Murray Acton Interview 23/05/21
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences I'm Murray Acton aka “the cretin” and my band is the dayglo abortions. We are a punk band that started in 1980, in Victoria,BC, Canada. My biggest influences cover a fair bit of ground and might seem unrelated. Let's see...there would be John Lennon because from him I learned that rock stars had as much or more influence on society than even god, in some places. Then maybe Frank Zappa is where I learned the art of weaponized sarcastic satire. Then it would be black sabbath for those creepy riffs. Then maybe I dunno King krimson for the weirdness (musical weirdness, not the other weirdness). The first punk album I got was Young Loud and snotty, by the dead boys. That has some awesome rudeness on it. Other influential punk bands would be the dead kennedys for sure. I'm a big Mr Bungle Fan too.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from That's one of the big questions isn't it? Where does inspiration come from? Is it internal or external. Oh sorry that's kinda dumb new agey sounding bullshit. For this album that we are about half way through now....the majority of the songs were written during the four years of Trump. Each song is a little slice of the non stop shit show that the world has become, since I guess it would be 911 where this all started. I like my albums to have a coherent theme that links the songs together. The last one was the Armageddon Survival Guide. It's theme is fairly obvious. I think that because we like many punk bands have decided to use our platform to influence the way people think, or at least influence them to think, (even though I think we sound more like a metal band than a punk band, but what do I know, I'm just an idiot who used the word think four times in one sentence) seriously though I generally make my songs about real world events. You know, like movie stars sticking Hamsters up each others asses. That happened.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song ? I guess I should put that up to A VOTE,ha ha ha , but this ain't no democracy, so I'd “our” favourite song to play would be maybe Cockroaches off of the armageddon survival guide. Or maybe Two Dogs Fucking because it has a big guitar solo, and this band like to wank (on a guitar, not on your lonely neglected junk) Anyway I was thinking again, it's a good job we are not democracy. If we were we would never play gigs because we would be way too busy killing woman and children around the world
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2021 Well we were on tour last March when Covid-19 moved into the hood. We were doing a short trip around western Canada before summer and all those festivals and the likes. The last night of that trip was in Vancouver and Vancouver went into lockdown the next morning. We had to get our gear from the bar and split, the ferries to Vancouver Island were only taking essential travel, which fortunately includes us, were a punk band, the world needs punk bands damn it. Since then well not much in festivals until just recently. I notice that they are announcing some in the States now. Punk Rock Bowling is on. I got vaccinated the other day but our border is still closed, and we can't really book anything outside the country yet that I know of. We're just gonna have to wait and see what unfolds. We might get to do shows in
MM: What can we expect from you guys live well we aren't a band that has an elaborate stage setup, or wacky costumes or anything like that. I mean our drummer is blind, so he doesn't even do the crazy facial expression thing that many musician lean on, well that's not true he has pretty well one facial expression that doesn't change much. It's a bit “crazy” I guess, but it never changes. For the most part we just play our stupid songs, tell a few jokes, validate some feelings, connect with the audience, get them to relax, lower some of those defensive walls they have erected around themselves. Then when their guard is down and everyone's happy and groovin, we start pumpin in the propaganda
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring I love touring. The guys a travel with are my closest friends and we are all in it as equals. No one argues or complains. And there is no resentment about one person getting more that the other. That's the kind of stuff that kills a band though. Bad things do happen from torn to town
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies There is bands that we have done tons of live shows with. A band from Vancouver called the golers, we've done over 100 shows with them. We've been out a couple of times with the Accused (Tommy's Accused not Accused AD) Across Europe, and America. The last time we were in the States before the pandemic, we went coast to coast with Negative Approach one of my favourite old school punk bands. I really enjoy travelling with other bands Even if we're not headlining. You can learn stuff from everybody, and I met some amazing talented musicians, and made some lifelong friends doing that. The band I'd like to do a trip with next would be I think, Left Over Crack. We've played a couple of shows with them, and they are a killer band, that really believes in what they do, and are doing their best to make the world a better place. The kind of stuff that I can get behind.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why This one is easy. I was fortunate enough to be able to Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band on their last tour before Don Van Vleit died. I discovered Captain Beefheart through Frank Zappa when I was a kid. Their music is like nothing else. It really is pretty well in it's own genre, and as far as I have ever found, the hardest to play and completely bizarre music to ever come out of human beings. They have songs where every musician is playing in a different time signature. To see them do that live, in a bar where you can get really close to the stage is something I'll never forget. That surpassed the arena shows I saw as a kid like Emerson Lake and Palmer doing Brain Salad Surgery, Yes Close to the Edge, Frank Zappa doing Joe's Garage. King Crimson, I saw Rush on every tour for their first 5 albums. Fuck I saw Queen do Sheer Heart Attack. I saw John McGlaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (that might be number two) but without any doubt. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. All that said though, when I play gigs I always stand in the crowd and watch the other bands. On every trip there is at least one band that is doing shit that is so original and so good, that I've never heard before, and often never hear again, which goes to show you, no matter how good you think you are, there is always some kids somewhere that are killing it in ways you can't even imagine.