Today we meet Murder Shoes from our good friends at Land Ski Records. This album is pretty tight, bounces around when it comes to styles, held together by some sweet vocals and some awesome guitar licks . I especially dig on the surf vibe , good stuff for sure. Give a listen to Murder Shoes, follow them on the social sites and go catch them live if you get the chance, I know I will…
Murder Shoes responses from:
Tess Weinberg: vocals, keyboard
Derek Van Gieson: guitar
Chris White: guitar, vocals
Hi, our name is: Murder Shoes
People say we sound like:
Chris: 1 part dreamland, 1 part heart ache, 1 part cat jokes and a sprinkle of dirt, all thrown down a well
Derek: A twisted half-garage/half-pop werecat dressed in black.
Tess: Beach House, Best Coast, The Kills, The Pixies… but I don’t know. It kind of feels like a mystery plastic toy grab bag to me. In a good way.
I am Chris White
I am Tess Weinberg.
I am Derek Van Gieson
We are from:
Chris: I was born in Lansing, MI but grew up in Minneapolis, MN
Tess: I am from the Twin Cities.
Derek: Michigan/New York City
Who are some bands/performers that have had an influence on you?
Derek: Bauhaus/Tones On Tail, Television, The Troggs, Robyn Hitchcock, R.E.M., Unwound, The Fall
Chris: So many, when I was young, the first two Weezer records and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins were always playing. Then came Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and all things singer/songwriter. Then I left MN after High School and found everything from The Psychedelic Furs and Modest Mouse to Guided by Voices and The Walkmen.
Tess: Christina Aguilera, mostly. I went to her concert at the MN State Fair when I was maybe 12. It was everything.
How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band?
Chris: I started playing music when I was 16 and started in this band when I was 29 and I play guitar and sing.
Tess: I can’t remember when I started singing, I guess. It seems like I’ve always been singing along to tunes on the radio and stuff. In the last year, I’ve been learning guitar and piano.
Derek: I play the guitar
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out?
Derek: Chris, Tess, and I each write demos and throw them in a pile for consideration. Once Tess adds her vocals, we usually get together to figure out the best arrangement for the song. Then we bring it to practice for Tim and Elliot to give their input and reshape it further. We write songs quickly, so it’s important to record them while their fresh before other songs make them less exciting.
Chris: In the beginning I was writing almost complete Demos. Guitars, drum and bass with some vocal idea. As this band has progressed more and more, I can bring my part to the rest of the band or Derek or Tess individually and we flesh it out from there. Every song tends to find its own path.
Tess: Since I’ve started with the band, we take on song writing a few different ways. Sometimes the boys send me instrumental tracks and I come up with the melody and lyrics. Sometimes they send me full songs and we all learn the written parts. Sometimes I send them chords and lyrics and melodies and goes from there. Having 3 song writers in the band is a lot of fun. And there are a lot of songs.
What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges?
Chris: Honestly. Logistics. Getting five people in the same place routinely, considering everyone has an involved life outside the band is hard. Its still a challenge, but as we’ve become closer as a band and well…better, everyone makes it a priority.
Tess: Yes. Scheduling. Is. The. Worst. We all have had to kind of bend things around to make it work. But it is obviously worth it. 🙂
Derek: I think the only real challenge is working with everybody’s schedule, that said, I think we manage it quite well.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be?
Derek: 1966- That was a very sink or swim year for music. Songs of that year were getting more adventurous or complex and psychedelia was just starting to come in.
Chris: I think about the late 50’s maybe 58. I would like to see the likes of Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly and see that initial blast of creativity and pushing of the boundaries in popular music.
Tess: I think I would do… late 50’s, early 60’s. Sam Cooke & Aretha Franklin. I would have loved to have been around for that.
Who are all of you currently listening to?
Chris: Townes Van Zandt, Cherry Glazer, Parquet Courts, Rupert Angeleyes, White Fence
Derek: Alex Calder, The Animals, Gene Vincent, Of Montreal,The Cure, Hospitality, Deerhunter, Thee Oh Sees, Pylon
Tess: I’ve been listening to a lot of rockin’ ladies. Jessica Lea Mayfield, Laura Marling, Sharon Van Etten, Dark Dark Dark.
What do you think of “the state of rock n roll”?
Chris: It’s in a state for sure.
Derek: Still loving the underground
Some albums that you have played on repeat over the years?
Derek: Camper Van Beethoven’s Key Lime Pie
Bauhaus-Burning From The Outside/The Sky’s Gone Out
Tones On Tail- Everything
The Clash- Combat Rock
R.E.M. Fables of the Reconstruction
Siouxsie and The Banshees- A Kiss In The Dreamhouse
The Police- Ghost In The Machine
Chris: Live at the Old Quarter-Townes Van Zandt
Everyone who pretended to like me is gone-The Walkmen
Another Side of Bob Dylan-Bob Dylan
T. Rex et al
Tess: Midnight Boom — The Kills
Channel Orange — Frank Ocean
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars — David Bowie
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Derek: Alex Calder- his music has a direct link to my weird zone
Chris: Almost any band on Captured Tracks, that Label curates to my sweet spot.
Tess: Jessica Lea Mayfield <3
My youngest son is 13 and in a band–what advice would you offer him?
Chris: Be confident in your vision but remember to let the good ideas that aren’t your own in as well.
Derek: Be patient, and have an expanded music diet
Tess: Compromise isn’t always a bad thing. Be in a band with people you genuinely like.
Beatles or Stones?
Chris: Beatles except for “Lets Spend the Night together” which is one of my favorite tunes of all-time
Derek: Beatles, no contest. The Stones’ first hit single was written by the Beatles, nuff said.
The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us is:
Chris: No cats were harmed in the recording process
Derek: There’s another record on the way
Tess: We don’t take ourselves tooooooo seriously and we have fun and you should too while listening.
Our plans for 2015 are:
Chris: Keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last two years. Write.
Derek: Music videos shot with super-8 film featuring people in cat costumes.
Tess: Write more music. Drink more beer. Practice and play shows.
listen to some kick ass tunes…