October 2, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 20  

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Friendz reunite for Love

By Arthur Thuot
Gazette Writer

Gazette file photo
AH, THE LIFE OF A ROCK STAR. The Super Friendz find some time to relax with good food and good Friendz.

Intimacy: it's the most essential part of any relationship. Knowing this, I think it's safe to say Matt Murphy and I have a very close, intimate rapport.

Just a couple of telephone handsets and a few thousand kilometres of telephone wire separated me from the lead singer-songwriter of the Halifax-based band The Super Friendz, as we discussed the oh-so-related subjects of his band's new album, African music and the merits of alcohol spillage.

The Super Friendz reunited this past winter to record Love Energy, the band's first release since their split in 1997.

"We needed a break from each other after spending four years in a van together so we could forget the small slights [and] the grudges we held," Murphy admits. "We were able to come back and be gentlemen about the whole thing. We could be a little more flippant about how our songs were treated and more playful."

When The Super Friendz burst into the scene back in the '90s, comparisons with ber-East-Coast-rockers Sloan were abundant. "[Now] it doesn't matter," Murphy says. "It's kind of a tall shadow to escape, but we're over that and we don't worry about that anymore."

Although, he concedes, the comparison isn't totally without fault. "I understand why people compare us to that band or any other band. People just want to tell someone else what to expect when they hear [our music] and to do that you need to quote something that they are going to already know."

Murphy's personal taste in music is a little more eclectic than one might expect after listening to the straightforward rock of Love Energy. Current personal favourites include England's The Darkness and African funkmaster Fela Kuti. Speaking of his love for funk, he says bashfully, "The stuff I like... it's so nerdy."

On Oct. 5, when The Super Friendz make their way to The Embassy in London, Murphy says the band plans to "play the whole new album, the hits from [their first record] Mock Up/Scale Down and a couple songs from the second record. It's a really good live show. I think we're much better than we were... we have some good energy."

And finally, since everybody looks up to rock stars, Murphy has some sound advice on study habits: "I found I did really well at school when I went to see bands play a reunion show on campus. I found that was really inspiring and even though it took time away from studying, I found when I came back and approached my studying I had a renewed sense of self-worth, a new confidence and a lucidity that I had lacked previously. You can't write an essay unless you get a beer poured over your head the night before."

And when you get back from the show, filthy and reeking, simply smile and tell em Matt Murphy said so.




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