by David Griffiths
At a young age of 26, Anna Murphy has pretty much cemented herself as a veteran in the worlds of Folk and Celtic Metal. When she was 16, she left home and joined Eluveitie, originally as their hurdy-gurdy player, a band that has risen to the heights of becoming one of the most recognisable artists in the folk metal genre. On top of that, Murphy has kept herself busy by joining other bands including Frakmundt, godnr.universe and Nucleus Torn as well as becoming a recognised audio engineer and launching a successful solo career.
It is Murphy’s solo career that will see her head to Australian shores in August this year as she performs fast-selling shows in both Sydney and Melbourne. Anna is very excited about bringing it Down Under.
“What you can expect is something very eclectic,” explains Anna with a cheeky laugh.
It will be a very broad mix because we are going to come with a full band. Originally it was supposed to just be an acoustic show, but we have decided to bring the full rock band and do a few things. Mostly we’ll be performing some tracks from my solo album (‘Cellar Darling’)… I might even decide to do some of them as a much harsher metal version, and then there is going to be a toned-down acoustic part in the middle, and we might do some Eluveitie tracks there. Oh, and I’ll be releasing and performing my brand new single while I’m there as well. I’ve got some surprises that we are working on.”
Many of Anna’s Australian fans were really pleasantly surprised when they heard the news that the once planned acoustic gig was now turning to a full band performance alongside her former Eluveitie band-mates Merlin Sutter (drums, percussion) and Ivo Henzi (guitar).
So what brought about the huge change? “Originally they just asked me to come, alone, but I really can’t accompany myself,’ laughs Anna. ‘The hurdy-gurdy only plays one note at a time, so you can’t play chords on the hurdy-gurdy, and that would sound kinda sad if I were to do that. So then I asked the promoters if I could bring a guitarist and then it just went on and on and on because I thought I would be nice to have drums as well, it would be nice to have bass and I really just wanted to do it for the fans. I really wanted the fans to hear every song in the best possible version so that is why we went to the extent of organising all this.”
The mention of ‘Cellar Darling’ quickly gets Anna and I talking about how difficult it was for her to leave the juggernaut that was Eluveitie and what she finds inspires her music now she is a solo performer. “Um… I think my inspirations come from everywhere basically,’ she says after thinking for a moment. ‘I become very inspired whenever I start to live a very chaotic life; it never seems good for me if I’m getting a lot of sleep, if I’m healthy, and everything is fine. I always need some kind of drive, and that drive seems to stem from any form of chaos. So the music that I write for my solo stuff always seems to come from within me, I’m not the kind of person to write music about regular topics like… I dunno… topics like politics, history… whatever. I like writing abstract things about just stuff that is going on in my head, stuff that sometimes I don’t really understand myself.”So becoming a solo artist came fairly easy to her? “It was great actually. My first tour was with an artist that I really admire… so that was a huge honour for me. That was probably one of the coolest moments of my life when I got that tour offer. And what I loved was the fact that my shows were very different to the regular rock shows that I did. They were very toned down, very personal and I like to connect with fans like that, so that is something that I am planning on keeping up.”
So becoming a solo artist came fairly easy to her? “It was great actually. My first tour was with an artist that I really admire… so that was a huge honour for me. That was probably one of the coolest moments of my life when I got that tour offer. And what I loved was the fact that my shows were very different to the regular rock shows that I did. They were very toned down, very personal and I like to connect with fans like that, so that is something that I am planning on keeping up.”
Anna Murphy Tour
Sydney – August 26th, Bald Face Stag
Melbourne – August 27th, The Evelyn Hotel