One of these dramatic shifts has included a change of address. The Maritimer has left his Halifax roots behind and taken his new friendz, The Flashing Lights, to the musical hub of Toronto.

"It's very expensive to try and run a band from Halifax. When you're touring out of there, it takes you at least 13 hours to get to the next show in Montreal," Murphy says. "When you're living in Toronto you can do shows every weekend. Halifax is a great place if you want to nurture your ideas and your songs, but when you're ready to get something done and put something out, it's better to be in the heart of where everything is happening."

The changes haven't just been geographic – following in the ground-breaking path of The Band and Adam Ant, Murphy has formed a group which features two drummers.

"In the Superfriendz, maybe we had too many guitar ideas. I guess I got tired of that scene," Murphy explains, adding he envisions his new group differently. "When I thought about our live show I needed a way to get the dynamic payoff you get from having two guitars, but without getting another guitar or getting a keyboard player."

This experimentation has only complemented Murphy's renewed energy toward the songwriting process. As opposed to the Superfriendz' experience which had Murphy sharing songwriting duties with two others, Murphy has near complete control over writing and composing with The Flashing Lights. This new found position as mastermind behind the music is something Murphy sought after he parted ways with Superfriendz.

"In this band I feel drained of all my creativity. And that's what I wanted," Murphy states. "Whereas with the Superfriendz, I didn't always feel all of my potential was being used because there's so many people with great ideas – but there's only so many ideas you can fit into an album. I'm grateful for any suggestions the guys give me, but I just find it works better with one person writing the songs."

Freedom to take more control and responsibility has also fostered in the singer/songwriter gaining a newly found sense of confidence. Poised but humble would describe the new Matt Murphy.

"I'm a lot more confident because I feel closer to the music," Murphy explains. But he doesn't throw his own belief in music in others' faces. He wants people to listen, but he won't sell his soul to drum up attention for himself. The Matt Murphy style is honest and straight-forward.

"I'm trying to delicately be confident without being arrogant. I'm very self-conscious about it. Of course I have an agenda when I'm talking to you, I want people to read the article and say 'geez I've got to check this record out,'" Murphy admits. "There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and I'm just trying to tip toe through the tulips."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999