New York's Murder Mystery is a cute indie pop group from NYC, and is comprised of singer Jeremy Coleman, drummer and sister Laura Coleman, guitarist Graham Roberts and bassist Adam Fels. Their songs have a friendly, upbeat and unpretentious melody that is carried by singer Coleman's crooning, almost-flat voice that has echoes of The Magnetic Fields and Adam Green. The band can often be found playing at downtown venues like Mercury Lounge and The Annex. The Village Voice wrote that Murder Mystery is "a pop band with a soul and a brain, expert at turning out catchy, hard-rocking, intelligent music." (Visit the Myspace page for more info.)
Recently we sat down with drummer/singer Laura Coleman to discuss how it is being an up-and-coming band in New York City, and if and when we can expect the band to dress up like Mrs. Doubtfire.
HP: How did you come up with your band name?
Coleman: This was hard. band names are generally the pits. i guess we focused more on avoiding the cliches, puns and emotionally or historically loaded references. no "the [somethings]" - those never even made it to the chopping block. i suppose we wanted something that hadn't a direct association with any singular thing. Murder Mystery. boom. what does it mean? whatever you want it to, baby. (for the record, the velvet underground song had no influence on our choice of band name. but for the record, we like the velvet underground a lot.)
How is it being in a band with your brother (he is, right?). Do you two battle for power and attention? Is he jealous you're being interviewed and not him?
He is indeed my brother. He is one of two older brothers and they are both jealous of me in general because my parents love me more than them. This interview - though a serious blow to his ego, is nothing compared to the slow chipping away of his self-worth caused by years and years of family favoritism.
I'm just just kidding. Although he probably is jealous of this interview cause he loves answering questions like "how would you describe your music?"
How would you describe your music?
Everything you never knew you always wanted in a music.
We like fun, catchy, dance-able, intricate yet accessible pop music. For both the indie loyalists and the pop lovahs.
Describe your music in three words.Rhythmic, melodic, harmonic.
That was four, actually. Anyway, what is a routine Murder Mystery show like?
It beings hours before the actual performance. There's hair and makeup. There's the backstage catering. There's the backstage lipo post-catering. And all the while there's Jack and Coke everywhere. How else could we perform the samba breakdown at the end of "Fool in the Rain"?
Usually our shows involve none of the above. A routine show goes more like: get drunk, play songs, demand the audience dance, do the moonwalk and toss some cards (both Michael Jackson inspired dance moves) and tell some bad jokes. We also move around on stage a lot now, too. Everyones playing different instruments and my brother and I now sort of share lead vocal duties. So you can expect to see drum/vocal switches throughout the night, which usually unintentionally turns into a dance competition that I always win cause I'm a girl and you can't make me cry.
What other new york band do you love?
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They've got a new album out this march. I'm super excited.
Who are you listening to these days, and why (be honest!)
As I mentioned above, I been into the Pains. Also, Surfer Blood, the Drums, and that Best Coast album. But I haven't been able to give the Wild Nothing album a break recently. That album's kept me company over the past several months. and most recently I'm getting into Black Tambourine and Beach Fossils. I'm also (re)visiting some older stuff like the Wedding Present, the Soft Boys, the Only Ones and always always into Pavement and Talking Heads. Oh, and Biggie. Especially the song called "The Warning." It's my jam.
Talk about stage banter. Can we expect some stage banter? If so, is it rehearsed stage banter?
Expect stage banter. Don't expect it to be good.
There's so much good material that is brainstormed in rehearsal but some people - I wont mention any names - are too scared to bite the bullet and buy the Mrs. Doubtfire costume.
What do you like to wear on stage? Why??
I may have already given this away but I think all four members of Murder Mystery would like to be wearing Mrs. Doubtfire costumes on stage. Why? More like, why not.
Did you see Black Swan?
I did not.
Did you like it?
You never listen to me.
I didn't see it.
Great. I didn't ask.
But what about No Strings Attached?
Sorry.Fan-made video for Murder Mystery's "Love Astronaut":
BAND SPOTLIGHT is a recurring series in which we feature talented and relatively obscure NYC bands.