Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2009
Norman Matthew Hey Brian, Itís Norman from MURDER FM. Howís everything going?
Brian Rademacher: Good, how was it in the studio tonight?
Norman Matthew Everything is going great man.
Brian Rademacher: Iím surprised you tracked me down after so long and not talking. I remember doing a review of your old band LYLAH back in 2005 which got a great review, 4.5 stars out of 5.
Norman Matthew Yeah man, I donít forget friends that have been good to us with support and a good relationship we never forget. The thing with LYLAH, it was my band and we started real young we did some really cool stuff opening for EVANESCENCE, SEVENDUST, STATIC X, THEORY OF A DEADMAN and we played the Warped Tour. We had so many member changes and I had a vision for that band and I couldnít do it the way I wanted it done. It was a constant struggle with band members. It became a revolving door and got ridiculous. In the mean time Keith and Trevor from EIGHTEEN VISIONS contacted me on doing a side project and I was like, dude I was a big EIGHTEEN VISIONS fan. It came at the perfect time and thatís what I needed for my own esteem as a musician. The constant battles with band members and I started to feel like something was wrong with me, maybe Iím not good enough, and maybe itís me who has the problem. Keith and Trevor did very well in EIGHTEEN VISIONS and I thought thereís nothing fucking wrong with me at all. It was the people I was working with. Itís nothing to put those other people down you have to do it for the right reasons and for the right motive. So I ended up doing the NEVER ENOUGH record and signing with Corporate Punishment/Koch everybody got the second record up and in that time we started working with Beau Hill and Beau kept in touch with me and asked who wrote this song on the record, I said thatís my song, and who wrote this song, I said thatís my song and Beau said youíre a really good writer. So Beau recruited me to start writing for some of the young bands he was producing. So Beau has some of these bands that want to take his advice and some donít want to take his advice but if they have a cat like me coming in whoís been in the business a couple years before them they might take the advice in a different way. Thereís this band TRACKFIGHTER that needed a song that Keith from EIGHTEEN VISIONS and I wrote together. So they used it for TRACKFIGHTER and it became one of their singles. So I started demoing all this stuff for Beau and he suggested that in between the NEVER ENOUGH record that I should put a project together. So I ended up hooking up with J6 from a band called PSYCHO PLAGUE, Matt X3ro from CHAOS FOLLOWS ORDER and Tim McCarver.
We named the band MURDER FM for MURDER FUCKING MUISC. The project was pre-meditated because Beau and I put two records worth of material together already, but there wasnít a time frame. Iím also in a side project called TEAM CYBERGEIST with Angel from DOPE. We opened for THE USED, THE 69EYES, DOPE, KORN and many others and in the interim MURDER FM signed a deal with Glasstone Records for the first record, it kinda took off. Keith and Trevor supported me and let me do my thing and thatís what really helped because Iím not crazy, Iím not an asshole and donít mistake being an ass for having a vision.
Brian Rademacher: Do you think you grew from SUPERSOUL, NEVER ENOUGH & LYLAH?
Norman Matthew All I wanted to do is put out the best music I could. All day Iím in my studio. I produce, I write for TV and film. I have three songs coming out on new soundtracks. I have a school of rock for kids. If Iím not playing it, producing it or writing it Iím teaching it. I was constantly growing and from NEVER ENOUGH to MURDER FM I grew at light speed. I was making up for lost time.
Brian Rademacher: On the MUDER FM album you only have six or seven tracks how come?
Norman Matthew It was suppose to be an EP of five songs, so we can hold the fans over to the full length in 2010. But we are going to add a digital download on iTunes of "One Step Closer" featuring Zmarr of COMBICHRIST and in December weíre going to put out a cover of SIMPLE MINDS "Donít You Forget About Me". So you can get the EP out at shows and then you can buy the extra couple tracks on iTunes.
Brian Rademacher: Listening to some of the tracks you sent over to me, you really donít fall into any kind of category. "As Beautiful As You Are" has a feel of SIXX A.M. with Nikki Sixx from MOTLEY CRUE yet "Mrs. Wrong" can fall into the MARILYN MANSON side which people are comparing you too which I really didnít hear until I heard "Mrs. Wrong". Than when I hear "Scars And Memories" that song kicks ass. I know "As Beautiful As You Are" is the single because it has that commercial appeal and I do like it a lot but for me itís "Scars And Memories" because itís just as good as "As Beautiful As You Are" but I like the rawness of "Scars".
