Listen, we know the lot of you are halfway through bong rips and ten-strips for this unholy 4/19 + 4/20 weekend, so before you get too deep, you’ll want to check this exclusive new offering from MURF.

We also know that a fair amount of you enjoy horror films and music that is quantifiable heavier than anything readily identified as math rock. Luckily for you, MURF is about to cover you with some serious arterial spray on both fronts with their new single “Pigeon Rat.”

We know what you’re thinking – “what the hell is a pigeon rat?” Well, not only do we have exclusive evidence for you to find out below, but we also managed to corral the band for questioning.

First things first – the grisly single:

So that’s what a “Pigeon Rat” is… huh. That’s also what it looks like to make a damn fine amateur horror flick with your buds. Honestly, the sounds like a lot of fun, and it sounds like it was; here’s the transcript of MURF’s subsequent interrogation:

FB: In the band’s press release, there’s mention of a close bond formed over Robocop between Dan and Tom, which begs the question – is MURF possibly a reference to Alex Murphy or his hometown of Murfreesboro, MI?

Yeah! We all love Robocop- it started with Dan and Tom talking about one liners- “I’d buy that For a Dollar!” “I don’t like cops, cos cops don’t like me” “buddy I think you’re slime” but then when Tom assembled the super friends of musicians first practice it was like a Robocop fan meetup. We still spend a great deal of time quoting our favorite films during practice or when we’re driving around America to the next performance.

Is that true that he was born in Murfreesboro, MI!? We’ve played there with Little Baby Tendencies and PRESSED who gave us a Robocop T Shirt that had Robocop on it and MURFREESBORO- but had no clue!! This is a crazy development as a Robocop nerd- had to check the robo-wiki but they only have where he went to college and how he caught some serial killer before he got blasted by Boddickers crew!

FB: Do you guys still play the police protest song that essentially got the project off the ground?

Oh yeah! “I don’t like Cops” is still one of our standards- we often will close with it because it’s such a fast and furious song to play. But now more than ever it’s important to express disgust for the people who have committed such atrocities and gotten away with it.

FB: Was there a moment when it clicked that the band’s extreme visual presentation with fake blood, movie props, etc. could also factor into the band’s music and lyrics, or was that always part of the plan?

Well the original “plan” was to do one show! Tom and Dan agreed to do that and Tom formed the voltron. We figured since we’d be doing this we’d dress up like dead OCP cops- and then we found out ICP was playing the cabooze the night of our second show so I think Hunter or Evan was like “We should be juggalos!” so then we HAD to get all the faygo we could find and rip shit up. Evan had this great Chicago band called White Bronco and he was infamous for smashing Guitar Hero controllers so I brought those for all of us as well.

After that it snowballed into more theatrical chaos! We spent 7 years coming up with different themes (Adult Babies, Mimes, Boy band, Met Gala, Haz-Mat Suits) while still having mainstay elements like spitting fake blood, shooting of confetti, giving audience members things to break etc. But now we’ve got more solidified personas as an apocalyptic gladiator, executioner, prisoner, satan and a shirtless maniac behind the drums.

As visual artists and fans of bands that incorporate visual arts in their performances it was always essential that we have these things. If anything, it’s just a matter of finding ways that we can streamline the theatricality so it doesn’t impede any performance because these new songs are INTENSE! So now I gotta choose where I use the severed arm as a guitar and then toss it to an audience member.

Ideally- we’d have a GWAR setup with giant fake blood/gut cannons, animatronic monsters, wireworks and lots of FIRE!!! Haha but the intensity of us as performers will suffice…

FB: You guys have been working with Adam Tucker for three albums now – what would you say his greatest skill as a master engineer is?

He’s Adam FUCKIN’ Tucker! His greatest skill is being radical, righteous and talented. Honestly upon first meeting him and seeing his space and watching the way in which he works with you and has such an open/generous ethos it’s such a joy and dream! We recorded a song/video about my dear friend and Blood of the Young Labelhead Nick Blood, so I wasn’t in the cheeriest of moods but we took this sweet ass freight elevator down and there’s this PRO-LAIR! Complete with an arcade machine that had ROBOCOP and so much more! It’s like you’re in Wayne’s World or something, you just meet this guy who’s been your friend forever and is genuinely excited to make art with you, and does an AMAZING job! He just GETS IT! Ya know? He’s into all the same bands, movies and art- he’s recording everyone you hear around and are like “we need this guy!” We love Adam Tucker!

