MY RUIN INTERVIEW – Tairrie B. Murphy by Melanie Brehaut

Welcome! How do you feel about playing at the inaugural Alt-Fest?

Thanks! We’re looking forward to it and happy to have been one of the first bands asked to be a part of such a cool and unique new festival concept and experience based around art, music, culture and lifestyle. We support the idea of DIY and keeping the spirit of independence alive through music.

For those who haven’t seen you play live before, how would you describe a My Ruin show?

We’re heavy, loud and aggressive. We like to think of ourselves as Black Sabbath meets Black Flag with intense female vocals. Alt Fest will be the first show in the UK for our friend (and co producer of our new & last albums) Joel Stooksbury, who will be joining us on drums all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee along with our bassist Luciano Ferrea who will be returning for the second time with us.

Tairrie, your fierce vocal style must make live shows quite punishing on your voice! How do you ensure that you can sustain it throughout a show or even a run of shows?

I have been screaming since 1993 so my throat is used to the brutality I bring upon it. Unless we’re on a long tour in the dead of winter, it’s not something I really worry about.
What I do has always come very naturally.

Are there any acts you’re hoping to catch at Alt-Fest?
Yes, Killing Joke who are playing the first night with us and Sanctorum! They are long time friends and have a rad new album coming out this year. We’re looking forward to sharing the stage with them once again at Alt Fest and as our special guests when they join us on the road for a few select dates we have recently confirmed to follow our appearance.


This will be your first show in the UK in two ½ years. Where will you be playing after Alt Fest?

Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve been over and it will be nice to be back with our new album The Sacred Mood. We will be headlining The Underworld | London on Saturday, August 16th followed by The Haunt |Brighton (17th,) Birmingham | Academy (20th), Bristol | Fleece & Firkin (21st), York | Fibbers (22nd) and Colchester | Tribal (23rd).
What was the thinking behind not releasing a physical copy of your latest release ‘The Sacred Mood’?

TBM – We’ve put out many albums over the years in CD format via various record labels big and small. Much of the time, our albums were not given the proper promotion or distribution they deserved and our CDs were (and still are) very hard to find which became a real source of frustration and heartbreak for us for most of our career. We gave away our last album “A Southern Revelation” in 2012 as a free download and gift to fans (with a middle finger to our ex label). We set up a donation button online and the fans really responded to this in a positive way.

Not everyone buys CDs these days (we don’t). We’re in the iPod age and we really like the idea of a digital release without having to print up tons of CDs to make it cost effective. Especially considering most people steal their music now anyway. We decided to put our new album out via Bandcamp and TuneCore who made it available through all the usual suspects (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play etc…) and it’s gotten a great response. It’s been a lot easier to find out how many albums we are really selling and get paid directly rather than deal with the endless battle of getting no answers from a lying record company.

We’ve also recently obtained the rights back to a few of our previous albums from our catalogue which we may be re issuing this way as well in the near future. Ultimately, we want people to hear our music. That’s what it’s always been about for us. Digital is easy and direct.

Will Mick be bringing along his new signature ‘Triple M’ guitar?

Yes, Mick’s new signature =MM= will be making its UK debut at Alt Fest and it shall be rifftastic! Mick began working with legendary guitar designer Grover Jackson and his new company GJ2 Guitars in 2013 and in January of this year, GJ2 unveiled their new Mick Murphy signature model at the NAMM show in LA and we’re very proud.

The new ‘Triple M’ is a stripped-down, straight-ahead rock machine that looks and plays like a rocket bearing a likeness of his trademark =MM= signature. It features duel humbuckers with a hard-tail bridge, making it ideal for high-octane, tuned-down riffing. The design is based on the iconic collaboration between Grover Jackson and Randy Rhoads from the dawn of the ‘80s that became the original “RR” model (later evolving into the GJ2 Concorde), which first inspired Mick to take up the guitar.

What’s next on the horizon for My Ruin?

We will be taking a break from My Ruin to work on a few other things after Alt Fest/UK tour. I have been in the studio quietly working on a secret solo project which I’m very excited about and plan to reveal in the coming months. Mick has been heavily involved in a couple projects that he will be releasing records with in 2014.

The first is a progressive alternative rock offshoot of the cover band he’s been playing with for the past year Chevy Metal (with Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins) called Birds of Satan. Taylor decided to have Mick and CM bassist/vocalist Wiley Hodgden be a part of his new original side project. The EP includes a 9 ½ minute epic co-written by Mick, Taylor and Dave Grohl (who plays rhythm guitar on a few of the tracks).

The second release is an old school hardcore crossover album (with C.O.C. drummer Reed Mullin) called Teenage Time Killers which Mick helped write and plays guitar on. This project features many different hardcore, punk and metal vocalists including Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Jello Biafra, Tommy Victor, Aaron Beam, Pete Stahl,  Pat Hoed, Vic Bondi, Clifford Dinsmore, Keith Morris as well as myself.

I’m actually the only woman involved in the project. This is a really interesting, organic and fun record which incorporates a cool variety of classic heavy music styles and I’m excited to be a part of it with Mick.

Finally, why should people come and watch your set at Alt-Fest?

Because we don’t get over to the UK very often so there aren’t many opportunities to see the band live…and because we are gonna rock the METAL STAGE!