Frank Murray – Interview – Thanks For Asking
Written by Staff on February 3, 2024
Frank Murray – Interview – Thanks For Asking – by Liam Sweeny.
RRX: Every comic book hero has an origin story. What is your origin story? (points if you tell it like a comic book origin.)
FM: My origin story is pretty similar to most I would think. I got into music at a pretty early age, but didn’t start playing until I was about 13. I started on the bass back then. I really wanted to be Mike Durnt from Green Day.
A few years later I picked up the guitar and it opened up a whole new box of paints and colors for me. Not only could I play acoustic and learn the Dave Matthews songs I loved so much, but I could also (with a few bells and whistles) play the Grunge I grew up with, artists like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
I was taking lessons with Jim Wilson over at Parkway music. His teaching style and patience resonated with me and ignited my passion for learning and developing my own style at my own pace. There are a few teachers out there that want to teach you what they think you should learn, and I won’t name names, but it tends to pigeonhole some musicians.
It was Jim’s style of teaching that I would use with my own students years later. I no longer teach because of time constraints, however I always enjoyed it . Maybe some day I’ll pick it back up.
I was in various bands through high school, but it wasn’t really until college that I honed in on my style. If I’m going to tell this story right I need to mention that I wasn’t ready for College right out of high school. I commuted to St. Rose, riding on a music scholarship, only to drop out a year later. I guess after the strict scheduling of classes through high school I wasn’t ready to commit to another school. Instead I spent most of my days hanging out and jamming with friends instead of attending my classes. Looking back at it, that was a kind of skill and learning you couldn’t get in a classroom.
Eventually I realized I couldn’t do that everyday if I wanted to have a future in the music industry. The following two years I attended Schenectady Community College, where I spent my time shedding and grinding through my guitar lessons and actually attending my classes. I discovered Jazz. I fell in love with Coltrane and Davis. I was also listening to a lot of Grateful Dead. Blending various styles of Jazz and Folk really opened up the fretboard for me on the guitar.
After I graduated from SCCC, I transferred to Oneonta as a Music Industry Major with a minor in Audio Engineering. The tools I developed there would eventually lead me to create my own home studio. Being a new father, the freedom I have to be able to plug in and turn on at any moment really helps when it comes to songwriting and recording. Having a family has really made me take stock in what matters most in my life. I’m happy to be able to continue to perform for audiences from time to time, but my family comes first and foremost for me. I’m only 36 but I could retire from music tomorrow if I needed to and I would be fine with it. I’d still play guitar but not having to schedule my life around the multitude of gigs I have each year, now that’d be something. Haha. I already have a decent hot sauce business too “Fuzzy’s Hot Sauce”.
So….maybe I’ll become a small farmer instead.
RRX: Every artist’s first song is a milestone, as is their first show. But so is the latest song or show. Describe the first song/album you recorded, or show you had, and also the latest song/album you recorded; or show you had. What are the differences?
FM: The first song or album I recorded was with my High School band called Kurby Mulch. (God bless those who listened to us back then. LOL) We could barely play, but we had a lot of fun. In addition to playing Saratoga Winners and Northern Lights, we also played Respect Fest to the whole Shenendehowa graduating class, of roughly 800, in ’05. Still one of the biggest audiences I have played for. I couldn’t even recall any of the song names if you asked me, I’d have to see if I can dig them up on MySpace.
The latest recordings I’ve done are with my current band, Large Farva. I love this band. We are three very different guys, individually, but when we get together to write and jam (it’s harder these days with families and other responsibilities) we gel and have fun. It’s easy. No egos. We’re really more of a family than a band. I feel lucky to know these guys that way. We intended on releasing a new album this year, but there’s so much music out there currently that I feel like it’s easier to release singles instead. People are so busy or have short attention spans, myself included, it’s hard to really focus on a full album. Maybe we’ll put a full one out again down the road.
RRX: Music genres are difficult for some artists. Some strictly adhere; others not so much. What is your perspective on the genre you play, or the genres you hover around?
FM: I don’t really focus on genre, as it tends to restrict what I like to play. When I perform out, it’s about how my voice feels, or if the arthritis in my hand is acting up. I’m a geriatric 36. Sometimes it’s Michael Jackson or Alice In Chains, or a little Elton John mixed in with a whole lot of my originals. The current crowd favorite? “Tribute” by Tenacious D. It’s hard to pinpoint my genre of music because it varies so much.
RRX: It’s a lot of fun living in the present, but we all collect memories and give birth to dreams. We’re talking dreams here. Where you see yourself next year? In the next five years?
FM: As far as the future goes, I’m looking forward to watching my son grow up, alongside my wife. I would love to live on a small farm, I feel like I’d be a great farmer. It’s in my blood. My grandfather grew up on a farm in Mechanicville. If I’m still gigging, great! but if not it doesn’t bother me. I can play and sing anywhere.
RRX: We all get a little support from those around us. And we also can be impressed by our fellow performers. Who do you admire in your community, and why?
FM: I typically don’t get out and see as many musicians as I’d like, because I’m usually working my own shows, but I know there’s a ton of talent out there. I commend you guys, the Radioradiox team, for showcasing it. I admire the places that support and cultivate that music, the places that have given me the opportunity to perform. Corcoran’s Towpath Tavern has always made me feel like I’m performing in my living room for friends. Isn’t that really all you can ask for? The love and support of family and friends.
More from Liam Sweeny.