Hard rock band Mureau has released their debut album Rumors and Reputations on Mediaskare Records. I recently interviewed guitarist Jonny Harter about how he got his start in music and what the band has in store for hard rock fans.
When did you first know that you wanted to make a career out of being a musician?
Music and playing guitar is all I have ever known. I began playing guitar at the age of 4. My dad played guitar and my step-dad was a singer in a band ever since I was a baby. I remember being in elementary school trying to start bands with people, but no one was into music like I was at such a young age. It was actually quite frustrating, and it took a few more years before I was successful at convincing some friends to start a band. Finally at the age of 12 I actually had a “band” and that was my first time playing guitar with live drums and I think that’s really what set it in stone.
Who were your earliest musical influences?
The Beatles! They were the first music I ever heard. I remember going to Beatle Fest several times when I was 5-10 years old, but the first band and album that really, really consumed me was Nirvana’s Nevermind album when I was about 6. I listened to that tape so much and I remember crying when the tape crapped out on me haha. But I have to say my biggest influence ever has to be Incubus. They really had a huge impact on my life in so many different ways, and not just music. The drummer, Jose Pasillas, used to work at a restaurant across the street from my old house called Santa Fe Cafe. I used to go in every day as a little kid and bug him for cups of water or free chips hahaha.
Up to this point in your career, what has been your most memorable moment?
I would have to say the meeting with Mediaskare Records, when we sat down and signed our record deal. It was so surreal that it was actually happening. Show-wise.. my old band played a show at the Whisky a Go-Go with Between The Buried And Me, The Red Chord, and The Acacia Strain. At the time, all three of those bands were my biggest idols and to be able to share the stage with all three of those bands in the same night was just mind-blowing.
Because downloading is stealing! haha no but really… People should check out our album because there is a lot of diversity in there. There are many flavors to choose from, which sometimes can be a bad thing, but I think we did a great job of mixing styles/genres that usually aren’t mixed.
How did your band first get its start?
I knew Taylor Voeltz because he had recorded my old band in 2006. We were hanging out one day and I asked him if he was down to demo some songs for me that I had written. I came over to his house and we recorded one song. The next morning he comes over and wakes me up playing the song we had recorded the night before, but he put vocals on it!! So it was like… welp guess were starting a band. At the time he had retired his singing career and was solely focusing on his audio engineering/mixing career. So I take credit for bringing him out of retirement haha.
What is the band’s songwriting process?
The writing process starts with me in my bedroom studio recording for hours on end pumping out riffs and programming drums. I would have hundreds of different sessions, some just one riff, some of them would be just half a song, and some of them full songs. I would email those tracks to Lanny and Taylor until they were stoked about something. Then Lanny will come over to my house and help rewrite and rearrange stuff. Lanny and I are an extremely perfect pair for writing music because my strong suits are his weaknesses and vice versa. We are like yin and yang.
What is the band’s future plans?
We plan on touring non-stop here on out.. My goal is to get overseas by 2013. That’s a massive goal… but that’s what goals are for right? I can’t really say when we aim to release the next album because that really depends on how far this album takes us, ya know.. but we are already working on our sophomore release. We never stop writing, we will even be writing on this upcoming tour in the van with a laptop and an Mbox Mini!
What is your favorite song to perform live?
My favorite song to perform live is ‘Castles In The Sky’ or ‘Bedroom Eyes’, mainly because those two songs have the most bounce to them and it gets the crowd jumping up and down the most, which just totally shoots adrenaline through my body. There is no feeling in the world like seeing someone be passionate about something you created – enough to help their feet leave the ground.
Anything else you want the fans to know?
I love you guys…SERIOUSLY. There are so many bands out there in this world and to have someone even give a shit about my band just kind of makes me emotional. Add me on Facebook and IM me, come up to us at shows and talk to us. Don’t hesitate. I love to help people out with gear questions or Pro Tools questions. I have received a TON of help and knowledge from other people so I like to pass it on. Especially with recording because it helps people to create, and creation is the most beautiful thing on this planet.
Taylor Voeltz – Vocals
Jonny Harter – Guitar
Lanny Perelman – Guitar
John Party – Bass
Ian Corabi – Drums
For more information: http://www.facebook.com/mureaumusic?sk=app_123966167614127#!/mureaumusic?sk=info