Norman Matthew Growing up I had so many influences. When I was four I saw KISS and I wanted to breathe fire and spit blood, GUNS N ROSES came out when I was in fifth grade and I wanted to be Slash and Axl and in Junior High School I was into NIN, DEPECHE MODE, THE CURE. I liked the dark side and the commercialism and the sexy part of the industrial edgy image. Trent Reznor raised the bar on that and when MARILYN MANSON came out I was like dude thatís it. I try to write all over the place but keep a direction to show fans that we can do anything. I didnít want to pigeonhole ourselves. So say I wanted to do an acoustic industrial record people would thatís cool or something. I am always focused. I want to make sure that we are a band that can do anything, we are a young band not even a year out the gate and I want us to be able to do anything not just one dimensional.
Brian Rademacher: One of my favorite bands is DEADSTAR ASSEMBLY that are just amazing, that would be some tour but what I like about MUDER FM you can bring in the industrial people with the rock people and if you add acoustic you never know what you could bring in.
Norman Matthew Oh man I love DEADSTAR Dro is my boy. One of my other favorite is PAPA ROACH and we actually did some shows with them when I was in high school back in Texas in a band called SWIM were actually signed band in the day. Kept in touch with Dave until we fell off, I went to recording school with Chester from LINKIN PARK, he was in a band called GREY DAYS and working with Beau I loved that commercial appeal was a big eighties kid, but I missed the boat by a couple years because I was too young to enjoy it. If itís a well written song no matter what kind of music it is I love it. You canít please the world but if you write and kind of do your thing and working with Beau he would say letís do seven choruses in this song and I started writing that way and we never forced anything. The songs wrote themselves, if I couldnít write them in a day I would throw them to the waste side. One of the people we were talking to wanted "Anthems for The Used" to be the single and the lyrics was "for all the shit you put me through hereís your Fuck You" but it was structured so well and hooky that it would be in that HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD realm, that songs too catchy to be ignored. I love that band HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD.
Brian Rademacher: What would you tell a band that is just starting out?
Norman Matthew They have to know itís a labor of love. You have to sacrifice. I have been doing this for fifteen years and I had a bevy of connections but having those connections I more laid upon me. I would have people say Norman youíve done this already or we are going to listen to this just once you better know what youíre doing. We had no backing we had no booking agent all we had was a publicist and a lot of cool friends that wanted to throw us a bone. We had to sleep on floors, sleep in a van we had to pay our dues. You have to find a way to get your money and unfortunately the way the economy is and the way the music industry is in, itís all about numbers and if you can prove number that the only thing you have in your corner and someone might cut you a check so the band can branch out. If youíre doing it for the sex, drugs, rock and roll and overnight success itís gone. You have to do this shit because you love it. I tell bands if you are doing it as a past time just have fun, but if you want to be a band that is trying to achieve success you have to treat it like a business. Itís a business. Itís going to take a couple years, you have to have a good product, and you have to have a strong image. You have to have well written songs and thereís one letter always added you have to have B for Brand. Youíre now a product and you have a product out there. One thing that helps is that you have the internet out there you can get your stuff out there with ITunes, MySpace and things like that but itís a labor of love. You have to expect being on your laptop for hours networking your product.
Brian Rademacher: I see your tour dates are on the West coast, are you coming East?
Norman Matthew I know our tour dates are up until ten days before Christmas and I am pretty sure our East Coast dates will be when itís snowing in the East (laughing). Iím Excited.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me 5 things that people donít know about Norman Matthew?
Norman Matthew Iím a wrestling fanatic, Iím straight edged, I donít smoke, drink or do drugs, When you see us live on stage acting crazy and naughty Iím well aware of what Iím doing (laughing). Iím hooked on True TV, I have a School of Rock school, a lot of people donít know that. Those kids are amazing, I love kids. My kids did an acoustic concert last year; I played the drums so I could keep them in tempo. Iím addicted to gummy bears, gummy worms and Iím a pretty simple dude.