FB: The ‘thank you notes’ from your last album Video Nasties had a very particular set of individuals, with horror writers and slasher movie stars far outweighing any musical personnel. Obviously for Murf this is par for the course, but has your opinion on horror changed at all as you’ve gotten older? Or, perhaps if not, do you have any thoughts on how popular horror has become in the years since Video Nasties was released?

I appreciate Horror more! Nasties was released during the pandemic, so there was a unique experience as a horror fan and experiencing films that usually would be a group setting. Now that we are in a post-pandemic state, it’s amazing to enjoy these films together and also see friends like Jason Ewert and Anthony Cousins put out work as well as the larger spectrum of movies being made/restored/streamed! Shouts out to the local cinema: Trylon, Parkway, Grandview, Trash Film Debauchery, Tapefreaks, Flip the Script Fest, Heights Theater, Scream it off Screen and all of the local crews watching horror in their living rooms! There’s so many movies/events out there, and it’s just such a fun time to be a fan. In the time since Nasties I’ve gotten to meet KEN SAGOES (Kincaid, Nightmare on Elm Street 3) gotten an autograph from Ken Foree (Dawn of The Dead ‘78) got to ask Jon Waters a question at a Q ‘n A, and we got to not only make special gore effects for MARK BORCHARDT but get to hang out with him and make the video for 2 days in the woods of Milwaukee!

FB:Who came up with the idea/direction for the video for “Pigeon Rat?” Would you say as a song it’s a good indicator for the intensity of Already Dead as an album?

Evan was responsible for the seed of this midwest macabre masterpiece! He had a treatment written that was essentially Scooby Doo meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre- then Dan formatted it into a shooting script and added some ideas for special effects. It is definitely a good indicator for the intensity, I’d say on a whole that song is a good “middle of the road” where it has the dark bouncy beat and some more absurd lyrics that then go straight down in the hellish maw of MURF!

FB: Dan (we think) says “Ay, Carumba” at that perfect moment in the video – is that on the actual record?

Oh yeah! We had to give it up for the bart-man. It’s just fun to have the old quip before the crack of Jeff’s drums. Feel like the one liner-before an explosive beat is a core pillar of MURF.

FB: How do you balance the qualities of growth and maturity on the new album with a song like “Pigeon Rat?” Or is Pigeon Rat some kind of deep, mystical euphemism we’re not familiar with?

In the episode Hugo is practicing so that he can sew his brother back to him- I relate to that in wanting to have people back and being able to have the future you wanted instead of being chained up in the attic and eating fish heads. But the pigeon rat itself is like a project to me, it’s making something when you’re going mad as a way of self soothing/de-escalating. The creation may intend to bring those back in a way, although in our case it is impossible. It still feels good to have these creations that possess the DNA of our loved ones and imagine that they would be proud that we persevere and create art for people to connect with and enjoy.

FB: Already Dead comes out May 28 on Learning Curve Records – if possible, can you describe your favorite moment recording the album? Or your least favorite?

Ohhh sure! This has been a LOOOONG time comin- Happy that we can finally say we have a favorite/least favorite. It’s all been great to be honest, I try not to dwell on anything that could be seen as negative in this process because things could be way, way worse for us. So I’ll say my favorite moment is recording “Nice Try, Little Man” and “Franks Hand” because those were the times that everybody is in Tom’s attic where MURF formed. Jeff’s sitting back ripping a cig, Evan is in the chair hunched over listening, Tom’s on the board and Hunter’s conducting me to hit certain beats and helping me come up with lines that fit in the pocket of the song!

Evan did that too on “Franks Hand” because the song is more of a drugged out, manic-depressive take on Nirvana’s “Milk It” and the name is from his former psychopath of a manager I felt it best to have him help me steer the screams and character of a possessed man pleading for control over his body.

It’s always a blast hanging with them in the attic, there’s an intimate electricity and a real mutual respect for everyone’s efforts. It’s in that area that the record really comes into a locked position because we’re able to openly discuss parts and help each other make it better!