“Winter is coming.” - Game of Thrones
by Tyler Mangrum
- The Capitol Hill Times -
While certain bands play for fortune and glory, guitarist Jordan Schneider and his band the Murmurs exist for a much more respectable, and altogether more punk rock reason: a love of the music and an even greater love for playing it live.
“My mind is mostly on enjoying myself when I’m up there,” Schneider said. “I can only think about playing as hard as I possibly can but having a good time during, because I’ve just been doing this so long. It’s really the only thing I know how to do.”
This band, based out of the Chophouse at 11th Avenue and Pike Street, may share a name with an all-female alt-pop duo, which has apparently caused a couple problems for unwitting fans of the former, this band has a sound that is straight-up pop punk and takes its inspiration from the Eastbay scene of the early 1990s.
Just like any good punk band, they’re all energy, and they’ve been delivering a slightly heavier version of the pop punk you may be familiar with since their formation last year. Despite being just over a year old, they’re already about to embark on their second tour of the West Coast as they prepare to play AwesomeFest in San Diego ahead of the release of their first full-length LP.
On top of their relatively recent formation, Schneider and his band mate Derek Wagner had only just moved up to Seattle when the band came together. Both had grown up in Denver, going so far as to even squat together in a house called The Orphanage. They started playing music at age 14, and since then almost every band that included one has involved the other.
“Ever since we were kids, it’s always been me and Derek,” Schneider said. “I really could never play music with anyone else.”
The decision to head up to Seattle, however, was one that was born from a love of Northwest pop punk. Calling bands like Snuggle a big influence on their own musical taste, Wagner and Schneider soon headed to Seattle only to eventually meet Jerome Sosa from Snuggle itself.
“It really should’ve been harder,” Schneider said. “Just moving to a new city is really hard; making new friends or music contacts, but we had Jerome to help us out and he knows his way around the city and the music scene. He showed us around town, met some people, and we had a lot of help to get us on our feet.”
After rounding out their band with Jesse Schreibman and officially taking off last April, the band has been working hard to pay their dues.
“You kinda have to put your name out there and play as much as possible, no matter how much sweat and blood it takes,” Schneider said. “In the course of three months in the beginning, we never played the same place twice. It was so many shows, but that’s what you gotta do: put your name out there. But Seattle is great for venues; there’s just so much going on.”
Despite the number of venues surrounding their practice space in the middle of the Pike/Pine corridor and the sheer number of performances they’ve managed to churn out over the last year, Schneider said that one of the best parts of Seattle is the house shows, and that’s for one reason: the energy of a punk show with none of the restrictions.
“House shows are just really intimate and really sweaty,” Schneider said. “There’s just no rules and it’s all energy, so that’s just pure fun. They can be hard to come by in Seattle, but they’re great when you can get them.”
Now, ahead of their big West Coast tour that will take them all the way down to the Mexican border, the Murmurs are getting ready to play one last show at El Corazon this Friday that will feature songs from their upcoming full-length LP. While the album, which was produced by Conrad Uno and released by New York Label “Aborted Society,” won’t be hitting stores for a few more weeks, the band promises to have tapes available for anyone who wants them.
“It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Schneider said. “If you drink, you should. We’ll help drink you under the table.”