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with Well it's not what I set out to do when I started playing music, but I did through my actions force the government of Canada to re-write a section of our constitution regarding freedom of expression and the limits of free speech in the country. Our record label at the time Fringe Product was charged with manufacturing for the purpose of distribution, and the distribution of obscene material, because of our albums Feed Us A Feetus, and Here Today, Guano Tomorrow. There was a long court battle that ended up as a challenge to the constitution, that we finally won in a 6-4 split decision. It was without a doubt the best thing to ever happen to us, I was on the national news and the front page of every paper in the country for a year or more, and I highly doubt it turned out the way that The Mayor, and the Chief of Police in Nipean Ontario had hoped it would when they decided to try and set the moral standard for the whole country. I tried to send them a thank you letter but I wasn't successful. I did however immortalize their efforts in the song “Two Dogs Fucking”.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time That's a very hard call. My taste in music is pretty diverse. It would be easier to tell you my favourite albums in each genre, but off the top of my head I would say Master of Reality by Black Sabbath, and The Inner Mounting Flame by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. They are the two albums that have had the biggest impact on the music that I play.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you? Fucking rights I can. I was 16. It was 1976, and me and my friends had this band called Airborne. We were playing stuff like UFO, and Rush, that was heavier than what was popular the time. We had a couple of original tunes that I wrote that were a bit weird, one was in 7/4 and not dancable in any normal fashion, and we got a gig. It was “a dance” in this union hall for a bunch of what looked like to us at the time older working people. I was a very shy kid and I was scared shitless. Shaking so bad I could hardly play, but it was going ok at first. We had decided to save the weird heavy songs for later in the set. They had a bar I think and as we got into our set people started getting noticeably intoxicated. That was about when we got to our original song in 7/4. I remember kinda laughing watching this drunk dude trying to dance to it. Then he bumped into some other drunk dude, who pushed him back, and it was on. The whole place went nuts, they were were fighting. Men against men. Women against women. Breaking shit and using it for weapons. They destroyed the union hall. The cops came and arrested a bunch of them. They were all the age of our parents too. It was out of hand. When the cops came, we were still standing on the stage with our guitars on, just watching it go down. This cop came up to us and said “I think your done for the night, you kids should probably pack up your stuff and get out of here while you can” We did. That was the only live show that airborne ever played.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall. I had a huge poster of Jimmy Page playing his double neck SG, with a smoke hanging out of his mouth. I had the poster from dark side of the moon of the pyramids. In the late 70's I made a collage of assorted punk bands with weird haircuts, and occasional nudity. There was a poster of Ozzie biting the head off of a bat (that wouldn't happen today)
MM: Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person I think there have been transitional albums that completely changed music. The first song that heard, that was heavy, and not just a distorted rock and roll song was the Beatles song, I want you, she's so heavy. They also did Happiness is a warm gun, which was not only kinda heavy, but it was in a weird time signature also. Then there was what I consider the first metal album but it ended up in the delete bin before it was released because their singer died, called Armageddon, by the band Armageddon. It was fast and raunchy. Then the album that changed to world for me, Master of Reality, that was a new kind of heavy and the guitar sound blew my mind. There wqas some other really heavy records in the 70's, Force it by UFO is one. Things got shitty with hard rock for a while, all the bands were dressing like chicks and shit, I didn't sign up for that, that's when I got into punk, but there was heaviness in the punk world that hadn't crossed the line yet. Battalion of Saints, as it turns out little to my knowledge at the time the dayglo abortions were doing good sales in the UK and we were a big influence to Barney to turn Napalm Death into what they became. But I think metal really came of age with the release of Reign in Blood. That was as much of a game changer as Master of Reality. Now things have forked out into so many sub-genres that have little effect outside of their genre. I guess Berzen could be sighted for starting black metal. Now there are so many different kinds of metal that it's almost not possible for a band from one genre to have the kind of effect that they could back in the day.
MM : What's the most important thing to the band right now? I guess it would be finishing the album we are in the middle of recording. And preparing ourselves for that moment in the hopefully not too distant future where we might be able to get out on the road again. If I'm not so fucking old and decrepit by then that it would be just stupid and disturbing. MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why? We do the occasional cover, but I always change the words. I just did a cover of (or more accurately stole the music from) a rolling stones song and used it for the title track on my solo album called “covid-19 nervous breakdown” Their lyrics were dumb and meaningless though. I fixed that. I don't know. We once did a real cover of the Barry Manilow hit, I write the songs, for a comp. I fixed those retarded lyrics too, but they didn't like them so I had to do it with his lyrics which are just stomach turning. I suppose I could get into doing that with my lyrics because they were actually really funny, instead of the watered down puke inducing drivel in the original version.
MM: Tell us why we we should buy and listen to your Band Because if you buy and listen to my band, my music and the associated lyrics will teach you how to deal with the horrors you will face in life and how to defeat the forces of evil whenever they force themselves up you.(I don't mean evil like Cradle of Filth, or the sunday school devil. I mean real evil, the kind that people do)
MM: Four words to describe your Band Insolence vs. Intolerance since 1980 (i guess that's 4 words and a number)
MM: Final Words for your fans and our readers We working on a new album right now that will be finished in a few weeks. The intention is this album is to give my interpretation of world events from the beginning of Trumps presidency until now the new age of neoliberalism, and I promise that I will not mention Donald Trump once on the album, but I personally guarantee that it will shock the fucking shit out of some people, and horrify many others, and will very possibly get my ass cancelled. So be it. It needs to be said, and if I made an album without saying it, it would be a gross insult to the people who have supported my music