What I Learned at Bandcamp: Murder Shoes
Photo by Aaron Fenster
Murder Shoes is a Minneapolis, Minn. surf pop band comprised of Tess Weinberg, Christopher White, Derek Van Gieson, Elliot Manthey and Tim Heinlein. On May 1, the group will release a self-titled, five-track EP.
Currently, tracks “Charlotte Manning” and “Maybe You Can” are streaming on Bandcamp.
Below, read The Spec‘s interview with Murder Shoes and stream tracks from the band’s self-titled EP…
Tell us a little about yourselves…
Chris White and Tess Weinberg: We are friends and musicians living, working and surviving in Minneapolis, Minn..
Derek Van Gieson: I’m an artist/musician/writer. I’ve been told I have nice hair.
How long have you been making music?
DVG: I started playing in bands in 1992. Murder Shoes has been around for a year, I think. Chris and I had been trying to get something off the ground for a couple years prior.
CW: I started in high school spinning records for friends in hip-hop groups. Then I learned guitar and started writing my own music. I’ve been a part of bands off and on for the last ten years in a bunch of different shapes and forms.
TW: I’ve been making music since college — I was working at my college’s radio station and was able to meet lots of musicians that way. I wasn’t focusing on being in a band at all, but there was a need for a back-up singer in a local group and I started that way.
Who/what are your influences?
DVG: Unrest, The Zombies, Holly Golightly, ELO, Carl Perkins, Field Music, Magazine, Annie Ross.
CW: As far as writing songs, I look to Bob Dylan, Hamilton Leithauser, Marc Bolan. I’m inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson and Kurt Vonnegut in their ability to tell a story from all perspectives.
TW: I really love listening to pop vocals. I think a lot of my melody writing is inspired by pop music. Songwriting wise… I really like to look at female songwriters Cate Le Bon, Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten.
What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
CW: “Fuck Pop.” Because it is the closest I’ve come to writing a song devoid of self.
TW: I think “Cash On Fire.” For the opposite reason of Chris’s. It is the most intimate song I’ve written that we’ve released.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
DVG: I think we all have ideas. I would love to be on a yearly schedule of two EPs, one LP, and two four-song singles. That seems to be where we are pace wise.
CW: I’m really excited to continue with Murder Shoes. I’ve never been more productive and satisfied writing music. I am hoping to make a full-length LP this summer.
TW: Yes! Full length is the goal.
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
DVG: Anything I wanted.
CW: I would own a bar.
TW: I’m planning to go back to school in the next few years to get my teaching license to teach high school English Literature. Maybe.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
DVG: Joan Jett, Robert Smith, Peter Buck, Robyn Hitchcock, David Lowery.
CW: I love Mac Demarco and his ability to create inspiring music whilst not taking himself too seriously.
TW: I look up to Sylvan Esso. I love the aspect of collaboration between two musicians from completely different backgrounds. That is really exciting to me.
Why do you make music?
DVG: Can’t help it. I’m probably not supposed to but I’m too stubborn. I do a lot of art on my own, but music is where you can create music as a unit. We really are an arty gang.
CW: I don’t know why. I’ve just been making music for the last ten years. Some of it really bad, some of it okay, sometimes with people and sometimes by myself. I can’t help it. It just happens.
TW: It feels good. The friendships aren’t bad either.
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
CW: If you can’t tell… we love cats.
TW: I hate Chris’s cats.
DVG: Chris White is extremely ticklish.