Murder Earth is your pretty typical collection of hard drinking, East Side loving, Steel Panther worshipping metal heads. Since their inception, the group has set out to make music as loud, hard and fun as possible. And, of course, when you think "loud and hard", you think Kanye West, so they seemed like a natural fit.
Frontman Ben Murphy knew he had a hard sell on his hands when he said yes to the project, and it took a while for the rest of the band to come around. And even if they STILL aren't all on board with the idea, the end result speaks for itself.
What did you guys think of the experience?
Ben Murphy: We hate Kanye West.
Tim Flor: And we hated that experience even more.
Murphy: It was fun though, once we got it done. We rewrote it, rewrote it, rewrote it, till it got to the point where it is now.
Tim, you guys gave a lot of push back from the get-go. The rest of the band didn't enjoy this as much as Ben did.
Flor: No. We actually hated it. All (Murphy) had to do was figure out what he wanted to do lyrically.
Flor: I had to figure out the song. I had to figure out the formatting. I didn't know the song at all. We wanted to keep it with the same feel, but...
Murphy: Beef it up.
Flor: ...beef it up. Make it us. The first thing I came up with, it worked, and he was happy with it.
Murphy: It was definitely a lot cheesier than the finished product.
Flor: It was to the point where we got into arguments about it. We hated it. So then it was like 'well, I guess I'm going to go home and try and write it again'. I was trying to take the things that (Murphy) liked and what the other guys wanted to do, and trying to combine them.
Flor: Even in the hours right up before recording it, we changed it.
Murphy: Literally, last minute.
Flor: Yeah, he didn't even know anything about it.
Murphy: We got up to Nova Labs, and they're like 'oh, we changed this part'. You guys are killing me over here. It's hard enough re-rapping a song, but with metal vocals. The timing and breathing are so hard. So they wound up cutting a whole part out. There was a part that you guys left out because...
Flor: Well, see, we were going to make fun of everything. We thought 'ok, most rap steals--or "borrows"--from other musicians'. So we were going to put in whatever we wanted. We were going to have a little break down, and it sounded awesome, but then we were like 'eh, we don't really want to do that either.' To us, that was like saying that we didn't have any ideas.
When Ben first told me his ideas for it, he was talking about having as many as three other songs that you guys were going to mix into it.
Murphy: Yeah, we were going to have the intro to "Blind" from Korn in there. And Steel Panther is still in there--it's one of the verses. Not musically, but lyrically it's in there.
Flor: My favorite part of the whole song, is when it gets to the Steel Panther part. Listening to the songs that came before us, it was like 'ok, so they did change the song to suit themselves'. So there's a part in there where it goes from the rap to singing, and I think that part right there really shows the different styles that Murder Earth likes.
Murphy: I wanted to incorporate the Jamie Foxx intro into the song, so that's all that singing part is.
Flor: Quite honestly, I didn't really write to the Kanye West song, I wrote to the Ray Charles original. All that opening part is based off his work.
Now that it's in the can, are you guys pleased with the end result?
Murphy: I am.
Flor: I am. Quite honestly, I didn't think it was going to come out the way it did.
Murphy: It came out a lot cooler then we thought. I don't like Kanye or really anything that he stands for, but it's always fun to do something different than what we always do.
How was working with Bryon?
Murphy: It was great. He's really cool. Hell, I think we laughed more than we played when we were up there.
So are you guys going to play it live at some point?
Flor: I'd highly...
Flor: ...to be determined.