An interview with Martin Murphy of Preacher.
The eight piece melodic prog rock band from Ayrshire/Glasgow journey up to the Highlands, fresh from sharing billing with Status Quo in May.
With , debut album, ‘Signals’ being remastered and re-released imminently, how do you view the album and how are you looking forward to the new release?
We are very proud of the completed product which contains new lead guitar parts and extended versions of several songs. The album has had several top notch reviews pre-release and having the support of Cargo Records and now being signed to IME Records and having the support of several FM stations worldwide we are very optimistic.
Every review we have read about ‘Signals’ refers to Pink Floyd,how do you view the comparisons?
I take the comparison as a huge compliment! However, the only things that we do that have similarities in my opinion is that we have big dynamics incorporating multi layered vocals and we are happy to create space and not overcrowd our recordings.
You were the first were one of two unsigned bands to co-headline the ABC in Glasgow, how difficult a feat was that, and with reflection how do you see the achievement?
It was relatively easy to arrange the gig and generate interest. One thing for sure is that any band needs to have the self belief and also work hard to market the event properly. We are proud of what we achieved and this has definitely helped us to raise the bands profile.
On your website’s bio you are described as “one of the best original prog bands in the UK” how would you describe the prog scene in the UK and who do you view as your current peers?
The prog scene in the UK is definitely on the up. It is difficult to get radio play from the more popular stations because most of them look at prog as being non radio friendly. We have re-recorded a couple of tracks from the “Signals” album to approx. 3min 40 secs to help us overcome this hurdle and some of the songs from the new album which we will be performing at the next few gigs have been written to suit the masses in the hope we will get more backing from UK radio in the future.
This is a tricky thing to do as we do not want to lose our sound identity. All the band members have a love of Floyd – Marillion – Pearl Jam and many more but Preacher definitely stands squarely on it’s own two feet.
What are the difference for Preacher in time in the recording studio and stage time, and which do you prefer?
After all the songs are written we perform them live and they slowly morph into the finished article before we proceed to the recording studio.
Recording a Preacher album is a long drawn out process as some of the songs have as many as 12 vocal and 12 keyboard parts and total tracks can be as many as 70 per song.
We usually work on at least 6 songs at the one time building them from bass and drums and slowly adding the additional layers until we have the completed product. This is something we enjoy very much but the buzz from performing live far outweighs the fun from studio time.
There are 8 members in the band and there is never an angry word. They truly are a second family!
Which of your tracks would you recommend for someone who has not listened to your music before, and why?
From the Signals album probably “Jupiter to Mars” or “Signals” as both of these tracks show the bands full spectrum of tools and both songs have meaningful lyrics.
Preacher play Mad Hatters on the 13th of June.
In the meantime check out their website.