Brian Rademacher: So what is a typical day for you?
Norman Matthew Iím pretty boring. I wake up, run two miles, and do a workout. Do business things. Take care of press. If there is a band Iím working with or film project I do that. I go to my School of Rock when the kids get out of school than I go back to my studio and pound it out until 2-3 Oíclock in the morning. I kick out a new song every couple days.
Brian Rademacher: So how did the band come up with the image?
Norman Matthew This is me. I always liked the dark stage; I always like the uniform look; like a militant thing. I want the whole band doing the same thing with black body paint with this baby power look. When you see the band looking good on stage and when you have four dudes coming out on stage looking the same with our look itís more intense and when the music is pounding the same way you say whoa. Itís really cool we are all in black with our backdrop in white with blood splatter, itís really cool.
Brian Rademacher: I like bands having an image or good stage show. I just saw a Christian band called SKILLET and when I saw their show I said holy shit what a show. It was unbelievable; risers, smoke, just phenomenal show.
Norman Matthew Man, SKILLET rules.That band is the greatest, did you see their video? What a band.
Iím not going to lie to you dude we are hams; whenever I get a chance Iím jumping in the crowd. We love the interaction with the fans. You know not too long ago I was on the other side of the barricade and you can see our show on YouTube; Iím in people faces, grabbing them, our show is really intense. Even Beau said you guys are intense you came out with your dicks out like GUNS N ROSES came out in the Eighties.
Brian Rademacher: When I saw the video for "As Beautiful As We Are" and the feel I had of SIXX A.M.. Do you feel the fans will be deceived with thinking all your songs will be like that style?
Norman Matthew I think small-minded people could, when you hear other songs just some songs are a little bit different. I donít want our songs to be the same as a lot of those bands that if you play the song forward or backwards they sound the same. Iím not knocking any bands, Iím just saying change a chord, change the tempo, change the breakdown. Do something to make your songs different. I can see that stuff coming a mile away. That Emo stuff is over with and the screamo stuff is over with. Even Bert from THE USED who was a pioneer for that style music said they are trying to separate themselves from that style because it became so ridiculous. Every one of those bands does the same thing "the, the, the"; even a band like AS I LAY DYING who are brutal are changing, you have to check their new record, itís amazing. Even MASTADON; I can actually hear what heís singing. They rule! They are trying to break their own pattern and I have so much respect for that. Donít be scared to do your own thing. We got ridiculed in LYLAH when we were wearing eyeliner when YELLOWCARD and THE HIVES were out.
Brian Rademacher: I think thatís why HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD is catching on?
Norman Matthew I am a major fan of those guys and when I heard they got signed I said what! I was so excited because I found out that there are some people out there that want to take chances. I have early demos of those guys and they are the real deal. I respect any band that goes out there and do what they do. It takes a lot of balls to get up there and do a show. I respect every band. I wanted my band to come out with a nicheí like HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD. You either love the band or hate us; youíre either offended by the band or excited by the band. We just wanted a reaction; we just didnít want Ďoh thatís coolí.
Brian Rademacher: Whatís your favorite track on the EP?
Norman Matthew I would have to go with "Scars and Memories" because it has that SEVENDUST syncopated versus. We incorporate the industrial sense in the pre choruses. The Chorus is very very strong, I really challenged myself on that song. I also like "Mrs. Wrong" because it has the MANSON, ROB ZOMBIE feel. Thatís song is so fun to play live.
Brian Rademacher: Did I miss anything you want to talk about before we end?
Norman Matthew No man, anyone who reads this interview, I thank you for opening your ears and hearts to us. All our past fans I appreciate your support, I hope we can open doors for other bands. If you donít, thatís cool, many bands didnít fit. GUNS N ROSES didnít fit, METALLICA didnít fit, U2 didnít fit, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE didnít fit, and so maybe not fitting is a good thing. And as a fan if you canít identify it, you might have discovered something new. Support it and become a fan, because they need the support.
And thank you Brian and staff at RockEyez for always being supportive. See ya.