INTERVIEW: Love Fame Tragedy

Love Fame Tragedy is the birth of a new solo musical project for The Wombats lead singer Matthew Murphy. Stepping away from the British indie-rock veterans for a moment, he wanted to really explore his sonical and lyrical exploration as a musician. 

Focusing on his love, heartbreak, pain and life journey, this project is a true representation of the highs and lows from his side of the fence. With his debut album ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’, out now in the world, he captures that goal in an all rounded indie pop-rock affair. 

Led by his anthemic singles ‘My Cheating Heart’, ‘Backflip’, ‘Riding A Wave’ and ‘5150’, he’s built the foundations for a very memorable and impactful beginning. Authentically telling his story and having fun while doing it, this album is a strong cohesion of all the goals he had. 

I recently chatted to Matthew Murphy aka Love Fame Tragedy about detailing the difference between this project and The Wombats, explored the creative process behind album favourites ‘You Take The Fun Out Of Everything’ and ‘Sharks’, and found out where he got the album title ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ from. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut album ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ is out now and it’s a reflective and diverse collection of indie pop-rock songs with a whole lot of heart. Why did this title feel like it perfectly represented what this album meant to you artistically and personally?

LOVE FAME TRAGEDY: It’s the title of a poetry book I was introduced to by a friend. It really resonated with me as I thought it was accurate, truthful and pretty hilarious. So I got in touch with him and we went from there really. But the moment I saw it I knew it was the title of this album.

TB: You’ve previously stated that the reason why you wanted to start this project as Love Fame Tragedy was to show people a different and more personal side to you. Why did you feel like you couldn’t show people the real you through The Wombats?

LFT: I do feel like I can do that in The Wombats. But I wanted to try something new with a heavier focus on collaboration, and an outlet to really do whatever I want to do, when I want to do it. And something that is not held back by the occasional politics of being in a band for 15 plus years.

TB: At the start of the writing process did you catch yourself resorting back to how you would write for The Wombats, or did the vulnerable side naturally just come out straight away? 

LFT: I do feel like I can be vulnerable in The Wombats, but perhaps not quite as vulnerable as I have been in this album and going forwards. I think I started to really lean into that way of thinking over the course of writing this album. 

Essentially all an artist can really hope for is to resonate with the listener. I think wearing your heart on your sleeve as much as possible can really be a shortcut to achieving that ‘“resonance”.

TB: Reflecting on the album as a whole, what would you say is the most vulnerable and personal moment for you lyrically?

LFT: Probably, “SSRI’s keep the molly from working” *laughs*. It’s based on true events, but a good metaphor for how escapism can end up trapping you a lot of the time.

TB: ’You Take The Fun Out Of Everything’ is a song that immediately stood out to me on the record with it’s electronic groove. Do you mind explaining how that song creatively came together?

LFT: Just all based around that Happy Monday’s-esque piano loop. The song was supposed to be a bit of a character assassination of the music industry.

TB: The lyrical imagery behind ‘Sharks’ was quite playful as it explored this imaginative storyline of you living on an island surrounded by sharks representing the space you’ve drawn between someone. So where did this concept come from?

LFT: A lot of the time I write down lyrics or titles in my phone and just flick through on the day I’m writing and see what ruffles my feathers that day. I think a lot of the imagery in ‘Sharks’ was highly inspired by the events of Brexit, and the whole idea of isolationism.

TB: What song took the longest to finish on the album? What about it was challenging?

LFT: Definitely ‘Honeypie’. I kept tweaking the lyrics constantly, and had these grandiose ideas for the middle 8 which nearly drove the producer Mark Crew insane. It was worth fighting for though, I think.

TB: You were in Australia at the end of last year for your debut Love Fame Tragedy headline tour. So what was one of your favourite memories from your time down under on that run of shows?

LFT: The whole trip was kind of a blur, but an amazing blur. We were so busy and on a very tight schedule with very little time to rest. Lots of early mornings and late nights, and at the end of the tour we were like “what just happened?”.

TB: From hitting the road for Love Fame Tragedy over the past year, what is the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself as a solo artist?

LFT: I think the general response to Love Fame Tragedy has given me a lot of confidence to keep on ploughing down this very new road. In a lot of ways it’s very similar to my “day job” to be honest. 

The songs are still “cut from the same loaf of bread”, as I only have one brain. So it’s mainly about how i can differentiate them in the studio with Mark, and whoever else I can get involved.

TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions! You ready?

LFT: Yeah!

TB: When I think of Australia I think of… 

LFT: Mount Lofty.

TB: The TV show I’ve been binging during isolation is… 

LFT: Peaky Blinders.

TB: If I could have any superpower it would be to… 

LFT: Go into a deep REM sleep on demand.

TB: Pineapple on pizza is… 

LFT: Disgraceful!

‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ is out now