Manhattan Murder Mystery probably drinks more whiskey than you. Which you might expect from a band with songs titles like “I Always Think About Dyin’,” whose live shows have been described as a “battle royal. A wonderful, scummy battle royal (that one’s from Radio Free Silverlake).”
Yes, the band is named for the Woody Allen film, but not because they particularly liked it or anything. On the list of possible names, it was just the best.
And yes, the band’s show , tomorrow night at Tokyo Garden, will probably be one of those not-to-be-missed events that you probably will miss and hate yourself for later.
Or, maybe you go, and hate yourself later anyway.
Either way, I was intrigued, so I got in touch with MMM front man Matthew Teardrop to find out more.
So, what is Manhattan Murder Mystery all about? How would you describe the music you’re doing?
Our music I guess is sort of like punk and folk music combined. We’re mostly just doing the best we can.
Your songs seem kind of dark. Where’s that coming from?
Well I’ve been homeless and broke for a long time and haven’t really been able to figure out a way to fix any of that for a pretty long time. It’s not really that bad I guess, I try to save most of my complaining for song lyrics.
I saw a video of you guys and there was a dude playing a banjo and another playing the bongos or some such. Is that typical of your instrumentation?
Well our friend Don used to play bongos, but he moved to New York. Now he sells records outside of that big Trader Joe’s that used to be a bank. And the banjo guy actually ended up switching to guitar now. There’s a guy who plays trumpet sometimes, sometimes we have a third guitar player, and pretty much anybody is welcome to come up and hit a drum or tambourine or whatever if they want. We’re pretty much down for whatever most of the time.
People seem to be fond of shortening your name to MMM. Is that cool with you?
Thats fine. Its probably easier.
I super dig the version of “Get Off My Cloud” you have up on Facebook. No real question, but you can comment if you like.
Well one time we had this friend who knows people in the movie world, or whatever, and some movie was looking for somebody to do a more modern version of that song and he asked us if we wanted to try it. So, all we really had to record ourselves on was this 4-track thing and the song, I think, ended up not really sounding anymore modern than the original, so we didn’t get the gig. We still had a good time though. I cant complain.
Anything else you want me to know?
I guess just that were playing in Fresno on March 23 at the Tokyo Garden, and were also playing with our friends from L.A. Cardoza and Seasons. There’s gonna be a whole bunch of us and were gonna be partying pretty hard, so if anybody’s looking for some action that’s gonna be a good place to look.